"Many top chefs have discovered some surprisingly tasty ways to keep the pounds at bay. [Their] tantalizing suggestions [are] put forth in Smart Chefs Stay Slim, a new book detailing the eating strategies of today’s culinary superstars." -- OPRAH.COM

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Events: 2012 NYCWFF "How Chefs Eat... and Stay Slim" panel



I was thrilled to participate in this year's NYCWFF as moderator for a fun and informative discussion with amazing chefs Marc Murphy, Sue Torres, and Art Smith and culinary expert and author Katie Lee about how they stay fit while indulging their passion for great food.

As with all NYCWFF events, this one benefitted THE FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY and SHARE OUR STRENGTH. If you enjoy the video (or, you know, even if you don't) please consider a contribution to one of these worthy organizations. Thanks!



Metro NY interview


Dining out while staying slim

06 June 2012 06:08

rachel papo

Adato’s book also includes chefs’ tips for eating in.

When Allison Adato began covering celebrity chefs for People Magazine, she found herself in a conundrum common to many New Yorkers: how can we appreciate good food without compromising our health? For her book "Smart Chefs Stay Slim," Adato asked just under 40 top-name chefs, some of whom have achieved stunning weight loss, how they maintain control with some of the world's finest cuisine within a tasting spoon's reach. Or, as Adato put it, how to "strike the proper balance between pleasure and caution." We asked her for tips on how to walk away from the table satisfied, not stuffed.

You make a great case for sharing entrees --- what are the benefits?

I like sharing, even when the plates are moderately sized, just because I want to taste a lot on the menu, and I don't necessarily want to eat an appetizer and an entree and dessert myself. Several chefs told me that that's how they eat themselves: Tom Colicchio talked about ordering just appetizers. He'll get two or three, and that makes a more interesting meal for him: more flavors, more tastes, better portion sizes.

Is it ever inappropriate to ask for a substitution, say, if you wanted salad instead of frites with your steak?

I don't think anyone should ever be intimidated by a restaurant to the point where they won't even ask: Can I have that with the dressing on the side? ... I think it's always okay to ask --- you may not always get the answer you want. A chef once told me, "You can take away whatever you want, but you can't add anything. That's why we went to cooking school."

What about asking for a takeaway bag?

If you eat the right amount of food and there's an untouched piece of chicken left, I think it's fine to take it away. And it gives you another meal. If you take home that piece of chicken, slice it up over salad, then you have lunch for the next day.

I was at The Dutch recently, and they give you a beautiful little loaf of cornbread when you sit down. We had taken one little slice, just to taste it, and I thought, "Man, that would be good for breakfast." When I asked the waitress, "May I have that cornbread wrapped" -- because obviously they were going to throw it away once we touched it -- she said, "We'll give you a full loaf."

Because you don't really need to eat a lot of cornbread before you eat dinner, right?

Right. Don't eat breakfast for dinner. That's actually one of my favorite tips in the book. When I look at that cornbread, as delicious as it looks, it's definitely better for breakfast.

What is your favorite dish in New York to share?
I love going to Otto, which is Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's pizza restaurant downtown. If I
go with my son and my husband, we might get one pizza, one pasta and one salad. And then we'll usually get the gelato, ostensibly for our son. [Laughs] Somehow we eat some of it, too.



Wall Street Journal Review

Vegan or omnivore, serious eaters who care about their health—or at least their waistlines—will find Allison Adato's "Smart Chefs Stay Slim" (New American Library, 292 pages, $25.95) a refreshingly readable—not to mention appetizing—alternative to run-of-the-mill diet books. Ms. Adato, a People magazine editor whose work has brought her into contact with many of today's celebrity chefs, has produced an upbeat anthology that is part motivational tome, part healthy-living guide and part—thank heavens—good recipes.

In 15 chapters and 92 "lessons in living and eating," Ms. Adato goes to more than three-dozen famous and fit chefs, including Thomas Keller, Rick Bayless, Eric Ripert, Sue Torres and Ming Tsai, for their personal approaches to happy, healthy eating. What she learns is rather reassuring for home cooks: "Eric Ripert, of the four-star seafood temple Le Bernardin, will sometimes come home and cook chicken in the toaster oven, a trick he learned from his (nonchef) wife. Chefs known for steak had secret vegetarian lives. Quite a few ate chocolate daily—that was definitely something I wanted to do too."

And then there are the recipes, among them Laurent Gras's Halibut Ceviche With Jalapeno and Parsley, which uses orange as well as lemon juice to round out a dish that is as zesty as it is nourishing; Mark McEwan's Steak With Horseradish Dressing lets herbs, olive oil, Dijon mustard and freshly grated horseradish give his strip steaks added kick without a butter overload; and Karen Hatfield's Apple Galette delivers all the flavor of a massive slice of apple pie in a concentrated, nongluttonous tart.

All well and good. But after finishing this edifying volume, one is still left suspecting that the best chefs, like the best ingredients, should err ever so slightly on the side of plumpness. One doesn't want to be fed by a fat slob who will obviously eat vast amounts of anything in sight. But one should also avoid cooks with the sort of lean and hungry look that bespeaks excessive fussiness and—worse yet—sour digestion and a personality to match it. The ideal chef should practice moderation in everything . . . and that includes slimness.

A version of this article appeared June 9, 2012, on page C6 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: A Hands-On Approach to Summer Eating.


Parade magazine (excerpt of cover story)


Epicurious interview

This was a really fun interview with Sara Bonisteel from EPICURIOUS.COM, 4/5/2012. Click thru for full text.