Podcast

Sauce it to ’em: Manu Feildel’s journey from chef to entrepreneur

He’s one of the most recognisable faces on Australian TV thanks to My Kitchen Rules, but that’s only one part of the Manu Feildel story.

Coming from a family of French foodies, Manu caught the cooking bug working as a teenage apprentice in his dad’s restaurant in Brittany. Armed with natural talent and joie de vivre, Manu embarked upon a career working in some of the finest French restaurants in London before making the move to Australia.

From the highs of heading up hatted restaurants to the heartbreak of closing much-loved venues, Manu’s learned the hard lessons of hospitality firsthand. In this frank, funny and fascinating First Act, Manu shares the secrets of surviving fine dining, navigating TV fame, and the challenges of getting a brand into supermarkets (The Sauce By Manu is his latest).

Episode notes:

In this episode, Manu unpacks:

  • 2:00 – The most overrated food trend
  • 4:00 – Manu’s family foodie history + early days in the food industry
  • 7:00 – Lessons learned from working in hospitality
  • 9:30 – From France to London – Manu’s early career moves
  • 12:00 – Differences between Australian vs European food industries
  • 13:51 – Making a fresh start in Australia – early successes and failures
  • 16:50 – Hardest lessons learned from business challenges
  • 20:00 – Breaking through depression after business failure
  • 22:45 – Upsides and downsides to starring on My Kitchen Rules
  • 25:45 – Learning to be a public figure
  • 27:50 – From representing brands to building his own – By Manu
  • 30:10 – The long journey from idea to supermarket shelves
  • 36:30 – Why the switch from TV chef to supermarket brand?
  • 38:15 – La Botanique – going into business with wife, Clarissa
  • 40:45 – Crowdfunding to expand the By Manu team and brand

Click here for the full episode transcript.


Join us every second Tuesday for a brand new episode of First Act, because every story has a beginning.

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