Chris Hemsworth's Chef Sergio Perera On His Nutritional Secrets

We Asked Tom Cruise and Chris Hemsworth’s Chef To Spill His Nutritional Secrets

Sergio Perera has cooked for Hollywood heavyweights, political powerhouses and business tycoons. Now, he’s revealed how you can use nutrition to build a superstar physique.

With the never-ending wave of superhero movies currently enveloping pop culture, we’ve become desensitised to the spectacular physiques we see on screen. Actors sporting ripped abs, boulder shoulders and monstrous biceps have become such a commonality that many don’t understand a body like that doesn’t come cheap. Obviously, a hardcore training routine is necessary, but just as important is nutrition. And that’s where Sergio Perera is an expert.

A certified nutritionist, Sergio Perera has made a career of preparing nourishing meals for celebrities and movie stars. The list of celebrities that credit Perera for bolstering their nutrition includes Tom Cruise, Madonna and Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. You don’t gain the trust of some of Hollywood’s finest without knowing your stuff. To help you create wholesome and healthy meals, Sergio has spilled his nutritional secrets to Men’s Health Australia.

A Marvel superhero and a business mogul have different dietary needs, but the process of building a nutrition plan remains the same and can be applied to your own diet. “First, I ask how their energy levels tend to be and how their sleep is. That’s a huge indicator of how their general health is and how their blood sugar levels fluctuate during the day which affects mood, energy, focus and nutrient absorption.” Sergio says. “Then we write an outline and progression sheet of what they currently do and what they need to do to change.”

Perera with Hemsworth.

Building a nutrition plan for someone destined to have millions of eyes on them isn’t easy. But Sergio Perera says the secrets to good nutrition are actually quite simple. And they can be broken down into a handful of key ingredients. “Always have plenty of good olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, fresh produce and low-glycaemic fruits that help keep blood sugar levels steady. Most of all LOTS of water.” And if you want to build a physique as chiselled as the Avengers’, there are a few things Sergio says you should avoid at all costs. “Stay away from anything boxed or packaged. Too much starch and grain will also slow your progress down.”

Packing in all the food groups into a single meal is the best way to consume a wide range of nutrients. According to Sergio, this can be achieved through one easy-to-make meal. “A few of my clients eat one huge salad every single day that consists of raw and cooked vegetables and leaves and is loaded with fresh herbs, seeds, fats and a good source of animal protein.” Sergio says. “If they are vegan or vegetarian, they replace that with a good plant-based protein powder or different types of legumes.”

For some, private chef to the stars probably sounds like a dream job. So just how do you get into that line of work? Through years of hard work, and a few lucky breaks. “I entered the world of fine dining at age of 15 in Spain,” Sergio says. “In my 20’s I travelled to California to help a friend open a restaurant in San Francisco. But the project fell apart and I was stuck in California with no money.”

Broke and with no job prospects, Sergio Perera couldn’t turn down a call for help from another friend who had left the restaurant world and was cooking for actors on movie sets. Sergio had no idea what to expect, or even who he would be cooking for. Shockingly, his client turned out to be Tom Cruise. His cooking skills were enough to impress Cruise and bolster his reputation amongst the stars. “I helped him out numerous times and soon started to be known amongst many other celebrities,” Sergio says.

Sergio’s career exploded from that point. He added ‘certified nutritionist’ to his resume as he worked his way into the kitchens of a surfeit of star’s. Culminating with a role as Chris Hemsworth’s nutritionist for six years. “He was just such a wonderful guy who helped me a lot when I first moved here to Australia,” says Sergio.

He’s been preparing healthy meals for nearly his entire life and Sergio has a clear favourite cooking style. “Anything slow cooked such as beef stew or slow cooked lamb shanks, chicken and hearty vegetables.” And he also says a specific type of client always appeals to him. “I love working with clients who truly enjoy the process of eating and feeling good when doing so.”

Nutrition is important, but it’s not the only requirement of attaining an Avengers worthy rig. Sergio suggests a few other additions to your routine to get the most out of what you eat. Apart from the oft recommended 20 minutes of exercise per day, Sergio advocates for a health trend that’s been gaining increasing traction in fitness circles. “I truly believe in ice baths. They increase your metabolism, strengthen your immune system and give you energy,” Sergio says. “Ten minutes a week will dramatically change you – even cold showers work wonders in the morning.”

Food and nutrition are more than a means to build a toned rig. Sergio is passionate about food and believes that it forms part of our identity. As he so delicately puts it, “Eating is part of our culture, who we are and how we have evolved. It nourishes us and brings us together. You truly are what you eat.”

Keen to hear more from Sergio Perera? He’ll be appearing at the Human Kind Festival in Sydney from March 16th-18th. Alongside industry leader’s, changemakers and thought provokers, Sergio’s going to talk about reshaping our collective future. For more info on the festival, check out the Human Kind website here.

Sergio Perera’s Avenger’s Salad Recipe

235g chicken breast, butterflied
1 whole avocado cut in half
1 cup shaved raw brussel sprouts (or cabbage)
1 cup half cut cherry tomatoes
1 cup blanched and chopped broccolini or plain broccoli
1/2 cup chopped red capsicum
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts or any nut of your choice
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup capers in brine
1 cup mixed torn fresh herbs such as dill, mint, basil, parsley
1 whole lime
Salt and pepper to taste

For dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of half a lime
2TB of light agave nectar or honey
1 heaping TB of grain mustard
2 tsp flakey sea salt


  1. Coat the chicken with some olive oil, the juice of half a lime and season with salt and
    pepper, then cook on the BBQ for 4-5 minutes on each side. Cut into cubes.
  2. Lightly coat the inside of the avocado and place on hot BBQ cut-side down and grill for 5
    minutes. Scoop it out with large spoon onto serving plate.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together and serve.


By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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