THE ladies were swooning in Noosa yesterday. The men weren't immune either.
French-Australian celebrity chef Manu Feidel has that effect on people.
The man with the movie-star looks and luscious French accent was in town to launch his latest cookbook, Manu's French Bistro.
At a crowded lunch at Berardo's Restaurant & Bar, Manu told guests of his determination to help the home cook achieve contemporary French bistro food in their own kitchen.
"This second book is a little more complex than the first but the recipes are still achievable," he said.
Having grown up in France, cooking with his great-grandfather, grandfather and father, all chefs, and his mother, a gourmet cook, Manu's career path into cooking looked to be destined.
However, a stint as teenager with an amateur circus could have taken him in another direction. Thankfully he decided quickly that a career as a professional clown was not to his liking and he began working as an apprentice chef in his father's restaurant.
Now, Manu juggles a career that includes running his acclaimed L'etoile Restaurant in Sydney, co-hosting Channel 7s My Kitchen Rules, writing cookbooks, and last year, whirling around the dance floor on Dancing with the Stars.
"Life can be very chaotic but I am not a one man show," he told his Noosa audience.
"I could not do what I do without a great team. It's like a mother with children. She has to juggle at lot and just get on and do it."
Admitting he enjoys the celebrity side of his life, Manu says he has worked hard for the recognition and takes pleasure in all aspects of his career.
"I love the television," he said.
"I also love getting hands-on in the restaurant and enjoy the feeling of the adrenalin rushing through my blood.
"I try to do Friday and Saturday nights at the restaurant. It's important to be part of it."
With long lines queuing to have their photo taken with Manu, and buying multiple book copies, you could say his star will continue to rise for a long time to come.
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