You know him (and love him) from the hit show The Living Room, but you don’t know him quite like this. We sat down with Miguel Maestre to talk all things food, family traditions and what life with partner Sascha Newport and children Claudia (7) and Morgan (5) is like.
Take us back to the moment you met your first child. What do you remember?
Seeing Claudia for the first time was an amazing feeling, I knew instantly that I would do everything to keep her safe and give her the absolute best care.
Did you have any big fears or concerns before having children? Did they come true?
Closing down my restaurant in 2012 before Claudia arrived was a big change for me. I wanted to play an active role in her life and switching from the commercial kitchen to home was an adjustment, but definitely an extremely rewarding one.
What’s been your proudest moment, so far, as a dad?
I would say teaching my kids about healthy eating and experimenting with different flavours has been a great experience. Also seeing them learn about where ingredients come from makes me very proud. I think my experience as a chef has given them the opportunity to try many different foods, and it’s exciting to see what they like and don’t like.
What is one thing your kids do that drives you absolutely crazy?
When they were younger, they used to be fussy eaters. As a chef it was hard because I wanted them to enjoy all flavours and textures, but I persisted and now they eat just about everything.
What is your favourite way to bond with your kids?
I would definitely say dinner time! When I feed my kids, we love to sing and play games around the dinner table and make it an interactive experience. When Claudia began eating solids, it was a great opportunity for me to get involved and a chance for me to bond with her.
If you could pick one superpower to help you with your daily ‘dad’-ly duties, what would it be and why?
The ability to pause time! There are only so many hours in the day and when I’m busy at work it only leaves a small amount of time to spend with my kids (who are both growing at an alarming rate!). Having that extra time with them at the end of the day would be absolutely amazing. This is why I’m so excited to be partnering with Tommee Tippee to launch the Quick Cook Baby Food Maker – it will give parents the ability to spend less time cooking and more time with their wee ones.
How would your kids describe you in three words?
Fun, loud and energetic!
Do you have any family traditions?
We like to measure ourselves in the kitchen doorway. It started from when the kids saw me measuring myself and they wanted to join in!
When you’re at home, what is your favourite time of the day?
My favourite time of the day is night time when the whole family gets together and we can share the good things about our day. Whether that be at the dinner table or bed time, it’s really nice to spend time with the family after a busy day of being out and about.
What skill or trait did you get from your parents that you hope to pass onto your kids? What do you hope your kids will learn from you?
Speaking Spanish is something that is natural to me, so it’s important that Claudia and Morgan know where I come from and are proud of their Spanish heritage. I hope they continue speaking Spanish as they get older!