Strictly’s Anton du Beke may be a star on the dancefloor, but he was clueless in the kitchen before meeting his wife Hannah Summers
Image: Dave J. Hogan/Getty Images)
Anton du Beke might be going down a treat on Cooking With The Stars, but he claims he didn’t even know how to switch on an oven until he married his wife five years ago.
In fact the dancer says he always ate in restaurants to avoid having to work out how to boil water or use a frying pan.
In Cooking With The Stars eight celebrities are paired with their own professional mentors who teach them how to cook an array of dishes – a format Anton is familiar with.
The difference is that, by his own admission, he didn’t have the slightest idea where to begin having never cooked anything in his life.
“I ate out every day of my life until I met my wife,” said Anton, who is paired with TV chef Rosemary Shrager. “I was always out in studios, rehearsing, lessons, dancing, then later in life, television, theaters. I was never at home and I’d never cooked a thing.”
He admits that Rosemary had to start with the basics, “like how to switch on an oven, here’s how you hold a knife, that’s what you do with water in a saucepan, you pour it in like this.
“I’d brought zero knowledge whatsoever. My wife is an avid cookery show watcher so you pick up things from the shows, but I had to park all this presumed knowledge from watching James Martin cooking on Saturday mornings.
“Everything I know now I learned from Rosemary.”
Anton says he’s now even started cooking for wife Hannah and their five-year-old twins George and Henrietta.
He said his star dish at home is the pork chops he made on the show’s first episode – although he admitted he still needed some help.
He said: “I made the pork the other day. It was a success, although I had to ring up Rosemary half way through and say, ‘what did you tell me to do with such and such?’ She went, ‘I can’t believe you’ve forgotten!’ I told her I hadn’t forgotten, I’d just misplaced it.
“My wife’s really supportive, she thinks I’m terrific at it. She was always very good with the fact I never cooked. She it was pointless saying to me, ‘why do n’t you cook something?’, Because she knew I could n’t. It was the same as me saying to her, ‘why don’t you dance something?’
“And my children are impressed with cooking now as well, they love it. I’m really quite a talented cook, I just didn’t know that yet!
“Or rather, I’m a very talented chef at the very few dishes Rosemary’s taught me how to cook. Apart from that I’m very limited.
“I’d like to continue with cooking though, I’ll probably go along to Rosemary’s cookery schools when I have time. I quite like getting a bit cheffy, and I like to flounce a bit around the kitchen.”
Anton insists he wants to win the ITV cooking show- and his larking about doesn’t mean he’s not taking it seriously. “Whether I’m singing away or dancing around the kitchen, that’s just the way I do stuff. I’m absolutely in it to win it. I wouldn’t have entered unless I thought I could.”
Any designs on the Celebrity Masterchef trophy? “If I did something like that I’d want to win it, and I haven’t got a great enough depth of knowledge. I can literally cook what Rosemary has taught me and nothing else.
“If I had to go on Masterchef and reproduce a dish she had taught me I’d do it in a heartbeat, as long as there aren’t any judges telling me what they thought of it.”
– Cooking With The Stars is on ITV, Tuesdays, 8pm
-Anton is currently touring the UK with Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice. For more information on the rescheduled ‘ Him & Me Tour’ click the link here. You can watch the trailer for ‘Him & Me Tour’ here.