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With his charming French accent, Manu Feildel is known to most of us as the suave celebrity chef from My Kitchen Rules.
Currently, the father-of-two is on our screens in SAS: Australia, taking on gruelling physical and psychological challenges and we’re in awe with how he’s handling it so far, like we bet his family is too.
The former Australia’s Got Talent judge met his now-wife Clarissa Weerasena in 2011 and the couple welcomed daughter, Charlee in 2015.
Manu, 47 was previously in a 12-year relationship with Ronnie Morshea and they share son Jonti together.
Manu and Clarissa married in 2018, in what Manu says was a “beautiful intimate ceremony.”
Manu married Clarissa Weerasena in 2oi8 in a “beautiful intimate ceremony”.
How are you coping with lockdown in Sydney?
To be honest I’m bored! I’m used to running around, always being busy — travelling and filming all over Australia but of course that’s all stopped. The silver lining for that I guess has meant that I have more time at home, more time with my family and cooking in my kitchen. It has also given me time to look at my businesses and start making some new plans for them.
What do you do as a family to keep busy?
Like everybody else we walk to the park, sometime with the bikes or scooters. Spend time at home doing puzzles, some art and craft and cooking together and also a bit of arguing!
What’s your daily lockdown routine?
I try to wake early and go for a walk at least and on Sunday’s I go cycling. I try and do a couple of weights sessions at home. The rest of the day is a little bit of work, some zoom meetings and a lot of family time and cooking.
“I have more time at home, more time with my family and cooking in my kitchen.”
How is your six-year-old daughter, Charlee coping with homeschooling?
Like most of the kids I suspect, she doesn’t love it but she doesn’t hate it! She just gets on with it. She goes to the French school so has only just started back in the last few weeks, I’m sure she would love to be back at school being taught by her teacher rather than Daddy and Mummy but she is good at getting her work done — she misses her friends though and can’t wait to go back to school!
How are you finding managing home-schooling/ being a teacher?
I never wanted to be a teacher, in fact I didn’t even love going to school that much so I’m NOT loving being a teacher! I am in charge of French lessons now though, so brushing up my conversation skills again — it is lovely though to see my daughter learning new things.
As a dad, business owner and home cook, how important it is to have the right tools and tech on hand?
As anyone who has a busy life knows, it is essential to surround yourself with the right tools and tech. In a kitchen without the right tools you can’t cook the recipe, and it’s the same in life and business.
What piece of tech has been invaluable during lockdown?
With all of us working and kids studying from home, the reliance on printers has increased. Personally, I am constantly printing out recipes to use in the kitchen and keep on file for future reference. We’re also printing out lots of worksheets for the kids to help them study and keep them entertained at home. I’ve recently started using HP+ and it allows me to easily print from anywhere, at any time. There are days that I’m at my test kitchen and I can easily send my daughter, Charlee some French worksheets to print and study while I’m away. Or there have been times when I’ve needed to print some recipes out before I get to the test kitchen and have them ready – with HP+ I can seamlessly print my recipes on the go!
Do you ever run out of ink?
HP Instant Ink gives me the ultimate printing convenience. It notifies HP when my printer is running low, so before I realise it’s running out, the ink and toner are right at my doorstep! I’ve found that as our lifestyles have transformed during lockdown and we are now working and kids are studying from home, we are constantly printing; Instant Ink always comes in handy and helps reduce unnecessary shopping trips to buy ink!
“I am constantly printing out recipes to use in the kitchen.”
Congratulations on your new sauce. Tell us about the process for developing the perfect sauce recipes?
As a French born chef, sauce is in my blood so I have always known how to make sauces. What I wanted to share is my love for them and to help people to eat better. The process to create these sauces was not a quick one, as I believe to be perfect they needed to be made traditionally. To make a perfect sauce I believe you need to start with the right good quality ingredients, a good stock and fresh real products not powders or additives!
Finally, what can you tell us about your experience filming SAS Australia?
It is an unconventional TV production — put it this way if I didn’t know I’d signed up for a TV show, I wouldn’t have known it was a TV show, it was very real! It is probably one of, if not the hardest things I have done — because of the mental and physical pressure.