Simply Movember

An official partner of Movember 2021, Coles has teamed up with MasterChef Australia contestant Brent Draper to spread the important message of men’s mental health. Brent also shares his passion – and a recipe – for sustainable cooking.

Picture of Brent Draper

Brent Draper knows the importance of sustainability – for his family and the planet – as well as the importance of men’s mental health. The MasterChef Australia star and Coles ambassador chats about issues close to his heart, including his involvement in Movember 2021, and lets us in on one of his favourite recipes: a use-it-all lamb dish that’s full of flavour.

Why is being more sustainable in the kitchen so important?

“Having my son Alfie made me think more about sustainability and the earth – I want to make sure he has an amazing future. As individuals it feels like we can’t do a lot, but we can. One thing we can control is becoming more sustainable with food and if everyone plays their little part, amazing things will start to happen for our planet.”

What do you and your family do to live more sustainably?

“We have three silky chickens so any food waste we do have is given to them, and in return they reward us with beautiful eggs which go straight into a delicious fresh egg pasta! I also plan meals for the week ahead which helps us to cook more sustainably. I’ve learnt to use the stems and leaves of certain veggies that people throw away – things like roasting the leaves of cauliflower, broccoli and beetroots. They’re amazing in salads.”

Are there any lessons you’ve given Alfie to waste less?

“I think my hands-on approach with Alfie in the kitchen has helped him to understand how important it is not to waste food, but he’s only three years old so we’ve still got a ways to go with him yet! I also think it’s a case of ‘monkey-see, monkey-do’ with kids, so I just need to make sure I keep leading by example.”

Why is being involved with Movember important to you?

“I’ve supported Movember for as long as I can remember as the initiative has always struck a chord with me. I know that many men out there are struggling and are unable to ask for help. Movember is doing an amazing job of raising awareness and supporting those in need. This year is especially important to me as my father-in-law has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I know how much Movember is doing in this space, so I am stoked to be able to support them again this year and in turn help him to not feel so alone on his journey.”

How important is taking care of your mental health for you and your family?

“Looking after my own mental health is the most important thing I can do for myself and my family but it’s also the biggest thing that so many of us tend to gloss over and sweep under the rug. For me, it’s more important than my physical health because without a healthy and able mind, I can’t be the man, the husband, or the dad I want to be.” 

What do you do to maintain your whole self well-being?

“Even as a dad and a husband, I still make having my own time wherever possible, a priority. I run in the mornings, surf when the surf is on, go fishing with mates, go for walks with my wife, and spend as much time as I can in nature as it makes me feel alive. There’s nothing better than being out in the ocean for me, it really helps me when I’m feeling overwhelmed.”

What can men do if they’re struggling with their mental health? 

“Speak up about how you’re feeling. Talk to a mate, your family or someone you trust about what’s going on inside your head. Sometimes it’s hard to verbalise but even just saying “I’m having a tough time, not quite sure why or what it is, but I’m struggling a bit” can release the pressure and open a conversation where someone can ask questions and listen and even help you through it. If you ain’t speaking it, you’re storing it and storing it gets heavy.” 

Spiced lamb with beetroot salad and ginger-whipped feta

Check out Brent’s Spiced Lamb with Beetroot Salad & Ginger-Whipped Feta. Brent says, “I love this dish because it uses the entire beetroot - there’s so much flavour and nutrients in the leaves and stems.”