FT Foodies: Hugh Jackman

Actor Hugh Jackman, star of X-Men and Australia, is a co-founder of the charitable tea and coffee brand Laughing Man, which has just launched in the UK.

What is the best food or drink you’ve ever had on a film set?

The last meal of any Wolverine film, because I’m on a very strict diet for those movies. On the last day, I start with eggs Benedict and sultana bran. I have lasagna at some point; I have tiramisu. I have a milky cappuccino. If I haven’t thrown up by dinnertime, I have a hamburger. After five or six months of not eating carbohydrates, they’re usually what I feel like.

What is the first thing you eat or drink in the morning?

Half a litre of water when I wake up.

What were your school dinners like?

I made my own Vegemite sandwiches. They were terrible – I used frozen white bread. I always regretted it at lunchtime.

What do you make for a typical Sunday brunch?

For Sunday breakfast, I make orange and ricotta pancakes, crêpes and eggs. You know men, we usually go for breakfast because it’s the easiest thing to cook and then we try to make it seem fancy.

What do you consider bad manners at the table?

Cellphones. I’m a bit old school.

What are your coffee rituals?

I grind my own beans and I use the old-school Italian coffee pots you put on the stove. I love hearing gurgling coming out. To me, the smell of fresh-made coffee is one of the greatest inventions.

What is your most frequent coffee order?

An Australian flat white – between a cappuccino and a latte. It’s a little bit creamy and less milky than the US version, where you often get litres of milk with weak coffee.

Where is the best coffee shop in the world?

That would be on Duane St [New York]. It’s the Laughing Man Marketplace. And there’s a place in Sydney called Bar Coluzzi. I once observed the owner as a character study for a play, so I sat there every morning.

How did Laughing Man coffee and tea come about?

I lived with a coffee farmer called Dukale on a trip I made with World Vision to Ethiopia, and realised there’s no good reason for the disparity in opportunity around the world. I lend support to entrepreneurs across the globe. We do direct deals with farmers. It’s fairly traded and organic and I give the profits back to charitable organisations.

Have you always wanted to get involved in the food and drink industry?

If I’m a lush at anything, it’s food and drink. I’m not materialistic in any way, but I value food.

Laughing Man is stocked at Harvey Nichols; www.harveynichols.com

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