Back to ba­sics

Donna Hay has an im­por­tant mes­sage for Aussie fam­i­lies

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

BE­ING in­vited into Donna Hay’s in­ner-city Sydney of­fice is a foodlover’s dream.

Set out on the ta­ble in front of us are a batch of freshly baked meringues Hay whipped up es­pe­cially for TV Guide that morn­ing.

Wrapped along the walls are drool-in­duc­ing pic­tures of the recipes which fea­ture in her lat­est TV se­ries Ba­sics to Bril­liance.

A mas­sive white­board at one end of the room is filled with ideas for up­com­ing edi­tions of her award­win­ning Donna Hay mag­a­zine, while be­hind is a wall of her self-ti­tled cook­ware and boxed cake mixes (spoiler alert: a spelt ba­nana bread is on the way to su­per­mar­kets soon).

And then there’s Hay her­self. De­spite run­ning an empire, the food doyenne is still in­cred­i­bly hands-on. As well as the as­sorted meringues (the salted caramel one was to die for), she says she reg­u­larly cooks for her hard­work­ing team.

“They’re really ded­i­cated and loyal and I don’t take that for granted, ever,” she says of the peo­ple who sup­port her from the ground up.

“I made them break­fast this morn­ing, we had coconut chia cups with shred­ded pear and ap­ple … and I al­ways mix drinks on Fri­day.”

It’s those kinds of per­sonal touches which will make it into Ba­sics to

Bril­liance, a se­ries aimed at giv­ing view­ers sta­ple recipes done to per­fec­tion along with a cou­ple of un­ex­pected twists to mix them up.

For the first time, Hay has in­vited cam­eras into her home and her daily life. From her morn­ing run to meals with friends and fam­ily, the se­ries will give a new in­sight into what makes the for­mer food stylist tick.

“It never oc­curred to me that peo­ple were in­ter­ested in my life,” Hay says when asked why she is now al­low­ing the cam­eras into ar­eas pre­vi­ously off lim­its.

“There are no no-go zones, we didn’t really ap­proach it like that. There’s just me do­ing av­er­age things.”

Get­ting the ba­sics right is im­por­tant to Hay. Hav­ing grown up with a health-con­scious mum who cooked food fresh from the vegie gar­den in her grand­par­ents’ back yard, her ap­proach to food is based on that fresh and sim­ple phi­los­o­phy.

And with food ed­u­ca­tion lack­ing in many peo­ple’s lives, she also hopes she can do her part to change that.

Hay will soon be join­ing Jamie Oliver for his Food Rev­o­lu­tion, a project aimed to­wards giv­ing all chil­dren access to good, fresh food.

The pair will film to­gether for the Face­book live page and Hay hopes to use the ini­tia­tive the UK chef has started to bring the same knowl­edge into Aus­tralian homes.

“Any food ed­u­ca­tion is good ed­u­ca­tion,” she says.

“He’s got the move­ment started and he has the big­ger voice than me, so I think that could be an eas­ier way than start­ing on my own to make a dif­fer­ence. So I’m help­ing him from this side of the world where he can’t al­ways get to.

“We will even­tu­ally get to the stage where peo­ple re­alise food is medicine – but it’ll just be a while.”



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