Monica Galetti: 'I work with my husband, but we keep apart during the day' / Leonie Morse

'Watching myself on TV, I cringe; it makes me feel sick'

Good cooking is like magic By making stuff that other people cannot make, by impressing them and sometimes even blowing their minds, makes me feel like a magician. It's a lovely skill to possess.

There will always be a culture of bullying in the kitchen It's unavoidable, but it's up to the chef to minimise it. There is no bullying at Le Gavroche [where Galetti has worked since 2000]. [Owner] Michel Roux Jr is very anti-physical violence. Raised voices, yes, but only ever within reason.

My memories are filled with food I grew up in Samoa, where food is an important part of our culture. I remember this sea worm, called the palolo, that would lay its larvae once every full moon. You'd go and scoop it up, serve it on a banana leaf with coconut cream and seaweed. Delicious, a real assault on the senses.

I used to climb cocoa trees and sit up there eating the fruit until I got a sore stomach. Then I came back down, and got a smack…

It's so important to alleviate stress I drink a lot of green tea, but never coffee. I go to the gym a lot, and I've just started boxing. Boxing focuses the mind, especially when your opponent is coming towards you wanting to destroy your face.

I work with my husband, but we keep apart during the day. I'm the chef looking after the kitchen, and he is the chief sommelier, looking after 32,000 bottles of wine. It's good that we're not in too close contact, and is probably why we are still married today.

you always have to check out the competition As a chef, it's very important to be aware of what's going on in other kitchens. You want to know what is trending, which new chefs are making names for themselves. I eat out a lot. If I see something I like and want to adapt myself, I do. We all do.

TV chefs can educate the masses I love what Jamie Oliver has done for school dinners, and I do think that the more chefs reveal their tricks of the trade, the more everyone will eat better, and more healthily.

You should never watch yourself back on TV I don't like to watch myself on Masterchef: The Professionals. I cringe; it makes me feel sick, and I have to turn the TV off. I like doing television, and bringing what I do to a wide audience, but I don't have to watch myself, do I?

You must keep the passion alive You should only do what you do – in my case, cooking – while you still love to do it. But if you lose the passion, that's when you should stop, get out, and go and do something else with your life.

I do love peanut butter and jam on Ryvita. It's a tasty snack.

Monica Galetti, 37, is senior sous chef at Le Gavroche, where she has worked since 2000. Her new book, 'Monica's Kitchen' (Quadrille, £20), is out on Thursday