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Hunky Armand Aucamp on his banting cookbook and new TV show: ‘I wanted to look good naked’

2018-11-18 06:36
 
Armand Aucamp

Channel24’s Herman Eloff spoke to South African actor Armand Aucamp about his new cookbook, whilst photographer Jacobus Snyman captured the hunky star in an online exclusive photo story. 

Cape Town – He’s got the chiselled jawline of a Hollywood leading man and a pearly white smile that would make Prince Charming envious – but his talents lie much deeper than his looks. 

'ONE OF THE BEST LOW-CARB COOKBOOKS IN THE WORLD'

South African actor, Armand Aucamp not only dazzles on the big screen but is now also a published author. 

His low-carb cookbook, Kook Kaal met Armand (Cooking Naked with Armand), even has the banting guru himself, Professor Tim Noakes, singing his praises. “Without a doubt one of the best low-carb cookbooks in the world. Armand is pushing boundaries!” Noakes said. 

With its sexy title the book hopes to strip away the complexities of meal time and instead provide simple low-carb solutions without any frills. 

Although it has only been on shelves for a few weeks the book is already generating so much buzz that it’s being turned into a TV show on the Afrikaans lifestyle channel, VIA (DStv 147). 

According the channel the health conscious new food show will share the secrets to the 31-year-old’s wellness journey and reveal how he got ripped by following the ketogenic diet. Filming is due to start in December with an airing date set for February 2019. 

Armand Aucamp

Armand Aucamp

'I LOST 8KG IN TWO MONTHS'

For Armand it all started with a single tweet by Noakes. “My journey into banting started when Prof. Noakes appeared in front of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) over that tweet in which he gave advice to a mother on Twitter relating to his low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet. 

“I love court room drama so I was following the case closely. At first I thought he was completely crazy but then my interest was piqued and I immediately wanted to know more. I followed the case intensively and started to do my own research. I needed more information,” Armand explains. 

Like any actor worth his salt he completely emerged himself within the subject; “I wanted to try it out for myself. As a test. That just took me down this whole Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. I just started getting deeper and deeper into it. 

“Also, I’m an actor who has to compete with models to land a job during peak season. So how do I stay in the best shape for three to five months of the year? I lost like 8kg in two months. I had to be in the best possible shape physically. Plus it was all really effortless and I really enjoyed the meals.” 

Armand Aucamp

Armand Aucamp

'WE HAD 10 DAYS AND 100 RECIPES TO SHOOT'

As his knowledge on the topic grew so did his exploration of interesting and creative meal solutions. It was when he started running out of ideas to dish up, that the concept of a book came to mind.  

“I was tired of trying to think of meal ideas. I know what I have in my pantry but I’m tired of doing the same thing over and over. It gets boring. I wanted to make things that were interesting and was keen to explore new options. That’s when the idea of writing everything down started. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a cookbook at first. I mean I’m not a chef. I just have a passion for food and sharing whatever knowledge I’ve accumulated whilst delving deeper into the topic,” Armand explains. 

But when Lapa Publishers got word of the actor’s cookbook ambitions they weren’t about to miss out. 

“Before I knew it I was meeting with a publisher. That was on 19 February for the first time. They said they wanted the manuscript by 8 May. In-between that I was working on the film Stroomop for a month on the Orange River. So that all happened in-between.

“I had to really put pedal to the metal to get it all done in time. I would go sit in a coffee shop every day for five or six hours and just write and write and write. It was a challenging but exhilarating experience. When I finally handed in the manuscript I breathed a sigh of relief. I really thought that was it. Job done. But it was only the start. 

“We also had to do the photography for the book and make all the recipes. We had 10 days and 100 recipes to shoot. 100 recipes,” he exclaims, before adding; “I wasn’t sure I could do it. But once I started breaking it down bit-for-bit the mountain became a mole heap.”

Armand Aucamp

Armand Aucamp

Armand Aucamp

'I WANTED TO LOOK GOOD NAKED'

The secret to Armand’s book sits in its refreshing simplicity; “I wanted to show people how easy it is. There isn’t even any baking needed or extravagant ingredients. You don’t have to have all those stuff. I want to show you recipes where you don’t even know there isn’t any bread, or pasta, or a potato in it.

“I’m not a chef. I mean for the first two years that I lived in my apartment I had one of those two plate stoves that I used to make meals. So I’d say for about 90% of the recipes you’d only need only one or two pans. I also don’t like standing in the kitchen for hours. So the meals are quick to prepare.” 

The book, which is currently being translated into English, is truly a passion project for the handsome actor; “Seeing it all come to life was the best moment of the project. Shooting the final dishes was a surreal moment. We photographed every recipe to ensure the book was a visual feast. To see it go from a recipe, to being made in a pan, to being styled and photographed was truly magical. I had to take a step back to truly be able to take it all in. How did this idea turn into this final product?”

He adds; “What started out of curiosity and a bit of vanity to transform my body has turned into a lifestyle and a whole new chapter in my life. I wish there was a virtuous reason for this but it truly started out of vanity. I wanted to look good naked. It has, of course, since evolved. But that was the initial thing. This way of eating has helped me look better and be healthier.”

Armand Aucamp

Armand Aucamp

ARMAND’S FAVOURITE RECIPE:

Armand’s favourite recipe from his book is the ‘Aubergine French Toast’. “I know it sounds strange, but I promise you it’s to die for.” It takes about 15 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to make. 

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant
Fine salt
250g mascarpone 
50g chopped nuts (Almond, macadamia, pecan, or walnuts)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine ginger
A pinch of clove (It’s a strong flavour and should be used moderately)
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs
1 cup almond flour 
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Honey

Method: 

1. Cut the eggplant into long, thin slices. The thinner the better! Sprinkle salt over the eggplant slices and let it rest for 10 minutes. 
2. Meanwhile add the mascarpone, chopped nuts, vanilla essence, and other spices in a bowl and mix well.
3. Beat the eggs in a separate shallow dish. 
4. Sprinkle the almond flour on a flat plate. 
5. Once the eggplant is ready, wipe it with a paper towel until it’s completely dry.
6. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan at high heat. Dip a slice of eggplant in the whisked eggs. Then cover it completely with almond flour. Do this with all the slices. 
7. Fry the eggplant in the hot coconut oil until both sides are golden brown. Add more oil if needed. (Don’t put the eggplant in a dry pan). 
8. Place the slices of “French toast” on a plate and serve with a nice big scoop of mascarpone cream cheese on top. Drizzle with honey. 
9. Enjoy with a cup of Earl Grey tea. It’s delicious!

Armand Aucamp

WANT MORE? Click here to see more high quality images from this story.

CREDITS:

- Photos: Jacobus Snyman. Fashion Editor: Daniël Geldenhuys. Grooming: Richard Wilkinson.

- Photographed on location at The Stack.

- Armand is wearing: Calvin Klein, BlueCollarWhiteCollar, Burberry, H&M, Persol, RayBan, Scotch & Soda, Tread + Miller, VOGUE, Fabiani, Tommy Hilfiger.

Read more on:    armand aucamp  |  local celebrities

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