Joe Wicks may be a dab hand in the kitchen now, whipping up quick recipes for his massive online audience, but The Body Coach didn’t really learn how to cook until his early 20s, and he’s still picking up new skills now.
Surprisingly, he says he didn’t have a good diet growing up either. “It was Coca Cola, loads of crisps and sandwiches after school, pasta and a bit of tomato sauce or frozen chicken nuggets and fish fingers… terrible,” he says. “Mum wasn’t educated in nutrition, but now she’s really into her cooking. I wasn’t an overweight kid, I was just hyperactive.”
So apart from bouncing off the walls from lots of sugar, what are the food memories that stand out for him?
“There was a time when me and my brother were in a restaurant on holiday and I’m in a high chair, eating a bowl of spaghetti with Bolognese. It’s everywhere – I poured spaghetti on my head and there’s a photo of me with it all over my face. I must just have been a crazy little foodie from a really young age.”
“You know when you do a barbecue and you undercook it, and you serve someone a bit of chicken that’s still pink in the middle? That’s probably the worst. But I’ve got much better now!
“Now I know you should barbecue with the lid on, not open. I’ve got a new barbecue which I love and at Christmas I actually made my roast dinner on there. I put my chicken and everything else in there like an oven. I’ve become a better barbecuer now.”
“Probably [serving] one of my pies, because everyone I make it for just loves it. A creamy chicken and mushroom pie or a sausage pie. People love a bit of filo when it comes out the oven all crispy, and even if you eat it the next day when it’s a bit cold.
“I do like having a proper guest dinner party, I have my mum and dad and brother around. [I also cook] a risotto with tuna – it’s really yummy but a simple meal that looks fancy. Tuna is another thing I’ve learned how to cook now. I used to cook it so it was white all the way through, but now I leave it a little bit pink, like a steak. I didn’t even realise what a medium rare steak was like until a couple of years ago!”
Joe’s 30 Minute Meals: 100 Quick And Healthy Recipes by Joe Wicks is published by Bluebird. Available now.
- Press Association