Channel 4's First Dates star Fred Sirieix has witnessed his fair share of failed first encounters. In an exclusive chat with HELLO!, the twinkling-eyed maître d'hôtel shares his wisdom on the ultimate etiquette to land you a second date.
The on-screen matchmaker has recently found his plant-based match with Dopsu, a deceptively delicious vegetable protein product he's using to make meat-free dishes at home for his fiancée (known to the public as Fruitcake), daughter Andrea, 18 and son Lucien, 12. He's now on a mission to empower meat-eaters to make simple plant-based swaps.
WATCH: Celebrity Gogglebox: Fred Sirieix and Fruitcake are hilarious together
"Let's be honest, I love meat and I love cheese… I'm French," says the Celebrity Gogglebox star. "However, I made a 'beef' bourguignon and 'chicken' vol au vents using Dopsu and they were delicious. You couldn't tell it wasn't meat."
Concerned for future generations, Fred admitted: "It doesn't take a genius to work out that something has to change. We should all start to embrace more plant-based options in our lifestyle," encouraged the Gordon, Gino and Fred's Road Trip star.
Fred has been introducing plant-based swaps into his diet
From sharing his dating wisdom to sharing family memories and revealing why he'd NEVER go on I'm A Celebrity, scroll on to read the full interview with Fred below.
What are three essential things to consider when hosting?
1. Know what your guests like
This is essential. Always check if your guests have allergies or dietary requirements - and never serve something they can't eat.
2. Make sure your house is presentable
Creating a welcoming and inviting environment for your guests is a must-do whenever you're hosting. And always make sure your toilet is clean!
3. Set the table
A table that is beautifully presented shows your guests that you care about their company. It signals that you're looking forward to welcoming your guests and have made an effort.
Fred says 'attention to detail' is the key to being the ultimate host
What is your favourite hosting memory?
Recently, my parents came to visit. I got a big suckling pig which I cooked on the barbecue. My dad made a lovely salsa verde with herbs from the garden, olive oil and lots of garlic. We were all cooking together and it was beautiful - it was a beautiful day. Memories like that are important to me.
My dad actually loves to eat raw garlic on his French fries. He shaves raw garlic and heaps of parsley onto them - so never kiss my dad after he's eaten French fries!
Have you ever hosted any of the royals?
I haven't hosted any royals, but I have met Prince Charles on a couple of occasions. If I was hosting anyone, I think it would be incredible to have a conversation with the Queen. I'd love to listen to stories she's never told anyone before. The people that she's met and the eras she's lived through... she must have so many stories to tell that have never been published!
What would you never order on a first date?
I think there are two things I would never recommend ordering on a first date. The first is spaghetti, especially one in a tomato sauce. There's too much of a risk with it going on your face or splashing onto your clothes. The second thing I'd personally never order is shellfish, just because it can be so fiddly. Imagine ordering lobster or crab, where you have to crack the claws to get the meat out. It's just too risky - your date might risk getting splashed. It's just not a good idea!
Fred says spaghetti is a major no-no on the first date
I'd always advise ordering something easy to eat, where you can still look elegant and in control.
Who should pay on the first date?
I think whatever your gender, we should all be equal. I have a young daughter, she's going to be 18 soon, and I want her to be able to have equal opportunities to men. I think the idea that men should pay on the first date goes back a long way, dating back to when men were the only people working and women were at home. It's quite an archaic, old school concept that men should have to pay for the women. I don't agree with it.
Fred's daughter Andrea is a British professional diver for Team GB
Instinctively, a man would pay, but I've seen a lot of women pay on the first date too. I think we shouldn't put pressure on ourselves, especially if you can't afford to pay for two.
I think it's a real shame to say no to a second date purely because your date didn't pay for you. You never know what circumstances somebody is in. I think the safest bet is a 50/50 split.
When I think about my daughter becoming a young woman, heading to university and looking for work, I hope that when it's her time, she's not at a disadvantage because she is a woman.
Can we ever expect you to see you on Strictly or I'm A Celeb?
I got a taste of Strictly Come Dancing when I did the quickstep with Dianne Buswell for the Christmas Special. Oh my god, it was hard! It took me three weeks just to nail that 90-second routine. I only nailed it on the Sunday night just before the show, after almost a month of rehearsals. Dianne was so great, very patient with me. It must have been so frustrating for her to have to rehearse the same steps with me over and over again.
Fred was paired with Strictly's Dianne Buswell for the Christmas special
Would I do the whole series? I'd love to, but it would be impossible this year, I'm just too busy.
I don't think I'd do I'm A Celebrity, I wouldn't be too keen on eating a camel's anus or something like that. I know I eat frogs, I'm French, but at least those frogs are cooked! They are deliciously prepared, whereas a camel's anus is put in a blender and you have to eat it raw. It's awful. I know people who have been there - it's really not 'gastronomie'.
Fred is on a mission to empower people to make simple plant-based swaps with Dopsu, which has all the texture and taste of meat. Available at major retailers. For recipe inspiration, visit https://dopsu.com/
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