Magdalena Roze is one of those women that you just want to be. She’s absolutely stunning with her soft eyes and gorgeous smile, but more importantly than that she radiates elegance and kindness. When I was thinking of Australian celebrities I wanted to interview for Greenwich Lane she was honestly the first person I wanted to speak to. Luckily for me she agreed! See our interview with this mother, author and all-round nice gal.
1. You’ve had some great experiences in your television career including covering the Olympic Games and sharing your expertise as a Meteorologist. Over at Greenwich Lane HQ we always loved seeing you co-host The Project as well. What has been your TV career highlight?
All of the above I think! I really enjoyed co-hosting The Project because it’s one of the best production teams in the business, they really look after you, and it was always so much fun. While The Weather Channel was the earlier part of my presenting career, it was at a time when the nation experienced some of its worst disasters so I was reporting on events like the Black Saturday bushfires, east coast dust storm and Queensland floods. They certainly weren’t highlights but played a very significant role in my life. They were a huge learning experience and I think I’ll always be affected by the impact they had on Australians.
2. Your new cookbook Happy and Whole was released in March and has had rave reviews. How has it felt to receive such glowing feedback from the public and critics alike?
I’m totally blown away and I still can’t believe it. Every time I meet someone who’s bought the book, see an article or get a lovely message or social media post of someone who’s cooked a recipe, I’m like “wow, someone actually took the time to do this.” I’m filled with gratitude. I started the book when Archie was just 12 weeks and it was months of cooking, recipe testing and writing during his naps. And as a new mum I felt an even greater urge to share everything that I was learning about food, wellness and motherhood. To receive so much support from people, including chefs and media that I respect so much, is really amazing.
3. I know I can get frustrated when I pick up a cookbook, see an amazing dish and then lose all hope when I read the difficult steps involved in the recipe. Do you think that your ‘self-taught’ approach to cooking makes Happy and Whole a more accessible cookbook for the everyday home chef?
Yes I think so, this book is like my “best hits” of recipes that I’ve created or had passed down from family and friends, and they’re delicious, wholesome, achievable and they work. This is really important to me, especially because so many of us are time poor. If you’re going to invest in making a meal, you need to be rewarded with something you like at the end of it!
4. Your husband Darren Robertson is a successful chef. What has he taught you about food? Did he have much influence in the creation of your cookbook?
Darren has been great because he’s such a champion of my food, he really gave me the confidence to the book. He’s also taught me not to be afraid to make mistakes and embrace imperfection. I was so nervous when I first cooked for him but he loves the wonky bits, the burnt bits, the real stuff that makes a home cooked so nourishing and good for the soul. I think this is a great message because letting go, having a go and not being afraid to suff it up, makes you a better cook.
5. You and Darren made the move to Byron Bay to open a second Three Blue Ducks which has enjoyed much success. What is your favourite dish on the menu?
It changes all the time but at the moment I’m eating a lot of the Farm Bowl with is a mix of salad, kraut, seeds and other fresh veg from the farm with sourdough and poached eggs.
6. You seem to really be embracing the new scenery and enjoying the change of pace. What do you most like about living in Byron?
I love the community and especially my network of amazing mums; that wellness and a simpler life are the norm; and the connection to farmers and incredible, ethical produce. These things have changed my life and this is why I’m so excited to share it with others.
7. I can still recall when I first saw your Instagram post announcing your move to Byron Bay and I remember thinking the move came at a time when you were at the top of your professional game. Was it daunting to take a step back and make the move?
The funny thing is that when Darren first mentioned moving to Byron to open a restaurant on a farm, my gut reaction was “yes, do it” as it’s a chef’s dream. I didn’t contemplate the effect that such a big move might have on my career. But once we were there for a few weeks and reality kicked in, I felt a little lost and lacked purpose. All I had ever known was a career in television and hectic city life so I wasn’t sure what to do and I often felt quite lonely. Everyone says “relax, enjoy it” but this is hard to do when you don’t know where you’re going! We then fell pregnant and this forced me to let go of chasing the old life and use the time and opportunity to re-connect with my other passions for food, wellness and travel. Something that I just didn’t have the time to do before, and that many of us don’t get the chance to do. Being pregnant, I was also more drawn to living in a more natural way in terms of skin and house products and I became interested in how I can best nourish myself and the baby with what I eat. I cooked, visited farms and staring blogging about it and found that other people were craving a simpler, more natural life too. Amazingly, this has lead to a new career path that combines my media experience with my passions and I truly love it.
8. You’ve diversified your career so much in recent years. I particularly enjoy listening to you host The Pass Food Podcast which gives listeners an insight into food and restaurants, and also features some great guest appearances! What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learnt from the podcast?
My friends Jeanine Bribosia and Sam Kennedy and I love food and we’re always on the hunt for the best places to eat, so who better to ask than the chefs themselves! There didn’t seem to be anything else like it so we decided to do a podcast where top chefs and food personalities take us to their favourite places and reveal their little black books of where to eat. What we didn’t expect is to get such a personal, raw insight into their life and what makes them tick. They’ve all got an extraordinary story that is reflected in their food and when you know it, it adds a whole different dimension to the dining experience and how you enjoy their food. Every single interview has had a big impact on us and been hugely inspiring.
9. Your son Archie is absolutely adorable and you are glowing with motherhood. What has been the most rewarding part of being a mother?
Our unconditional love for each other and seeing the world, the simplest things, through Archie’s eyes is humbling and beautiful.