French Chef Brings Macrobiotic to Mangala

Aug 11, 2009

“Their best and most wholesome feeding is upon one dish and no more and the same plain and simple: for surely the huddling of many meats one upon another of diverse tastes is pestiferous.” –Pliny, Italian naturalist (AD 23-79).

Man’s tryst with food and its association with health and wellbeing go back to the Garden of Eden and its famed forbidden apple with which the serpent tempted Eve and, she in turn, tempted Adam. Yet, the apple, or food, is central to humanity’s survival and also for its woes for the wrong use of it. That is why Patricius, Bishop of Gaeta (Circa about 450AD) declared that “Gluttony kills more than the sword, and it is kindler of all evils”.

The need to control diets and regulate food intake has assumed a new urgency in the context of increasing lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart attacks. Trim and slim has become the new mantra. Slim-gyms, nutrition consultants and packages are mushrooming all over the world. The latest nutrition package on offer in Mangalore is named Macrobiotic (MB) and is evangelised by a French cerebral chef, Patrick (Pat) Verre who is offering it on the platform of Mangalore-headquartered Serena Spa, with a dozen luxurious spas in the Maldives and India – mainly Kerala (

Pat recently spoke about his MB gospel at Mount Pleasant, the century-old heritage mansion of the Falnir Britto family. He held forth on his MB culinary saviour at a media meet, enjoying every bit of his oral presentation and interaction with the scribes from the print and electronic media – offering his beatific smile to the cameras and handycams. His lean and satiated frame (Remember the “lean and hungry” look of Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar?) seemed to present a standing example of the efficacy of MB. What did he say about MB? Here is a gist:

Thousand of years ago, great sages realize that the food we eat not only sustains life but also underlies our health and happiness. For thousands of years people of traditional cultures have understood that the secrets of health, beauty and longevity are directly connected with the food we eat.

MB simply describes a way of living and eating in a healthy balanced way. The term come from the Greek: macro means great and bio means life. It is a tool that allows one to learn to live within the natural order of life and the constantly changing nature of all things. It means the philosophy of how to live a ‘great life’. MB is the diet of health, happiness and success.  It is mainly vegetable-based and shuns meat products. It emphasises:

A whole-grain-based diet. When it is rice, it means unpolished brown rice. When it is bread, it uses unbleached flour ground from whole wheat.

Eating high-quality, preferably organic, foodstuff.

Eating seasonal and locally available fruits and vegetables.

Avoiding genetically modified processed food such as white sugar, artificial sweetener, chemicals, preservative and artificial flavours.

According to Pat, the goal of MB is to provide the body with all essential nutrients so that it can function optimally and efficiently without loading it with toxins and excesses that must be eliminated. Since the body is always adjusting to changes in the environment  and  ageing, its needs will always change as well. The idea is continually balance the effects of food eaten and other influences on the body, largely through diet, and adjust  to change in a controlled and smooth manner.

Drawing the difference between MB and conventional nutrition approach, Pat explains that the latter holds that each individual needs certain amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and minerals each day, based on a statistical average. This makes the recommended daily allowance easy to comprehend, but does not allow for uniqueness of each individual’s changing needs. The MB approach maintains that what works for one person need not necessarily work for another person and, therefore, MB determines the food that is best suited to each person based on his current condition.

Commenting on the Indian food scenario, Pat says: “The good news is that India is lucky because it has a traditional way of eating that people can, with some education and awareness, return to. Think for a moment of the traditional Indian diet –whole-grain unpolished rice, beans or dal, several vegetables and fermented foods like curd and pickle. This is MB diet without designating it so!”

Born on February 23, 1961, Pat has been in the high-end culinary field for a quarter century. He had decided to be in the culinary field even at the age of 11years and acquired two diplomas in the subject He started as a dish-washer, bar tender, waiter and cook during his school days in France. Pat has worked in high-end hotels like Ritz-Carlton, Marriot and Hilton in Europe and America for 25 years. He worked as No. 2 chef in Windows of the World Restaurant (on 106/7 floors ) of Empire State Building (in 1984-89) before the twin towers crashed down like a pack of cards when airborne terrorists banged into them

Today Pat is content spreading MB gospel through the Mangalore-headquartered Serena Spa Group of Resorts. He lives with his wife, Nathalie (also an MB votary and competing in slimness with Pat), at Nagori and find Mangaloreans friendly and hospitable. Asked if it is not a comedown from Ritz-Carlton, Marriot and Hilton to Mangalore’s low profile (though elite) Serena Spa chain as its Lifestyle Manager, Pat has a ready answer: “I am now married to a mission. At the end of my life, I am not taking my Mercedes to heaven where I am sure to go -  because I have been nice to everybody”.

John B. Monteiro, author and journalist, is Editor of his Website ( Interactive Cerebral Challenger )

John Monteiro - Archives:

By John B. Monteiro
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Leave a Comment

Title: French Chef Brings Macrobiotic to Mangala

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.