Food & Drinks

EXCLUSIVE: Donna Hay talks health, wellness and whether she'd be a MasterChef judge

''I don’t feel like it’s my thing to be on TV judging people.''

By Alex Lilly
In every Australian household, you're bound to find at least one of her cook books, but despite being one of Australia's most famous foodies, Donna Hay says you won't be seeing her star as a MasterChef judge any time soon.
The best-selling food writer, who is also headlining her own food and wellness festival, exclusively told Now To Love that the reality show is simply "not her thing" and that she has other things on her plate.
Donna starred on MasterChef back in its third season in a masterclass episode, but when asked by Now To Love if she'd ever consider hosting and judging, she simply replied: "No, it's not my thing."
"It's just not what I love doing. I don't feel like it's my thing to be on TV judging people. I closed my magazine because I wanted to get back to doing more of the stuff I love doing so taking on a commitment like that would be such a backward step.
"I get to write more recipes now and do a lot more styling and creative work than I did when I was the boss of the [Donna Hay] magazine when there was a lot of desk work."
Donna says judging on MasterChef is "not her thing." (Image: Network Ten)
After nearly 30 years in the food industry, Donna says that the current focus on wellness and healthy eating has definitely come into play with her career, with more and more people taking interest in what exactly they're cooking and eating.
"I guess where I come in to play is that to eat healthily you need some simple solutions and new, clever ways to add vegetables into your diet, especially people that are scarred by over-boiled cabbage from their childhood," she explains.
"That's my challenge. I take cabbage, brussel sprouts and cauliflower and give it a whole new shake-up, so that it's golden and caramelised and crunchy and like nothing you've ever had before. That interest is there and people are inquisitive about health."
The food writer has noticed the rising trend and focus on healthy eating. (Image: Supplied)
Despite this focus on healthy eating though, food delivery services are at an all-time high with many prioritising convenience.
"Everybody's time poor and there are so many delivery options as well," Donna adds. "But I look at it another angle- there's never anything that's quite as satisfying as cooking your dinner that tastes great and is full of nutrition. There's more of a sense of accomplishment that you're doing something great for your body with great quality ingredients."
WATCH: Donna Hay surprises Jonesy and Amanda with a raw cacao cake. Post continues after video...
Donna previously admitted that an "occupational hazard" of her job is weight gain what with so many recipes to try and taste but says she makes up for it with exercise, particularly running.
"It ebbs and flows when it's really busy. You have to taste so much in a day I try and balance it out with exercise. As you get older it's a bit more of a challenge but I just do what I can.
"I don't think my diet's like anybody else's, but taste testing is part of my job."
"I don't think my diet's like anybody else's, but taste testing's part of my job." (Image: Instagram @donnahaymagazine)
Donna is also a mum of two to her sons Tom and Angus, but when it comes to cooking, she admits that they're "typical teenage boys."
"They only cook for themselves when they're really hungry. They hang out in the kitchen when I'm cooking and we have a chat," she explains.
Last month, the food writer shared a particularly funny insight into life in their household via Instagram. The screenshot of a text conversation between her and her eldest son shows Donna asking him to try one of her bliss balls to which he responds: "Mum I've been your taster for 16 years and it's had mixed results what's this one like?"
"My 16 year-old is quite funny so he was just trying to give his mum some cheek," Donna says. "He did bolt upstairs after that but he's quite the comedian."
Donna's sons have been her taste testers for years. (Image: Instagram @donna.hay)
Held in Sydney's iconic Bondi Pavillion, Donna's current project that is her food and wellness festival is a three-day bonanza of fresh food, cooking workshops, Pilates classes and book signings.
"I wanted to create a festival that was, I guess, bringing my new book Week Light to life and everyone who follows my brand whether on social media or books can have fun together whether they come to a cooking demo or just grab a coffee," she says.
Donna's food and wellness festival runs from 11-13 October. (Image: Supplied)