Charlotte Collard: Good food meets fashion

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Catherine Feore chatted with Charlotte Collard, a woman who has managed to combine two of her favourite things.

Former top model Charlotte Collard took a step back and then decided to take a step in another direction. The busy mother of three decided to focus on the things she loved most, her husband and children, friends, sharing, fashion and great cooking. In sharing her work via Instagram she made a surprising discovery; she was bringing the fashion and food world together.

Did you teach yourself how to cook or did you learn from your parents?
I learned from watching my grandfather who was an amazing cook and who made everything from scratch. He was living in Canada, so each summer we would go there for two months where we would cook everything. The vegetables came from the garden, meat from my grandfather’s hunting, homemade baked bread, yoghurt, everything!

As a former top model you have lived and worked in many cities, has this influenced your cooking?
Yes, I was so lucky to travel the world and lived in cities such as NYC, LA, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Florence, Zurich and Brussels! Meeting so many different people and cultures has given me great memories that still inspire my every day.

In the popular imagination a model is someone who might eat a stick of celery a day and not much more. Is this a myth? Do you have to sacrifice food for fashion?

It is not a myth, it is true! However, I would say that models are not the only ones to hit extremes, but fashion is a world that ‘speaks out loud’ and as a result there are often food and drug problems. Models do need to fit in their clothes, just as students study to pass their exams. It is a career like any other with good and bad sides, with fun and sacrifices.

What is the magic trick to enjoying tasty food and staying slim?
The first trick is to avoid diets, avoid even thinking about the word diet! It is the worst word you can think of as it will only result in frustration.

I always say: “Feed your body not your head.” In other words think about what you give to yourself, take care of yourself. To give the best to yourself, you must first love yourself. Your body won’t get better with years, so it’s better to enjoy it now than complaining every day about it and then waking up one day and realizing that your body was fine. Enjoy it now!

I also never leave the table with this feeling of having eaten too much. I always stop before that point. I could give tonnes of advice!