The DX will regularly feature The DX Diabetes Dish, a profile about life and life with diabetes. This month, we present award-winning young chef Luke Hayes-Alexander, who was diagnosed with T1 at age seven. You’ll find out what inspires him to cook, what scares him the most, and what his ideal last meal would be – so delicious it might make you hungry!
What three words would you use to describe who you are?
Dedicated, passionate, hard-working.
How does diabetes change — or not change — who you are?
It doesn’t change who I am, but it did push me towards wanting to know more about food.
If you could take away one aspect of diabetes, what would it be?
The occasional unpredictability of my blood glucose levels.
What inspires you to do what you do?
I get inspired by the people who experience my food. Their happiness makes me want to cook, learn, and develop new dishes. I also do what I do because I love it.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
I appreciate my friends for who they are.
What would you pack for your favorite vacation?
Excitement, anticipation, and an open mind!
What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Rice, eggs, yogurt, butter, aged rib eye, celeriac, quails, winter greens, lime pickle, sambhar, baby bok choy, 7-year-old Cheddar, wild blueberry preserves, miso, silken tofu, chilies, and Bah Kut Teh, a type of Chinese soup.
What is your favorite way to relieve stress?
Eating my favorite foods and listening to my favorite music!
What is your idea of happiness?
Being successful and worry-free.
What do you most dislike?
Unwarranted arrogance. And dishonesty. Bloody corrupt politicians!
What words do you try to live by?
Work hard. Have a vision. Be creative. Think about today, and next year. Be passionate. Follow your dreams, and invest in yourself.
What is your greatest fear?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Good whiskey and good chocolate.
On what occasion do you lie?
I can honestly say I don’t lie (and that’s the truth!)
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
To be able to spend more time together.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Jacques Pepin, Grant Achatz, Vaclav Havel, Warren Buffet … and of course, my greatest hero of all, Frederick Banting.
What is your state of mind today?
Excited about all that’s happening.
What would you choose for your last meal?
Start with a bowl of Bah Kut Teh. Then a Cote du Boeuf roasted medium-rare with Béarnaise, buttery rösti, and rosé-braised leeks. A cheese plate with good crusty bread and a few preserves. Then finish with chocolate and whiskey. And the all-important soundtrack would be Stevie Wonder, Jamiroquai, Sly and The Family Stone, and Ash Dargan.
All opinions contained in this article reflect those of interviewee, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies or affiliates.
© 2012 The DX: The Diabetes Experience