This week we had the fun of interviewing Paleo Chef, Liam from Paleo Cafe in Cairns! He talks about faileos (yes, chefs have them too!) + his get healthy tips! Read on to find out more about Liam (PLUS he shares a super simple recipe: paleo bircher muesli!).
Your job title is super exciting (Paleo Chef), tell us about how you ended up doing what you’re doing.
I started cooking when I was 16, travelled the world for 7 years working + back packing. I have worked on ski fields, as a private chef, in Michelin star restaurants, you name it, I have done it. As for the Paleo Cafe, well, I fell into it so to speak. I was looking for a chef job with regular 9-5 hours, I met with Marlies (owner of Paleo Cafe) + that was that! Never looked back. Between then + now, there has been a lot of hard work + we are about to open 3 more cafes this month (+ with 2 already open it’s been a busy last 12 months!).
Tell us who/what inspires you…
The people that come to the cafe. I have never worked in a place where so many people say good things about the food + the paleo lifestyle. We have changed people’s lives, including my own. Also the team I work with are some of the most hard working + passionate people I have ever met.
What does a day in the life of ‘Liam’ look like? We want to know what you do + what you eat!
Normal work day: start 6:30-7:30am. Coffee is placed on my chopping board/pass/bench/desk depending on what I am doing (it usually gets cold before I drink it!). Normally 1 of the chefs makes me breakfast (loving bircher muesli at the moment). Then it gets pretty full on for the rest of the day. I can been seen with the phone to my ear, fry pan in 1 hand, knife in the other + calling ‘service please’ for food to be run + reading emails all at the same time. I squeeze in food if I can at some point in the afternoon (anything that is quick + easy). I finish work at 4pm ish (I have been known to still be in the kitchen at 10pm catching up on paper work!) I do boot camp after work 2 nights a week, play ultimate frisbee with the team from work 1 night a week + run or cycle on the others. I also manage to be social + put time aside for my partner. I cook at home pretty much every night (not many people want to cook for a chef), I eat anything from a curry to steak, bacon + eggs, plus I have been known to eat a whole roast chicken to myself! Then it’s off to bed… I need my 8 hours sleep!
What’s your advice to people trying to live a healthier lifestyle?
- Try doing a whole 30 with a friend or group of people, this will help you stick it to. Be sure to stick to it for at least 30 days (don’t give up after a week!). It takes time for your body to adjust.
- Keep active! Eating healthy is only 1 part. The healthier you eat the more energy you will have to exercise!
- Get rid of all the unhealthy food from you house. If you don’t have tim tams in the house… you won’t eat them.
- If you know you won’t be able to eat well, like at Christmas parties, try to counter balance them by doing a little extra exercise. Like an extra work out, run a few more kilometres or don’t use the lift at work!
How do you stay active + why does it work for you?
I love boot camp as it’s fun + with a great group of people. I cycle a lot. I use this as a stress relief, on the weekend I’ll ride by myself or with a group, any where up to 80km… + always with a big hill! I also cycle to work each day, it’s not far at all but it adds up to 10km a week. It’s quicker + I don’t get parking tickets! I am also very competitive so if I see someone ahead of me running or riding a bike I have to overtake them.
If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Remember: work life balance. But in saying that, I would not be where I am today if I did not put in the hours.
We’d love to hear more about the recipes you create, how do you come up with the great ideas?!
It’s not just me, I have a great team of chefs working with me. Nothing is imposable… if I get told ‘you can’t make that paleo’ I will go out of my way just to do it. Also there is a lot of trial + error… if something doesn’t work in the cafe we call it a ‘faileo’.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
I would love to have dinner with you girls… but you can cook!
Share your mantra, what do you live by each day?
Give 100% to everything you do.
Now for the fun part… share your all time favourite recipe with us! YUM!
Right now, I am loving paleo bircher muesli as well as paleo chocolate brûlée!
Thanks to Liam! Hmm, may look like we will need to take a trip up to Cairns soon… just so we can have dinner with Liam! Here’s the recipe for Liam’s paleo bircher muesli… looks delish!
Emma + Carla
- 1 tbs linseed meal
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tbs pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbs sunflower seeds
- 1 tbs goji berries
- 1 tbs craisins (dried cranberries)
- 1 orange juiced
- 1 small apple grated (go for a granny smith!)
- 2 tbs of coconut yoghurt (you can use natural yoghurt for a primal option!)
- 2 tbs of almond milk
- Place all of the ingredients in a bowl + mix together until combined... enjoy!
- You can mix up a big batch of the dry ingredients + just add the wet ingredients right before you eat it!