Monica Galetti

Travel Diaries Cover
Date Published: 05/12/2023
Duration: 43:30
Season: 10

You might know today’s guest as the formidable judge on “MasterChef: The Professionals,”; or maybe you’ve followed her globetrotting escapades on the BBC’s “Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby”. Perhaps you’ve even been lucky enough to eat in her London restaurant, Mere. She’s one of the best-known and highly renowned female chefs in the UK, it is of course, Monica Galetti.


This season has been such a treat because I’ve managed to interview so many names who I dreamed of talking to when I started the podcast, and Monica was one of those, for so many reasons. I was desperate to ask her about what her childhood was like growing up on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And then what life was like when she moved as a child to New Zealand, where suddenly it’s cold and it’s another language that she didn’t speak. I was excited to ask her where her love of food began and how that led her to London to work alongside Michel Roux Jr – a former guest on the podcast of course – at his legendary Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Gavroche. The intense kitchen there became the crucible where Monica honed her skills, eventually rising to become the restaurant’s first female sous chef. Her experience there would eventually serve as the foundation to the opening of Mere, her restaurant in Fitzrovia, London.


After a few technical issues, I was so pleased Monica was able to squeeze this interview into her busy schedule. She’d just got off a plane, and got home, so this was recorded remotely last week.


So from Samoa to Sri Lanka, Ireland to Italy and much more, let’s get started.


Destination Recap:


  • Samoa
  • New Zealand
  • Vanuatu
  • Sri Lanka
  • Italy
  • Ashford Castle, Ireland
  • Borgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy
  • The Brando, French Polynesia
  • Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka
  • JOALI, Maldives
  • Croatia
  • J Sheekey Restaurant, London
  • Sabor Restaurant, London
  • Scotland
  • Japan


A big thank you to Monica Galetti, do check out her restaurant Mere for a taste of what we’ve been talking about today. And thank you to the magnificent JOALI and JOALI BEING resort in the Maldives, one of Monica’s Amazing Hotels, who helped to make the interview happen.


This episode was recorded at Cliveden House.


And so that is a wrap for Season 10. Thank you again for tuning in. I hope you are all gearing up for a lovely festive. I put together a little travel diaries Christmas gift guide on my Instagram @hollyrubenstein so do check that out. I will back next week with a bonus episode from the archives, and I’ll be back with a whole new season in the Spring. So who would like to hear from? Who are your dream guests? You know I always try to make it happen if you ask, so remember you can get in touch with me on Instagram, I’m also on threads, TikTok – maybe my new years resolution will be to use those a bit more, but certainly i’m always happy to chat on Instagram, and remember all the destinations mentioned by my guests are included in the episode show notes, and on my website,


Lots of love everyone, Happy holidays, and i’ll speak to you soon.


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