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HEALTHY NEW YEAR

January 3, 2014

How 15 DC chefs and bartenders battled the bulge and made the world a healthier place
By Francine Cohen

Beet radish

Just as ubiquitous as the seasonal songs you hear in every holiday commercial this time of year is the rush for predictions, charitable donations, and resolutions that will surely make your world, and the world, a better place in the new year. 2014 will be no different.

There will always be plenty of ways that you, as hospitality industry leaders, will be asked to give. And let’s be honest, it gets a bit redundant. But it doesn’t have to be the same old same old. You probably feel like Chef RJ Cooper (www.rogue24.com) does as he remarks, “The dine around pass food over a table formula is tired, old and just cramped. A new concept of making mobile kitchens in venues so chefs can cook for 3 tables of 10 etc. would be much more fun.”

No reason you can’t have fun while doing good. Maybe this is the year it happens and you’ll be inspired to take a page out of the book of some Washington, DC based chefs and bartenders who found fun and healthy living through charity work in 2013. Last year, while supporting the American Cancer Society by co-chairing the Society’s annual signature culinary, wine and spirits event, Taste of Hope (www.tasteofhopedc.org), the Restaurateur/chef Mike Isabella (www.graffiatodc.com) rallied 15 Washington, D.C. chefs and mixologists for the inaugural Fit for Hope weight loss challenge.

The 12-week challenge kicked off on June 24th and culminated on September 24th at Taste of Hope. According to the Society, the latest recommendations for adults call for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, or an equivalent combination, preferably spread throughout the week.

Faced with an invitation to support a new (to DC) charity event they turned what could have been just another “let me show up and park myself behind a white tablecloth draped 6 ft. long table and hand out food and drink while smiling and promoting my restaurant/bar” experience into something much more personally meaningful- for them and the charity they supported. While dropping pounds, each participating chef and mixologist was also charged with raising a minimum $2,500 during the 12 weeks and many turned to Continue Reading…

Features

TRIM TIPS

October 24, 2012

How To Stay Fit When You Work With Food
By Amanda Schuster

Photo courtesy of A16

We are all surrounded by decadent temptations every day. All too well we know that leaves the average person having a hard enough time staying fit; but it’s got to be even worse for a chef or food writer, right? Just how does one keep their girlish figure when surrounded by food for a living?

To address that point, and hopefully help the audience avoid the kind of pointed jabs that Mario Batali (and his waistline) received at the NYC Wine & Food Festival roast of Anthony Bourdain, a panel of chefs gathered during the festival weekend for a seminar titled “How Chefs Eat and Stay Slim.” The seminar was moderated by Allison Adato, author of the book “Smart Chefs Stay Slim” which includes testimonies from such celebrity chefs and restaurateurs as Joe Bastianich, Rick Bayless, Cat Cora, Eric Ripert, Naomi Pomeroy and dozens of others who share their secrets to finding that healthy balance. The seminar featured cookbook author Katie Lee (www.katieleehome.com), Chefs Sue Torres (of Sueños – www.suenosnyc.com), Marc Murphy (of Landmarc restaurants – www.landmarc-restaurant.com), and the king of decadent Southern cuisine himself, Art Smith (www.chefartsmith.net).

Adato, Lee, Murphy, Smith and Torres all agreed that especially when one is busy, it’s important to eat well and have a good breakfast. Letting hunger take control is the easiest way to fall victim to temptation because the worst things to eat are usually the ones that are the most readily available. Murphy attested that French fries are always calling to him from the line. If he hasn’t eaten, he says, “It’s the first thing I’ll reach for.”

Being able to reach in and grab something healthier than those tempting fries is about planning. And batching. The panelists agree that it’s important that the batched food is something palatable and satisfying. Freshness, wholesomeness (no artificial sweeteners or processed ingredients) and seasoning are key. To this end, Torres is a big proponent of using plenty of acid and Continue Reading…