A Moment With | Magdalena Roze
Magdalena Roze has found her happy place. The TV presenter, Journalist and Meterologist has recently left fast-paced city living for tranquil Byron Bay with her partner Chef Darren Robertson and their little boy Archie. A world away from living in a bustling big city, Magdalena's new life in Byron is filled with nature, a tight-knit like-minded community and an abundance of incredible produce. Magdalena hosts food podcast The Pass, where she goes behind the scenes to talk to restaurant icons including chefs and food critics. She shares with us why she is so passionate about local farmers and producers, and how her heritage has shaped her love for good, honest healthy food.
Hi Magdalena, tell me about your journey to where you are now… have you always had a passion for cooking and food? Yes, food has always been a big part of my life. My parents are Eastern European so I grew up eating wholesome food made from scratch and things like fermented krauts, sourdough and bone broth when they were very uncool! I started cooking when I was 7 years old - I’m really grateful I was brought up with a love of delicious, real food and this has grown even more since meeting my partner Darren, and moving to Byron Bay.
Where did the inspiration strike to write your own cookbook, was it always on the cards? While I’ve always loved cooking, I never planned to write a cook book. When I moved to Byron Bay, I left a hectic television and media career to support my partner in his dream to open a restaurant on a farm.
Moving to Byron Bay not only gave me more time to cook but it also gave me the opportunity to gain a deeper connection with the land and producers.
I found that there’s so much amazing wisdom in this area from mums through to farmers, I wanted to share this with others in the hope they might benefit from it too. So I started sharing my recipes on my blog and found that a lot of people were interested in the sea change life, wholefoods and a simpler, more natural lifestyle. A publisher approached me to turn the blog into a book and here we are!
What inspires you the most? When it comes to cooking, I am inspired by beautiful, ethically grown produce. I get so excited when I shop at the farmer’s market!
Your connection to the weather and how we eat is such an important element in your new book Happy and Whole, how important was this connection for you? I love the weather so I’ve divided the chapters into Sunny, Humid, Cloudy and Rainy because what’s going on outside greatly inspires what we feel like eating and doing. In Sunny you’ll find picnic food and salads; Humid is all about seafood, ice-cold desserts and tropical flavours and lifestyle break-outs on indoor plants; Cloudy is all about the comfort food like pasta, soups and stews; and in Rainy you’ll find baking and preserving, because who doesn’t love the smell of baklava scrolls in the oven when it rains?!
Tell me about your love of wholesome food, when did it begin? Food has always been a big part of my life and my memories around food are really happy. My parents are Polish/Russian so I grew up eating a lot of very wholesome, home cooked food. I can’t remember things being 'good' or 'bad' - we ate everything and sweets were something we had on a special occasion and always made from scratch.
What is your earliest and fondest food-related memory? Picking strawberries on my grandma’s farm in Poland and eating them with fresh cream in the sun with my sister and cousins. I can still remember the smell of flowers and hay in the air.
What do you love most about what you do? Through food I get to connect with others, learn and share wisdom and create a community.
What are you loving at the moment? We Are Pampa wool cushions, First Born hand-made knitwear, Bloodline and House of Cards on Netflix, Jilly red wine and tropical indoor plants.
Where can we find you on a typical Saturday morning? Making porridge for breakfast at home and then heading to the beach with my boys for a quick check of the surf followed by a flat white and crossword. It’s our nerdy, guilty pleasure!
Where is your ultimate food destination? You can’t beat France, Italy and Spain. They never disappoint!
What’s in store for you in 2017? A heap of food events and appearances for my book Happy and Whole, recording season 2 of my food podcast The Pass, supporting Darren in opening his new restaurant, Rocker in North Bondi, and hopefully our wedding if we get the time!