In a rehearsal studio at the Royal Opera House, over an impromptu picnic of tostones (fried plantains) and moros y cristianos (rice with black beans), dancer Carlos Acosta recalls a lifetime of counting the carbs, and his blessings, during a successful career in ballet.
From the food ration in his native Cuba, to the abundance of sugar on the island that left him with an explicably sweet tooth, Carlos tells Nina about stealing mangoes as a boy to fund trips to the cinema. He also explains how, arriving in Europe as a teenager, he had to adapt his tastes, his attitudes and his body. He eats a steak before each performance and avoids carbohydrates after six o'clock, despite the fact that he dances for over eight hours almost every day of the week.
Eating well is crucial to Carlos' livelihood and eating badly could end his career but the Royal Ballet's principal guest artist still chows down on ice cream, chicken korma and gets drunk, occasionally. He also tells Nina where you can get the perfect mojito.
Producer: Tamsin Hughes
A Wise Buddah production for BBC Radio 4.