People in Fashion: Julie Anne Rhodes

by Marisol Email

My Sunday morning started with a couple of wonderful surprises in my inbox: an email from my husband with videos and photos of his travels in Africa, where he is currently working on a project to bring electricity to remote areas of the country, and an email from the gorgeous Julie Anne Rhodes (of whom we are huge fans at Caradiaz HQ) answering my questions for the ‘People in Fashion’ interview series I started here last month.

Julie Anne is a mother, former model, actress, founding member of Parents for Safe Foods and owner of the multi-award winning personal chef service, The Roving Stove, in Los Angeles. She also writes a wonderful blog called “Jewels” from The Roving Stove, about a life filled with laughter and glamorous memories, with a few scrumptious recipes thrown in for good measure.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, Julie Anne is currently writing ‘Dinner Accomplished’, a cookbook about applying the personal chef approach to your kitchen.

With such a busy life, I am not only extremely grateful to Julie Anne for taking the time to do our interview but also honoured to feature her.

Here’s what Julie Anne told me in her email.

What made you become a chef?
I've always loved food, and the idea of painting with flavor. I used to play in my mother's kitchen all the time as a child (and get in trouble for making a mess). During my model years I felt so deprived of the enjoyment of food, then all the years on the road with Duran Duran(*) made me long for my own kitchen. Once I moved to Los Angeles, I started entertaining at home quite a bit, and my friends encouraged me to cook professionally. The timing was perfect! Before I had officially opened the doors to The Roving Stove I was fully booked.

(*) Julie Anne was married to Duran Duran’s keyboard player Nick Rhodes.

Where do you get the inspiration for your dishes?

My love of travel mostly. I like combining flavor palates and textures from different parts of the world, much like a painter mixes his paints, or a fashion designer chooses various fabrics and trims that create something new and exciting together.

What are your signature dishes?
My most requested dish is my Grilled Cocoa Magic Rubbed New York Strips with Roasted Butternut Squash & Pear Mash (the spice rub will be one of my first product lines), my Jewels Turkey Jasmine Burgers won best poultry burger in America, and I love making healthy comfort food versions of soups and stews.

Images courtesy of Julie Anne Rhodes

How do you relax?
I go to a day spa to soak in the baths, and have a treatment called Pure Bliss (it lives up to it's name). It begins with a complete body scrub from head to toe, followed by a massage, facial, and hair wash. I'm so relaxed by the end, I worry my legs won't hold me up long enough to get home!

Are you an advice-giver or an advice-taker?
I'm not foolish enough to think I know it all. I always seek the advice of people I respect, but I'm not afraid to give advice when called upon either.

Do you plan to open a restaurant at some point?
I don't believe in saying never, but it is not something that I am passionate about at the moment. Currently, I'm much more interested in writing, and developing product lines that marry food and fashion.

Do you have any fashion icons?
I grew up in a retailing family, so I was exposed to fashion straight from the womb. As a child, I idolized Twiggy and Lauren Hutton. Love, love, love Yves St. Laurent during the 70's, BIBA's was the greatest store ever on the planet, and I always loved the golden era of Hollywood - which is why Antony Price was such a favorite. We shared a love of all things Rita, Joan, Bette, Marilyn, and Audrey.

How will you be spending Christmas?
Cooking for my family and watching lots of movies! Even though I no longer act, I still get to vote for the SAG and BAFTA Awards, so I get a lot of new movies sent to me to watch at home this time of year. It feels like Christmas every day when the postman arrives with them.

A huge thank you to Julie Anne for squeezing me in her busy schedule.