Daniel, welcome to Dubai. Do you have plans to do any sightseeing while you’re here?
Sadly not, but I was here 10 years ago, so I got to do some then.
Quite a bit has changed since then.
Yes, I suppose it has.
If you did have time, what would you like to do?
Hit the beach. It’s -10°C at the moment back in Minnesota [where Daniel is based].
What are you doing while you’re here?
I’ve teamed up with Dusit Hotels to develop healthy-eating menus and do some demonstrations. I’ve got a gala dinner tonight, which you know about because some Time Out readers are coming.
You’re a model, a cook and a TV presenter, but which of these is your forte?
I’m definitely not a model – that was many years ago. My day-to-day job is presenting on Shop NBC, which is one of the biggest shopping networks in America. But, from what I’ve done on the cooking side, being a healthy-eating chef is what I think I’m all about.
How do you find time to write your books between full-time presenting and all these soirées abroad?
I have six cookbooks, but that has been over the past decade. I also endorse a fat-free cheese in America and I have a weekly show called Kitchen Takeover.
Which celebrity chefs do you like and dislike?
Well, I don’t like the English one that pretended he was a chef for Buckingham Palace and got his own show in America [Robert Irvine, formerly of Dinner Impossible].
Is he giving Brits abroad a bad name?
Absolutely. The fact that he got thrown off the Food Network for lying then got another gig is amazing. Otherwise, I admire the style of cooking of Australian chefs Bill Granger and Kylie Kwong – the way they put things together.
Being a British presenter on an American shopping channel, do you get a lot of attention from bored American housewives?
I don’t know about that, but we [broadcast to] 70 million homes, so you do get a lot of coverage there. But the English [accent] definitely goes a long way – especially in the Midwest.
What kind of things do you sell on the Shopping Channel?
They brought me in to concentrate on food. We sell food, pots and pans – I actually have my own line – and things like that, but somehow I’m selling a lot of watches.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to sell?
Oh, there have been lots of things. Probably the spin-mop.
We read on your website that you were overweight as a child, then decided to lose a load of weight. What was that all about?
Well, I just didn’t feel good about myself. That’s how I got into healthy cooking and developing recipes in a different way to how chefs normally cook.
Okay. So it’s not that you hate fat people?
Try Daniel’s healthy-eating options at the Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 343 3333).