As he gets set for his biggest challenge, the chef opens up about his best mate.
Trekking through rugged jungle, TV’s sexiest chef Manu Feildel is facing the biggest fight of his life. As he battles the tough conditions, the plight of cancer-stricken children will spur him on. But at the forefront of his mind will be one special boy – his son Jonti.
The 40-year-old My Kitchen Rules judge this week embarks on an incredible journey, tackling the Kokoda Trail to raise money for CanTeen – a charity that supports young people living with cancer. The extreme expedition will be challenging both physically and mentally, but for single dad Manu, being apart from eight-year-old Jonti will be more painful.
As one of TV’s most-wanted personalities, he’s used to enforced separation when work takes him away from home – but he admits it doesn’t get any easier. “When I collected my son from the airport from an overseas trip, [I cried],” Manu, 40 this week, tells Fairfax press. “I hadn’t realised how much I missed him!”
Despite his huge success, Manu remains focused on what really matters. “The number-one thing I love is definitely my son. Being a dad is amazing. It’s hard to put in words. What I feel about Jonti, I can’t describe,” he says. “My partner says he’s a mini Manu – he’s a bit of a clown. He’s loving, genuine and funny. When he wakes up in the morning, he always has a smile.”
Read more about Manu's relationship with his son in this week's Woman’s Day on sale Monday March 25, 2013.