"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
- 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
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 8 minutes).
- 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.
- Drain pasta, but keep a little pasta water on the side.
- Transfer penne to a large serving bowl, then add Pecorino and toss, gradually adding leftover water to loosen up the pasta as needed.
- Add prosciutto, fresh arugula and black pepper. Toss well to combine.