Julien Macdonald On Food, Health & Dancing
This is the second of our Harpers Bazaar foodie features. Tash interviewed Julien Macdonald of Strictly Come Dancing on his revised approach to eating and wellbeing. Knowing that Julien had a bit of a sweet tooth, Tash brought along her Raw Avocado Cake for him to try - safe to say it disappeared rather quickly!
Q. What is your fix?
A. I love biscuits, brownies or cookies. If I'm hungover I go for fish and chips.
Q. Sweet or savoury?
Q. What is your red carpet secret?
A. I dye my eye lashes blue black the day before - it really opens the eyes up.
Q. If you were stranded on a desert island what would be your one food indulgence?
A. Probably a bottle of Dom Perignon.
Q. Is there any food you tell yourself you can't have and why?
A. I banned bread from my diet and decided to lose weight and maintain it. I have changed the way I lead my life, I've become a bit super green and eat a lot more healthy and organic food. The things I used to crave I don’t anymore. I'm more likely to pick up a bag of nuts than a bar of chocolate now.
Q. What is your health secret?
A. I take a lot of chlorella and spirulina and multi vitamins so I would say I'm a bit of a vitamin junkie – I don’t have a big breakfast. I have a healthy smoothie and I think that really kick starts me.
Q. What type of exercise do you do?
A. I see a trainer 2/3 times a week and try and exercise five times a week. I lost a lot of weight when doing Strictly Come Dancing so now I am trying to put some weight back on. I think I will continue dancing more if I go to say, Argentina and can get up and do a tango!
Q. How do you get ready for a new work project?
A. I always travel for inspiration. I’m always travelling and sometimes that particular trip won't do anything for me but a few years later I will draw on it for inspiration. I take lots of pictures on my phone and I look for books and old magazines and will put a story board together which will become a journey.
Q. When working long hours how do you keep well fuelled?
A. I am a bit of a health freak now so I make my own trail mix to take with me to be prepared.
Q. What new exciting projects have you got coming up?
A. I have just launched my Matalan mens range, which is all very elegant and about going out. It's inspired by the Downton Abbey man. I’m going to expand the business to America as the celebrities tend to be more US based so there is a big market out there. Going to fly the flag out there next year!
Q. What is your secret Sunday movie meal?
A. Always spicy - so a curry or a Thai meal with a bottle of red wine in winter and white in summer! I’ll buy a box of really good chocolates to finish it off!
Q. Do you like to entertain?
A. I like to entertain but I don’t do it as much as I'd like to. I'll never cook myself so I bring it in or hire someone. I can actually cook cakes really well. Cupcakes, banoffee pie, apple crumble and chocolate cakes are my speciality.
Q. What is your ideal dinner party menu?
A. Probably just various types of cakes! I like picky food rather than courses so I'd have various different dishes like a banquet and everyone can help themselves – my friends in Spain call it picky pick food.
Q. Is cooking a meditation or a nightmare?
Q. What is your nostalgic childhood dish?
A. Rhubarb crumble and custard because in Wales people eat really full and hearty food.
Q. What is the best family cooking secret or recipe that has been passed down to you?
A. My parents were rubbish cooks so there isn’t really one! My father cooked so he taught me how to make the perfect gravy.
Q. Could you live without meat?
A. Yes absolutely. I used to be a vegetarian when I was at art college.
Q. What is the one ingredient you could never live without?
A. Cracked pepper or chilli – it goes into everything I eat because I love spicy food.
Q. What would your signature move or saying be if you were a TV chef?
A. I would say “it's absolutely fabulous”.