Who are you?
My name is Mario Presi, 39 years of age, Italian by birth. I come from the Veneto region (from Padova, near Venice) in north-east Italy. I grew up in Italy, and went to Catering College where I graduated in Hotel & Restaurant Management in 1995. I moved to London in 2001 and I haven’t looked back since.
What is Chef on a bike?
Chef on a bike is me. It represents who I am via my profession (chef), and my passion for cycling around the world (on a bike).
Why did you set up Chef on a bike?
I wanted to help people improve their eating habits by educating them in what to eat, and why. This is great for athletes who want to improve their performance by enhancing their nutrition, but also good for the average person who doesn’t compete in sport’s but likes to keep fit, healthy and would like to improve their way of eating.
Why Do You Love Chi’s products?
One of the products I came to love almost to the point to be obsessed about it is Chi 100% Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. I have tried and tested many coconut oils in the last 2 ½ years but Chi Coconut Oil has become my favourite. In fact, not only do I use and consume a 500g jar per month, but I also recommended to my clients and friends. You can use Chi Coconut Oil in your coffee, frying eggs or as a spread over toast.
Chi Coconut Water is also an item on my weekly shopping list, and it is by far my first choice.
You are an advocate of “clean eating”, can you tell us more?
Clean eating means avoiding foods that are processed, artificial foods, or foods that have been genetically modified. These cause stress on your body, which can ultimately cause illnesses. Whole and unprocessed plant-based foods are full of vitamins, minerals, quality macronutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for cellular regeneration. I prefer to eat these.
What’s the story behind your cooking?
I worked for what was known at the time as Conran Restaurants, established by Sir Terence Conran and associates. I had the pleasure to work with talented individuals and amazing head chefs. I always had a soft spot for the alps and winter/snow in general. So in 2005 I decided to do my first ever ski season. I worked for Chalet Ski Companies in the best ski resorts in the Alps.
What happened after that?
On my return to London I decided I wanted to be my own boss, so I became self employed and started to work for private clients, families and corporates creating bespoke catering events. Dinner parties and cooking lessons were the main services I offered.
How did you get introduced to cycling?
My cycling career started back in 1985 when I participated at the FIAC BMX World Championships making the A Final. From there on I raced all over Italy winning 6 Italian National Titles in both BMX 20″ and Cruiser 24″, 4th place in the 1989 World Cup, Podium finishes at European Races and in 1992 a prestigious European Title. I raced BMX in Italy, until 1999.
In 2008 I joined a BMX club in London and got into shape by training hard. I started competing again and after a few seasons I won the British Championships in 2011, British National title in 2012 and a 4th place at the World Championships 2012 in Birmingham.
How did you bring your passion of food and cycling together?
My interest in food and the knowledge I gained in all my years as a professional chef, triggered an ever growing need to understand the importance of a balanced diet for athletes. In 2012, I started to read food / nutrition articles on the web and that kick started the need to know more about nutrition and WHY specific ingredients are a boost for athletes performance. I understood the importance to eat a more natural, organic (mostly plant based) whole food diet rather than a conventional omnivorous diet.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Mario! Now to share this amazing recipe with our followers…
Chef on a bike’s Clean and Super Nutritious Porridge
1 cup of unsweetened Chi Coconut Milk
1/2 organic GF porridge oats
1 pinch cinnamon
2 tsp Chi Coconut Oil
2 tsp smooth (or crunchy) almond butter
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1/2 banana sliced
blueberries / kiwis / acai berry powder / chia seeds
Pour the milk in a small non stick sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Tuned the heat down, add the oats and the cinnamon and stir gently. Put the lid on and let it cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a medium to large bowl of your choice, place the almond butter and the Chi coconut oil at the bottom then pour over the porridge. Top with fresh fruit and flax seeds and enjoy this super healthy, warming, nutrient dense breakfast that will keep your body fuelled for a few hours 🙂
For more information, follow Mario: @chefonabike