Alistair and Jonny Brownlee selected for Rio 2016

Brownlee brothers' competitive streak stretches to the kitchen



Brownlee brothers' competitive streak stretches to the kitchen

20 June 2016 / 14:24

Like all brothers, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee are competitive about most things – and that includes their abilities in the kitchen.

Click here to find out more about Jonny Brownlee on his Homegrown Heroes profile

The Brownlees often work side by side when out on the course but when it comes to cooking, they are constant competitors.

As triathletes at the very top of their sport, diet unsurprisingly plays a huge role in their lives, meaning deciding who is the superior chef is a very serious business.

Alistair may have won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games – and also got the best of his brother at the World Triathlon Series event in Leeds this past weekend – but Jonny is adamant he has the edge when cooking up a storm.

Click here to find out more about Alistair Brownlee on his Homegrown Heroes profile

“We’re very competitive at cooking – I like to think I’m a better cook,” said Jonny, who is two years younger than Alistair.

“I’m a lot more standard: I’ve got my chilli bolognese, my bolognese, my fajitas, I like to nail them.

“Alistair thinks he’s a better cook and goes for Beef Wellington and that kind of thing and normally gets it wrong! I’m a steady Eddie in the kitchen, simple, easy food.

“That’s one of the reasons I moved out! But in all seriousness the main reason is I needed more space especially with bikes and kit. I do go around his place for dinner occasionally.

“I’m very much the plan-ahead person, I’m going to buy this, eat this, whereas he’s just ‘oh I’ll go to the supermarket and buy it’ ten minutes before.

“Alistair eats out, that’s the social side of it whereas I’m very much come home, I’m tired from training so I sit down, turn the TV on, watch some sport and have some food.

“That way you get more time to relax and do what you want.”


As elite athletes, ensuring your nutrition is spot on can make the difference between earning a place on the podium and missing out – especially in an endurance event such as triathlon.

Alistair claims he is still regularly able to eat out, although makes sure he is vigilant about exactly what is going into his body.

“There’s a slight paranoia,” admitted Alistair. “I think you have to be a bit careful, but you can’t obsess all your life about being mega-careful about everything.

“You can definitely be sensible though about what you choose to eat.

“I’d definitely like to say I’m the best cook but Jonny will definitely say it’s him. Jonny cooks more than me, I tend to eat out, but when I do cook I try and cook well.”

As triathletes, the Brownlees make sure to give themselves every advantage when it comes to nutrition but as born-and-bred Yorkshiremen they are still partial to a Sunday roast ­– with Jonny claiming that nothing beats it.

“My favourite meal to cook is fajitas, something simple but my favourite meal to eat is my Mum’s Sunday lunch,” he added.

“I still go home every Sunday to my parents’ place for Sunday lunch – a good Yorkshire lunch!”

Sportsbeat 2016