By Eloise King | First published: July 10, 2011
body+soul, The Sunday Telegraph
Chef Kate McAloon lets us in on the food secrets of her celebrity clients.
Chef Kate McAloon is the healthy-choice chef for several A-list celebrities, including Miranda Kerr and husband Orlando Bloom, Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin, Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw, Meg Ryan, Sheryl Crow, Courteney Cox and David Arquette.
McAloon is the woman behind the food served at their Hollywood dinner parties and Sunday soirees, as well as the dishes on their dinner tables at family meal times.
“We are all here to live and food is one of the greatest joys in our lives if we let it be,” McAloon says.
So what is it about her food that makes it so special? McAloon says: “It’s always healthy and clean, but it’s the flavour that distinguishes my food and I get it from using a ton of fresh herbs and spices.”
Here’s what the Seattle-born chef had to say about the eating habits of some of the world’s most powerful celebrities.
Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom
- The working relationship: McAloon began cooking for Orlando Bloom after Gwyneth Paltrow introduced them and she met Miranda Kerr in the early stages of the pair’s love affair. “Miranda really is so delightful and she loves great food,” McAloon says. “She requested I do the food for her Vogue Australia cover shoot in LA last October and for her 60 Minutes interview and her David Jones shoot.”
- Favourite food: Kerr loves wild salmon, lots of fresh vegies, quinoa, cacao powder and coconut. Bloom loves turkey burgers.
- Food quirk: “Miranda eats a lot of food – not just model quantities,” McAloon says. “She and Orlando only eat certified organic food and always prefer gluten-free and low-GI options. As a result, I’ve started experimenting with a lot more alternative recipes. I use a lot more coconut, chia seeds and gluten-free ingredients than I did before.”
- Biggest indulgence: “Miranda doesn’t limit her food choices, but she will limit the amount she eats of them,” McAloon says. “She and Orlando don’t really drink alcohol, but Miranda will have a nice glass of Organic One wine or champagne on a special night.”
- The working relationship: Gwyneth Paltrow heard about McAloon from a celebrity manager. She requested McAloon prepare the food on the set of the movie Iron Man for the three months of filming. “After that, I would cook at her house around two to three times per week,” McAloon says. “Gwyneth has two children, Apple and Moses, and I had to come up with new child-friendly things for the family all the time. I’d chop the vegetables so finely the kids didn’t even know they were eating them.”
- Favourite food: Asian wraps with rice paper, prawns, seeds, nuts and herbs and an Asian dipping sauce with agave and tamari.
- Food quirk: “I discovered Gwyneth wasn’t that strict with anything as long as the food was healthy, fresh and organic.”
- Biggest indulgence: McAloon’s white chocolate slice, known as “blondies”. It includes marshmallows, chocolate and coconut, but there is a healthier alternative. “Gwyneth loved them so much she put them on her Goopsite,” McAloon says.
- The working relationship: McAloon became a regular at the Malibu home of Friends star Courteney Cox and actor David Arquette in 2005 (the couple separated last year). “I would do parties for David and Courteney almost every Sunday,” McAloon says. “They never knew whether 10 or 30 people were going to turn up, but I would always say, ‘No problem’, and change my menu on the spot to suit. People would hang about all afternoon and I’d usually prepare hors d’oeuvre, drinks and a buffet-type spread for dinner.”
- Favourite food: Cox loves Mediterranean-style dishes such as chicken breast with tomato, basil and garlic sauce, or a white fish such as halibut with herbs. Arquette likes McAloon’s black bean, cumin and chilli soup.
- Food quirk: With pasta, it was always low carb. “Courteney always wanted less carbs,” McAloon says.
- Biggest indulgence: Desserts, ranging from healthy to decadent. “I’d also make amazing cocktails, like agave margaritas with fresh lime juice,” McAloon says.
Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw
- The working relationship: The Spielbergs dropped in for lunch at Paltrow’s while McAloon was cooking one day. McAloon then spent the next three years cooking for the Spielbergs two to three times a week. “Kate loves to cook, she really loves food and can make almost everything, but she is also very busy,” McAloon says. She describes the Spielbergs’ kitchens as the best she has ever been in. “Kate had the best knifes, the best equipment, because she loves food so much,” McAloon says.
- Favourite food: Spielberg loves McAloon’s chicken pot pie. Capshaw loves her jalapeno relish.
- Food quirk: Spielberg won’t eat anything too spicy and they always choose organic. “They eat small portions of almost anything they want,” McAloon says.
- Biggest indulgence: They both love the “blondies”.