Julie Dupouy is the world’s top female sommelier. She works in the Greenhouse Restaurant in Dublin as well as running an independent consultancy, DowntoWine. Originally from France, Dupouy has lived in Ireland for many years. She was recently a guest speaker at the Food on Board Veuve Clicquot Sparkling Conversations Salon at the Body&Soul Festival where she spoke about the flavours, aroma and craft of pairing fine champagne with food.
Where do you shop?
I do my weekly shopping at the Honest 2 Goodness market in Glasnevin, Dublin.
Can you list the contents of your weekly shop?
Seasonal organic vegetables and fruits
Seeds and nuts to make my own muesli
A piece of cheese
Describe your typical breakfast
I start my day with a homemade herbal tea made from fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, lemon juice and warm water. After this I listen to my body and needs. Sometimes it can be some eggs and toast, sometimes some toast and homemade jam and sometimes a slice of scone or some muesli… and sometimes a croissant if I am in town early in the morning. It really depends what I feel like on the day.
Describe your typical lunch
If I am at home, my typical lunch would be some raw salads seasoned with plenty of olive oil or hemp seed oil and lemon juice (spinach, red peppers, kohlrabi, beetroot or others depending on the season) and some pan-fried or soft boiled eggs with a slice of rye bread. If I am in town for work I would often stop for a sandwich or a soup in Fallon & Byrne.
I rarely eat meat during the week so my typical dinner would be some roasted vegetables or salad and a piece of cheese. Once again I don’t really have a strict rule; I follow my feelings. It can vary from a bowl of pasta to a piece of steak (very rarely though) if I feel my body is craving for some proteins. I also love spices so I tend to add them to my cooking.
I rarely snack. If I do it might be a piece of dark chocolate or a cake if really I feel like something sweet.
Is there anything you won’t eat?
I don’t eat oysters and there are things that I can’t eat such as spring onions.
What would you cook to impress someone?
I would probably let my husband do the cooking if it has to be impressive! I love cooking but I like keeping it homely and simple. I cook like my mum or my grandmother which means I rarely follow a recipe but cook by memory and taste.
What is your guilty food pleasure?
Cherries eaten directly from the tree… I could eat a lot of them until feeling unwell.
What is your ultimate comfort food?
A homemade Thai red curry. It warms up my body and soul.
What is your favourite takeaway?
I rarely buy food in the takeway but I have to admit that from time-to-time I order some Indian curry from a local restaurant where I live.
Have you tried any diet fads in the past six months?
I don’t believe in them and I believe that some of them are potentially bad for you. I believe in a balanced and varied diet but overall I believe that the quality of the ingredients you consume is very important. A friend of mine once told me that to be healthy you need to eat “the rainbow” and I trust this. Stay away from processed food and sugar as much as possible, that’s my diet.
What would be your Last Supper?
A salad of tomatoes grown in my grandmother’s garden. A roasted chicken and Macaroni gratin made by my great grandmother if she was still with us. My mum’s Black Forest Gateau.
I’m very impressed to read about Julie’s attitude towards seasonal, fresh and organic foods. Her weekly shopping list very much places a focus on whole foods and produce that is in season. This is often a better choice as it reduces the air miles needed to bring food from producer to plate, and the food is usually fresher with a greater concentration of vitamins and minerals.
She prioritises organic foods, and I would generally encourage people to choose organic if feasible, as certain foods are thought to be quite heavily sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals. If non-organic fruit and veggies are what’s available, then of course I would still encourage everyone to eat their minimum five servings a day, but just ensure they wash everything well before eating.
Julie begins her day with a homemade herbal tea, containing a super combination of anti-inflammatory ingredients. Ginger is good for supporting digestive health and encourages good circulation, while turmeric is known for fighting inflammation in your system and can even help to brighten a dull complexion. Lemon juice also supports good digestion and is a great source of vitamin C.
Julie appears to practice mindful eating, where she listens to her body’s needs each day and decides what she wants to eat depending on a number of factors. I really believe that this type of intuitive eating is an important part of following a healthy lifestyle, as it’s all about listening to you body, paying attention to its subtle signals and eating based on factors including your true hunger levels, your activity levels for the day and even the temperature outside. Most people tend to prefer cooling raw foods in warm weather and the opposite in winter. Mindful eating is also a useful way of discovering your triggers if you have a tendency to overeat, as it requires you to ask yourself if you’re hungry or just thirsty, or eating for boredom or emotional reasons. It can be extremely helpful for those hoping to take control of their eating and make more positive food and lifestyle choices.
Julie’s lunch is a great balance of greens, colourful veggies and lean protein from the eggs, plus a healthy source of complex carbs in the rye bread. Beetroot is a fantastic food to eat regularly as it’s rich is essential minerals including manganese and potassium, as well as plenty of fibre. She is well aware of the importance of consuming healthy fats each day, and adds olive or hemp seed oil to her salads. Hemp seeds in particular are a superb source of omega-3 fats, and contain the ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 for supporting skin, joint, brain, eye and heart health.
For her evening meal, Julie once again follows what her body wants to eat, and includes plenty of veggies too. She often eats cheese, which is a good source of calcium but as a high-energy food, it’s a good idea to watch portion sizes.
Julie’s diet is low in refined sugar and processed foods, and she only occasionally snacks on cake or dark chocolate. Eating whole, fresh foods the majority of the time with protein and complex carbs in each meal helps to support steady blood sugar levels, sustained energy levels and even encourages a good mood and normal sleeping patterns too.
Julie has a brilliant attitude towards her food and its relationship to her body, and her nourishing way of eating is designed to suit her individual lifestyle and needs. Well done Julie.