2 minutes with Jude Blereau
Occupation: natural foods chef, author, food coach, cooking teacher and real food activist
Business: Wholefood Cooking
Age: 62 years
What does Wholefood mean to you?
This is a super complex question, but in essence it’s very much about that word Whole. Whole is entirely encompassing, and by definition, not fractionalised. Wholefood as a concept understands that the whole is always far greater than the sum of the nutrient parts and that our bodies use food toits maximum nutritional potential when it is consumed as a synergistic whole, not processed and broken into parts. It also understands that everything in our life and going on in our life impacts also – including lifestyle and stress. Fractionalising food into its components and eating the ‘healthiest’ meal on the planet can never satisfy, fulfil and truly nourish if that food (and the context in which it is eaten) is not enjoyed. In ways I cannot understand, deliciousness and joy invite food into the body and enable its nutrients to be fully utilised. It is certainly not about a nutrient, or glorifying a nutrient out of context – for example the insanity around chia seed, raw cacao or indeed sugar at the moment.
You published your 5th book this year, Wholefood From the Ground Up, what inspired you to write cookbooks?
I honestly can’t say – it was just something I knew I wanted to do. But I remember clearly being in New Orleans in 1989 and thinking, I just have to try and present another view about how we eat, and what matters – it would be fair to say that was the genesis of the book writing. I just felt it was my purpose.
Tell us about your Natural and Whole Food Chef Training program that you run every year?
Oh, this is a huge, mammoth beast. I started working on this program in 2006, with the first program running in 2010. I started it because I knew that if the natural food, wholesome food/ nourishing food / whatever you want to call it industry was to progress in Australia, we sorely needed a skill base. I also wanted that skill base to be wholistically based (wholistically spelt exactly as it is with the w) and not just simply another fractionalised approach. Along with Holly Davis, who runs it with me, we are incredibly proud of our graduates.
Five ingredients you can't live without?
Pumpkin, eggs, butter, honey, lamb (or hogget, mutton)
Women that inspire you?
Oh, I love this question!!! Where would I be without women inspiring me.
y Mum – always supports me, even though she doesn’t always agree with me, and has such an eye for colour and beauty. Alice Waters. Edna Lewis. Anne Marie Colbin (it was her book Food and Healing that set me on my path, indeed – helped me find my path). Holly Davis (nowhere near appreciated enough in Australia). June Taylor (Berkeley, Jam maker). Shauna James Ahern (Gluten Free Girl) – great integrity. Marianne Williamson.
What's on the cards for 2017?
A slightly quieter year, thank goodness. Having had such a huge 2015 and 2016, what with building a house, writing and launching a new book, and moving house I am loving being at home. I will be doing a Perth program (was too busy last year), with some travel to the east coast (Melbourne is the priority) in the second half. The big card is online classes and membership. One of the things that I have found as I travel and teach interstate is that EVERYONE feels isolated and alone. When they are trying to change to a more wholesome path, they are treated as idiots by family, friends, school, etc. Online is a great way to bring everyone together, sewing together so to speak the individual patches of a beautiful quilt.
24 hours in Perth, where do we eat?
A few choices, but these are my fave: Anywhere Sam Ward might be – Manuka in Fremantle, and his pop up Mas. SOS = Search out Sam. Take the time to head 1 hour south of the city (an easy drive) to Jarrahdale – (but possibly not in summer!) to Millbrook Winery where Guy Jeffries grows and cooks truly seasonal food. Glorious in Autumn. This is a man who walks the talk. Long Chim – David Thompson’s new place in the Heritage Precinct. My fave breakfast out would Cantina in Mt Lawley (oh, those Smoky Fennel potato bits) or the Avocado Smash at Mrs S- I am showing my inner hipster there) - but it has this yummy fetta, pine nut, greeny thing going on). Best bread – Woodfired Baker, organic, woodfired oven, awesome sour dough.
You can follow Jude on Instagram @judeblereau