Manu Feildel at GQ Men of the Year Award 2011
26 March 1974
|Residence||Sydney, New South Wales|
|Occupation||Chef, restaurateur, television presenter|
|Known for||My Kitchen Rules judge|
Clarissa Weerasena (m. 2018)
Emmanuel Feildel (born 26 March 1974) is a French chef, restaurateur and television presenter trained in England, who is most widely known for his participation in Australia's cookery competition programs Ready Steady Cook, MasterChef Australia and My Kitchen Rules (MKR). Manu achieved a solid reputation as head chef at the restaurant Bilson's before moving to open his own restaurant, Manu at L'Étoile, in 2009. The restaurant closed in March 2014. Feildel participated in, and won, Dancing with the Stars 2011.
In spite of a history of professional chefs in his family, including his father and a grandfather, Feildel decided to join a circus school at age 13 and learnt juggling, unicycling, clowning and some acrobatics. He stayed for three years and then decided that cooking was his first love and moved to London where he studied at the Cafe Royal restaurant. He then worked at Les Associes, the Cafe des Amis du Vin and popular seafood restaurant Livebait.
Relocating to Australia in 1999, he worked at a number of restaurants for several years before opening the kitchen as head chef at Bilson's on invitation of its owner, offering contemporary French cuisine. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, he was a key factor in Bilson's "three-hat success". The Daily Telegraph indicates that it is for his service at this "exceptional fine diner" that he has fame among food lovers.
Feildel began appearing on Ready Steady Cook in 2005 and on MasterChef Australia in 2009 and has co-hosted My Kitchen Rules since 2010. Also in 2009, Feildel left Bilson's and opened his own French bistro, Manu at L'Étoile. However, the restaurant closed in March 2014, with Feildel citing a "nightmare year" with too much happening including his My Kitchen Rules commitments and increased competition that had hurt his business, meaning he could no longer afford to stay open.
Feildel won the 2011 series of Dancing with the Stars and appeared at the 2011 Good Food & Wine Show. He was also nominated for the Most Popular New Male Talent at the Logie Awards of 2011. He hosted the reality dating series Dinner Date in 2011.
Following the closure of his Sydney restaurant, Manu at L'Étoile, Feildel in partnership with chef George Calombaris opened a new restaurant Le Grand Cirque in Melbourne, which closed 4 months after opening, in August 2014.
In April 2014, Feildel hosted a two-part travel-cooking documentary entitled My France With Manu which follows Feildel travelling through western France, highlighting the local food, scenery and his memories of France. The show originally screened on the Seven Network.
Manu has starred as a recurring character on the Aunty Donna podcast, where he is portrayed by Zachary Ruane. The character of Manu has incurred significant controversy during his time on the show, including holocaust denial and taking responsibility for the September 11 attacks. One of the podcast's guests, Jared Jekkyl, claims to have met Manu in person during filming of My Kitchen Rules in Manu's home. Manu himself has so far failed to comment on his portrayal by the group.
Feildel and his partner Veronica Morshead separated during 2009, after 12 years together. They have one son. Feildel became engaged to jewellery store manager Clarissa Weerasena in November 2013, and they married in January 2018. The couple have a daughter born in 2015.
- MANU FEILDEL
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