SOUL SLIDER #7 - Dan 'Dude Food' Churchill

by Tess Willcox

Masterchef protégé, inspirational human, creator of the 'Dude Food' concept and cookbooks, and all round legend of the earth. If you spend 5 minutes with one, Dan Churchill, you realise it's almost as if the term 'passionate foodie' was curated with him in mind. It's not often you find someone as young and talented as Dan, who is paving the way for living a healthier lifestyle (generally with dudes in mind), who is driven by pure authenticity. It's not that he has built his business and profile on marketability, he legitimately gives more than two shits about health, life and inspiring anyone who happens to cross his path. 

Dan and I shared many passionately driven, inspirationally charged conversations in London late last year, as we spent a week exploring Borough Market, the back streets of Hoxton and the amazing restaurants of Shoreditch. It's always been hugely inspiring and humbling for me to be surrounded by people who legitimately have no idea of the impact they have on those who stumble into their lives. Dan just gets it. He lives his purpose. He inspires people. He is HUNGRY (literally) to teach, and to make an impact. He understands the difference he can make in this world, is purely driven by soul, and has not one self indulgent bone in his body (which you would expect from a dream boat like him). 

With no motive other than wanting to make a fucking rad impact on the way people live their lives, his positivity is contagious. We threw business ideas at each other over bottles of wine (of which myself and his brother, Brendan, drank 99%), discussed the origins of cheese, listened to his explanations of the different cuts of meat, and searched for London's best cookie. 

Dan in all of his 26 years, is one of the most incredible humans I am blessed with having in my life. As we wandered the streets of London, Masterchef was airing on UK TV. Accosted by packs of screaming High School girls, we watched in awe, as he chatted to every single fan, armed with a plethora of selfie sticks just so they could capture the moment. He has as much time for his fans as he would for Miranda Kerr, and THAT, with pockets of insane inspiration and determination, is what makes DAN CHURCHILL, the ultimate Soul Slider. 

Who are you, and what is it that keeps your soul alive?

My name is Dan Churchill and I am cook/writer/Dude… without making it sound obvious it is food… but not for the notion as a fuel source. I get up every day excited to eat and come up with epic combinations of flavour. I have seen the power of what food can do in bringing people closer together and I am driven to create so much awareness and excitement on it… I mean who doesn’t love meal time right? ;)

You have worked your way up to living the dream life! If you could perfectly design your day, what would it look like?

I reckon my day is like my plates or bowls, super tasty, full of colour and always exciting. Typically i am up early getting a session in or a surf and then I am either writing, filming, cooking at the cafe or fortunately on a plane somewhere discovering some amazing cultures and experiences

Give us the down low on your #Mondaymotivation. You know it’s one of my favourite things you do, what inspired you start it?  
Hahah I do love my Mondays… Well its pretty simple i find a lot of people were so sad on a Monday morning… and I know a lot of people these days look at Instagram as soon as they wake up, so I wanted to give them something to feel good about, smile and maybe relate and be inspired by the quote that I choose for that week. I want people to believe anything is possible and being happy is infections

4. What is the best piece of advice you have been given in life?
Probably, “you are the most reliable person for yourself”. I was told this by my old man. It's not that you can’t rely on other people or trust them, its more or less saying, 'don’t wait around for things to happen otherwise they wont get done'… your mates don’t pay your rent you do

5. You are travelling a lot at the moment to launch your epic cook books, where in the world is your favourite place, and why?
I can’t say I have been everywhere in the world… yet hahaha! I would have to say i feel such a connection to Italy. The way of life, the culture, language and food is all amazing. I love the way that, as a family, they all sit down together to eat. Then at night time they all go for a walk in the streets. I think the buildings are super wicked, there is soooo much history there. I claim to be 1/32 Italian. There is a bit of a distant blood line but I genuinely feel i am full blooded. Don’t get me wrong I am Australian and will always remember that, but I would have to say there is a massive Italian influence in me :)

6. If I was to say to you, design your PERFECT Soul Deck... What would it involve?
First off EPIC!!!!! Dream come true right there ;) I guess I would say it would have to embody who I am, so food, beach, italy, cooking, family, surfing training that kind of thing. It would be awesome to carrying it as if it were a bit a personal story… one that will bring a good smile every time you look at it 


7. Tell us about your ideal combo of senses (what would you like to be looking at, tasting, smelling, feeling and hearing all at the same time)…
Hahaha hopefully i provide enough imagery for your awesome readers on this one… It is a busy friday night, sitting in a piazza in Rome on a rickety chair as its legs fight between the gaps of the cobble stone historical lanes. The italian restaurant is completely family owned and the Nonna who waves at me as I sit down is still cooking in the kitchen. A fresh plate of Cucinare Casalinga (homestyle cooking) Italian pasta plate is placed down below me. Steam findings its way through the flaked parmesianno reggiona cheese, melting it as it passes through. The fresh pasta is covered in a silky rich tomato Sugo and I notice my favourite herb… basil not through my sight but through the uplifting sweet sent. As I twirl the fork allowing flavours from beneath to combine and I hear the many families and violinists playing i note this is simplistic cooking and an experience everyone should have.

8. What does it mean to you to live a life of soul? Is there something that drives you to live each day to the fullest, inspire people, live that sensational vagabond life??
I want to empower people. Make them realise they can do anything they set their mind to. I am a massive advocate for being happy. Although I am seriously driven, its not to be famous, but to make people realise their potential. Food is my tool to do that. I know the positive emotions it can bring, and the relationships it can heal and build on.

9. If you could have Sunday breakfast in bed (romantic or platonic) with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Hahahaha hmmmm Would love to share some of my gluten free Coconut and Banana Pancakes with Mirander Ker :)

10. Tell us what is in store next for Mr Dan Churchill.
Oh wow… ahhh well I will play word association and keep it to one word answers… Dudefood, Books, USA, Cafes, TV… Plenty more but can’t let the cat out of the bag too early ;)

Right after devouring the worlds best Cookie! 

Right after devouring the worlds best Cookie! 

11. We recently went on the hunt for the worlds’ best cookie in London. Then I ate it. What is the one dessert that you could never turn down if it was put in front of you. 

Hahahaha how good was that cookie in Borough Markets!?!?! Ok well yes I do have a sweet tooth, but I am also very good at saying no. I love cookies, Gelato and chocolate but rarely get involved. I reckon if one of my idols Jamie Oliver or Tom Brady made me a big "get out of bounds" chocolate and peanut butter cookie, I couldn’t say no… Mind you, i think if Mirander Kerr or Mila Kunis made them I probably wouldn’t say no either :))) … Actually there is also the worlds best Gelato (Ed note: In Rome, Dan told me this story. IF you ever meet him you have to ask him to tell you himself), I just had to have that bad boy twice.  

Follow Dan and his EPIC journey below. Keep an eye on this one, he is going far.  

Instagram : dan_churchill

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