Stix-Brunell in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Photo by Johan Persson, Courtesy Royal Opera House

What Dancers Eat: Beatriz Stix-Brunell's Daily Diet

"I'm better at dancing than cooking," Beatriz Stix-Brunell admits. A first soloist at The Royal Ballet, the New York City native largely relies on London's burgeoning food scene for major meals.

One exception: her lucky performance dish, a straightforward pasta recipe with prosciutto. "I make it the night before and bring it to the opera house," she says. "It's the perfect mixture of carbs and protein before a big show that requires long-lasting energy. And it also makes me feel like a chef!"


Stix-Brunell in Wayne McGregor's Chroma. Photo by Bill Cooper, courtesy ROH

Breakfast: Two chai tea bags in steaming soy milk and a large bowl of porridge at a coffeehouse on her way to the opera house

Lunch: "I go straight from company class to rehearsal, so lunch is on the fly. I usually run downstairs to the Royal Opera House canteen. I like their baked harissa chicken thighs and cauliflower curry."

Midday snack: A banana and a spoonful of extra-crunchy peanut butter

Supplement: Stix-Brunell stocks her dance bag with SiS Go Electrolyte gels and powder sachets, provided by The Royal Ballet's famed health-care suite. The supplements are meant to provide a quick carbohydrate boost and aid in fluid absorption, helping to stave off dehydration. "They're amazing fuel for long days and difficult roles that require fast-acting energy," she says.

Pre-performance: "If I have a tough evening performance, I'll eat a substantial meal at 2 pm." Typically, it's her penne pasta.


Bea's "Green Beanie" Pre-Performance Penne Pasta

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. whole-wheat penne
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 slices prosciutto, chopped into small ribbons
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino cheese
  • 3 bunches arugula, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper, freshly ground

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes).
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat; add oil and prosciutto and cook until crispy, then remove pan from heat.
  4. Drain pasta, but keep a little pasta water on the side.
  5. Transfer penne to a large serving bowl, then add Pecorino and toss, gradually adding leftover water to loosen up the pasta as needed.
  6. Add prosciutto, fresh arugula and black pepper. Toss well to combine.

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