Manu Fieldel is the charming French chef best known for the hit TV series ‘My Kitchen Rules’, which just happens to be my very favourite show. Now in its eighth season it will be gracing our screens again with more good and some not so good home chefs.
For the first time this season Manu will have to say, “Non, too much sauce,” to one of the contestants.
Manu has been in Brisbane promoting his new cookbook ‘More Please! My Family Recipes You’ll Love to Cook And Share’. The book was co-written with his fiancée Clarissa Weerasana.
I caught up with Manu who was busy signing copies of his new book in the Queen Street Mall. I thought I could not love Manu anymore than I did already, so imagine my surprise when he strolled up wearing a pink shirt. I always knew we’d be a perfect match! And yes, ladies he really is as handsome and charming as he appears on TV.
Manu- Early Life
Manu was born in Nantes, France. His father was a local restauranteur and this is where Manu began to learn his cooking skills, as well as from his beloved mother.
At 13 Manu changed tack and began performing in a circus, honing his performance and entertainment skills. He stayed for three years before heading to England where he trained as a chef at Café Royal.
He then headed Down Under where he was very successful as the head chef at Bilson’s. Manu opened his own restaurant Manu at L’Etoile in 2009. Due to his busy filming schedule his french restaurant closed in 2014.
I first saw Manu on the mad capped afternoon cooking show ‘Ready Steady Cook’.
In 2009 Manu appeared as a guest judge on ‘Masterchef- Australia’ where he won a whole new legion of fans with his French accent, fun loving demeanour and suave good looks.
The next year Manu won the role of judge on the new program, ‘My Kitchen Rules’ along with the more serious blue-eyed Pete Evans. It was a match made in heaven and the show has been a consistent ratings winner for Channel Seven ever since.
Ever the performer, Manu has branched out into areas other than cooking. He showed off his twinkle toes by winning the 2011 season of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and has done some travel documentaries including ‘My France with Manu’ and ‘Around the World in 30 Days with Manu.’
He is an advertiser’s dream and you may recognise him from his stream of recent ads. “We ave a soup for zat” is one of my favourite Manu lines after, “Where is ze sauce?”.
This is Manu’s fourth cookbook and it contains recipes not only from France but around the world. Manu says, “My fiancée Clarissa is Malaysian and a very good cook so there are Malaysian, Chinese and Sri Lankan recipes included. Clarissa’s father is Sri Lankan.
I have travelled a lot so there’s my take on Spanish, Italian and Eastern European cuisine as well as some traditional French favourites.”
Manu has included my husband’s favourite tarte tatin in the guise of Thin Apple and Almond Tarts, as well as some delicious and hearty recipes like Claypot Chicken Rice and a Beef and Dark Beer Stew which will go down a treat with the lads.
Other recipes to catch my eye were Beef Rendang, Chocolate and Chilli Crème Brulee and a Baked Cheese Custard.
Manu says, “At home Clarissa and I take turns at cooking depending on what is happening.”
Manu is also Dad to two children (a son, Jonti and daughter, Charlee) so has experience in creating delicious family meals that everyone will enjoy.
He is in direct competition with his mate Pete Evans who also released a cookbook on the same day.
Ultimately Manu’s book is about creating a favourite dish to feed your family or one to impress your visitors. That’s why ‘More Please’ will be a well-used and well loved addition to my library for many years to come.
Now if I could just get the recipe to help my heartbeat slow down after meeting him. Is there a soup for that ?
Photo Credit: news.com.au