My Secret Life: Monica Galetti, chef, 35


My parents were ... very strict when I was younger. They were disciplined with homework, you had to do it straight away, and they were always striving to get the best out of me. Now, I appreciate that; at the time, you just think mum and dad are mean!

The house/flat I grew up in ... I had four brothers and a sister, and there was always a lot of family around, so the house was loud and lively. I'm from an island background; it's all about family.

When I was a child I wanted to ... fly – I was always jumping off the craziest things.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I would be one inch taller. I'm the shortest in the family.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... gardening. I have a little garden, and I quite enjoy fiddling about in it. I have a very small veggie patch, and I've been experimenting with growing different flowers – it's taken me three years to know what works!

You wouldn't know it but I'm no good at ... being told I've got a surprise in store. I have to know then and there where I'm going or what I'm doing – I cannot wait.

At night I dream of ... peace and quiet.

I wish I'd never worn ... When I was really young, I thought it was really cool to wear red and yellow bike pants with one red sock and one yellow sock.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... I see someone who's very content with life at the moment.

My favourite item of clothing ... The most precious item I have is my wedding dress.

My house is ... my haven; I can go there and be completely at peace.

My favourite work of art ... is by an artist called Sootaga. He was a New Zealand artist and a good friend of mine, and he was reaching a great part of his career when he had a heart attack at 32 and died. I have a wonderful piece by him – it shows a Samoan Kava bowl leaking coconut milk, and from the side you have a silver fern growing out of the leaking milk. It symbolises losing your culture when you go to a new country and take on a new way of life.

My favourite building ... are the Houses of Parliament at night when they're all lit up.

Movie heaven ... Chocolat, La Vita e Bella - those are my types of film.

A book that changed me ... The Bible. I read it from front to back when I was very young, and after reading it I decided I didn't need to go to church anymore – as long as I had the Bible in the house. And I still feel that, to my parents' horror.

The last album I bought/downloaded ... I downloaded "Short People" by Randy Newman last week. I was remembering an old friend who used to play it to me (hence why I wish I was one inch taller).

My greatest regret ... I try to live my life without regrets, but I guess I regret not travelling a bit more.

My secret crush ... Now that I don't have! But I do think Rafael Nadal is quite sexy.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is my four year old.

The last time I cried ... Last Saturday. A dear friend of mine who I hadn't seen for seven years was in London but between our schedules we only had five hours together. That was quite hard.

My five-year plan ... Ideally, in five years, my husband and I would have a restaurant of our own somewhere quiet, maybe in France or Australia.

My life in six words ... My life is full of surprises.

A life in brief

Monica Galetti was born in Samoa, and raised in New Zealand. She is senior sous chef for Michel Roux Jr at his two-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Gavroche, where she has worked for 10 years, and also appeared this autumn as a judge on Masterchef: The Professionals. She lives in London with her husband David, who is head sommelier at Le Gavroche, and their young daughter, Anais

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Project Manager (HR) - Halifax - Upto £365 p/day

£315 - £365 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment