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Here's How Star Chef Marcus Samuelsson Stays Healthy

Here's How Star Chef Marcus Samuelsson Stays Healthy


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Find out how the James Beard-winning chef prioritizes healthy eating, exercise, and self-care.

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Whether it’s through a favorite cooking show (Chopped, anyone?), a James Beard Award-winning cookbook, or one of his acclaimed restaurants, you’ve probably heard of Marcus Samuelsson’s famed culinary skills. The former White House chef was the youngest to receive a three-star rating from The New York Times when he was the executive chef at Aquavit in 1995 and hasn’t stopped since. But Samuelsson will be the first to admit finding balance in life is difficult.

“Balancing ‘healthy’ with a busy life is actually something you have to work at,” Samuelsson said. Here are a few ways Samuelsson has found balance that you can incorporate in your own life.

Stay up to date on what healthy means now.

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Prioritizing plant-based foods when possible

The chef and TV star says some weeks he overindulges when filming a food show for hours on end every day, but that’s a part of his job he can’t really change. Instead of stressing out or trying to consume a strict diet, Samuelsson simply cuts down on his animal protein intake and incorporates more vegan and vegetarian meals in his diet the following weeks. He also enjoys drinking herbal teas and has become an ambassador for Pure Leaf.

Carving out time for exercise

While Samuelsson doesn’t get much alone time between being a business over, TV personality, and father, he says some of his best personal time is spent at the gym. To him, it’s a form of self-care and important for keeping him powered through jam-packed weeks. However, Samuelsson often finds himself running through the park with his son for physical activity, and loves to get a group together to play soccer or tennis.

Meal prepping on the weekends

Samuelsson’s meal prep routines don’t require hours in the kitchen on a much-needed day off. Rather, he likes to make shortcuts for himself by making a big stew at the beginning of the week—full of protein, veggies, and whole grains—or simply preparing a grain and purchasing quick-cooking proteins at the store. One of his favorite easy meals is prepped ramen, fresh veggies, and steamed fish.

Check out more from our On Balance series here:

Giving back

The Swedish-Ethiopian Samuelsson had a difficult childhood (as detailed in his memoir), losing his mother to illness and becoming separated from his family during the Ethiopian civil war. But he credits his adoption by a Swedish family (who taught him his love of cooking) with saving him.

Now, the chef spends much of his time giving back, as he knows how much it can mean to someone in need, through teaching culinary and life skills to students.

“I’m a guy that got a shot and was helped by an organization,” Samuelsson said. “I don’t really look at it as charity. That’s the work that really drives and fills a spiritual cup but is necessary in your community.

To find out more about Samuelsson’s story and ways he finds balance in his personal and family life, check out the full video above.


Marcus Samuelsson and Two Good Yogurt want you to rethink your ingredients

While many people long to create an impeccable dish like Marcus Samuelsson, the reality is that the idea might be easier than you think. With the help of Two Good Yogurt, the pair are joining forces to take a different look at the produce on the plate. Isn&rsquot it time to push the food conversation in a new direction?

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Chef Marcus Samuelsson about his partnership with Two Good Yogurt and the topic of rescued produce. While the celebrated chef often uses his voice to raise awareness on a variety of important food issues, this particular topic impacts both the restaurant industry and the home cook.

Samuelsson shared that this partnership is a unique opportunity to bring this information and conversation to consumers who might not otherwise have that information. As a chef, he does believe that his role allows him to educate people and give them the tools to make viable change.

Rescued produce happens at the farm level. As described by Full Harvest, it can refer to produce that “does not meet strict retail aesthetic standards simply because it is not perfect looking” or surplus produce from the farm.

By sparking a conversation around the table, Samuelsson wants to lead by example. Through featuring rescued produce on his Red Rooster menu in Harlem, he shows both chefs and home cooks how easy and flavorful these ingredients can be.

Although he appreciates that chefs have an opportunity to popularize food trends and push cooks in new directions, it is only one ingredient to meaningful change. People need to be willing to adopt the different philosophies and apply them long term.

While content is king and videos are numerous, Samuelsson believes that there needs to be an &ldquoecosystem built around the concept.&rdquo Through partnerships with Two Good Yogurt and Full Harvest, a strong foundation can be built to enhance those changes.

As a professional chef, Samuelsson might appreciate how those asparagus stems can be used in a stock or how all parts of Brussels sprouts can be used in a dish, but the home cook needs to be comfortable with that experimentation. In some ways, it is about pushing the doubt aside and trusting the process.

Samuelsson appreciates that there has been change in the past several years. Whether it is more farmers markets popping up in urban environments or people being more familiar with flavor combinations, the reality is that when cooks have great ingredients accessible to them there is an open door of possibility. While Alice Waters might have been a pioneer years ago, the reality is that Alice Smith down the street keeps that sentiment moving forward.

Just like the professional chef has a responsibility to the educate and inform, the home cook has her own part, too. Beyond appreciating the food served on the family table, there needs to be a bounty available for more people. In some ways, rescued produce could be a lifeline to the ever-growing issue of food insecurity. Without sounding like a cliché, everyone is in it together. The produce relies on the life cycle to flourish and the community relies on each other to contribute.

As part of their collaboration, Marcus Samuelsson and Two Good Yogurt created a special recipe highlighting rescued produce from Full Harvest. While the dish was served at Red Rooster in Harlmen, Samuelsson was gracious enough to share his recipe so that home cooks can enjoy it as well.


Richard Blais

Chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality Richard Blais likes to eat lots of whole grain pastas and lean proteins leading up to race day, but it&aposs his secret source for fuel that sets his routine apart. "My secret trick is consuming a lot of beet juice�ts are packed with dietary nitrates, which increase blood flow to your muscles during exercise and in turn, enhance your performance," he says. On race day, though, Blais keeps it a little more traditional. "On the morning of the race, my typical routine is a banana, a half of a bagel with peanut butter, a small coffee and a water. Make sure to hydrate the day before and early enough in the morning so you don&apost need bathroom stops during the race!"


Marcus Samuelsson's Sunday Roast Chicken from The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food

Megan duBois/Eat This, Not That!

Marcus Sameulsson is known for his unique spin on American dishes like chicken and waffles. His take on roast chicken is also African-inspired and is relatively easy to make. The hardest part of this recipe is acquiring some of the ingredients, but they are worth scouring Amazon for, I promise!

How easy was the recipe to follow and make? This was the first Marcus Samuelsson recipe I've made out of his latest book, and it was pretty easy. The hardest part of the recipe is making the clarified butter, which becomes the flavor base for the chicken. You will need to babysit the butter and follow the directions carefully so it doesn't turn into browned butter, but your patience will be rewarded. You also don't need to do any fancy cuts or know how to break down a raw chicken before making this dish, so it is a little easier for beginners.

How easy are the ingredients to acquire? Most of the ingredients can be found at a grocery store with a well-stocked spice area. You'll be grabbing things like cardamom pods, turmeric, and fenugreek seeds. One item you might have trouble finding at a grocery store is berbere seasoning. I found mine on Amazon, but if you have an African market near you, I suggest looking there as well.

The look of the chicken coming out of the oven: The chicken does get browned, but not nearly as browned as its Ina Garten counterpart. I think this is because the butter mixture goes under the chicken skin with oil rubbed on top of the skin making it too wet to get super dark and crispy. It still looked pretty tempting to eat, and it smelled great.

Overall thoughts: I loved the taste of this roast chicken. The African spices gave the chicken a savory and slightly spicy edge I wasn't expecting and rarely find in roasted chicken. Both the white and dark meat were juicy and succulent. I would make this again if I wanted to switch it up from my standby roasted chicken recipe. Next time I make this, though, I would spatchcock the chicken or cut it chicken into pieces before cooking so more of the skin gets irresistibly crispy.


Q&A With Marcus Samuelsson

Ethiopian-born chef Marcus Samuelsson grew up in Sweden, attended the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, and then came to New York City to apprentice at the famed restaurant Aquavit. When he was only 24, The New York Times gave him a three-star review (making him the youngest chef to ever receive that designation) at just 33 he won the Best Chef: New York City award from the James Beard Foundation. Samuelsson now owns three restaurants. He also has written a number of acclaimed cookbooks, including The Soul of a New Cuisine, Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine, En Smakresa, and Street Food, and has hosted two televised cooking shows: Inner Chef and Urban Cuisine. Recently WebMD the Magazine caught up with the ever-busy Samuelsson and asked him about his latest book, his food philosophy, how he stays in shape, and his best and worst health habits.

Born in Ethiopia and raised by adoptive parents in Sweden, you arrived in this country as a restaurant apprentice, and have been one of the hottest chefs in New York City for nearly two decades. Now, at 42, you own several restaurants, including Red Rooster, the celebrated Harlem flagship eatery you opened in 2010. On top of that, your memoir, Yes, Chef, is due out this month. What inspired you to write your own story?

I just felt that it was a great time to look back over my life so far, from where I am now to where I came from on the way here, and to document that journey. I realized that my story might be different. After all, not everyone is born in Ethiopia and grows up learning to cook from his Swedish grandmother! Now, at this point in my life, with my restaurant Red Rooster, with Twitter and Facebook, I have a very big audience. I thought that maybe there is something that I can share about my journey that will mean something to readers.

What is your food philosophy and how does Red Rooster reflect that?

I am always asking myself questions, and my food answers them. When I'm thinking about food, I focus my thoughts on diversity, on social responsibility, on farmers' markets and local ingredients. That's what you find at Red Rooster.

Continued

You like to teach kids and parents how to cook healthy foods -- in your restaurant, in the iPad app Big Fork Little Fork, and elsewhere. What do you emphasize in your classes?

We focus on how to prepare vegetables and on how to cook things simply. I like to teach kids, but it's truly a matter of getting the parents interested. When it comes to healthy eating, parents are the gatekeepers. Most kids don't eat enough vegetables, but that's not their fault. That's on their parents, so I try to get to them first.

With several restaurants around the country and in Sweden, you are always on the go. How do you like to relax?

Relaxing is very different for different people. I do it by playing soccer, by keeping really active. That's relaxing for me. I also paint I document my food and tell the story of my journey through painting. 9 to 5 is just not what I am doing. I don't have a job, I have a lifestyle. It's not for everyone, but it's for me.

Working around food, is it hard to keep from overindulging?

I eat with spirit. Some days I fast and eat nothing at all. Some days I eat only vegetables. The way I eat helps me keep a spiritual compass.

But you must have a guilty pleasure food that you can't resist?

The sweet potato doughnuts at Red Rooster at the end of the night.

Do you stick to a regular exercise routine?

It's hard, especially when I travel, but I try to run six miles once a week, and three days a week, I play soccer with my buddies or I hit the gym. If I can do that, I feel pretty good. And I've always gotten exercise from working, from being so active all the time.

What's your best health habit?

I try to get enough sleep. I try to keep balanced. I don't do too much of any one thing. That's important to me. Sleeping, working out regularly, and drinking enough water are essential, especially if you work as much as I do.

Continued

What role does nutrition play when you are planning a recipe for Red Rooster?

I think that healthy cooking has so many different angles. At Red Rooster, our menu reflects that. We always offer a big seasonal salad, a very light fish dish, and a different take on macaroni and cheese that we call mac and greens. There are numerous ways to think about healthy cooking and to balance the food that you eat.

You are involved in several charities, including UNICEF and C-Cap (Careers through Culinary Arts Program), which helps pair disadvantaged high school grads with the restaurant and hospitality industry. Why is this work so important to you?

It's my obligation. We are a successful restaurant. At the end of the day, I think to myself, I came to this country and I was treated fairly, so I have an obligation to give something back. I'm a firm believer in "inspire/aspire," in inspiring someone to aspire to be something, and I feel like I can carry that message to young people.

Out of all the different types of cuisine you have cooked, do you have one favorite food?

I am a big fan of Japanese food. It's such a diverse cuisine and culture. For a Western chef, sushi is the hardest cuisine to learn and to understand. It's very cerebral and very challenging.

What do you like to cook at home for yourself and your wife?

Lots of vegetables. I like to cook ramen noodles with lots of fresh vegetables. I also like to do Ethiopian chickpea puree, and grilled fennel, and Swedish meatballs with roasted potatoes.

What five ingredients do you always stock in your pantry at home?

Good olive oil, rice wine vinegar, Ethiopian berbere spice mix, Ethiopian chickpea puree, and couscous.

What's for dinner tonight?

Jerked veal tongue buns. We're very excited about that.

After two decades or more in the kitchen, how do you maintain your passion for your work?

My work leads me into passion through its challenges. Opening Red Rooster in Harlem, putting a restaurant in a food desert and helping to turn this neighborhood around is a big part of that. It's very exciting.

Continued

How do you manage to juggle your professional life with married life?

My wife and I try to find pockets of time to see each other. Sometimes we do, but sometimes we aren't able to, and that's hard. One day, I would like to find a better balance, but with my work and my lifestyle, there are so many hurdles. That is very taxing for my family life.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD the Magazine."


How Chef Marcus Samuelsson is Celebrating Black Excellence Through Food

On November 24, 2009, then President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a state dinner at which the Prime Minister of the Republic India, Dr. Manhoman Singh, and his wife, professor and writer Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, were the honored guests. The official program for the evening, as preserved at the website of the Barack Obama Presidential Library, lists dishes such as “Roasted Potato Dumplings with Tomato Chutney, Chick Peas, and Okra” and “Green Curry Prawns with Caramelized Salsify with Smoked Collard Greens.”

Related Guides

The program explains that “Mrs. Obama worked with Guest Chef Marcus Samuelsson and White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and her team to create a menu” and of Mr. Samuelsson the program goes on to say, in part: “At the age of 39, Marcus Samuelsson has received more accolades than many chefs receive in a lifetime. A graduate of the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Samuelsson apprenticed in Switzerland, Austria, France and the U.S. In 1995 he was hired as Aquavit’s Executive Chef. Just three months later, Aquavit received a three-star review from The New York Times. Samuelsson was honored with the James Beard Foundation Award for ‘Rising Star Chef’ in 1999 and ‘Best Chef, New York’ in 2003.”

Marcus Samuelsson

To be clear, that’s not even the whole of what an official White House State Dinner program said about this man, and that was 11 years ago. Samuelsson’s resume has only grown more impressive in the years since. Perhaps equally impressive is how down-to-earth and affable he was when he spoke to us late last month. And all this from a man whose life began with a deck overwhelmingly stacked against him: He left Ethiopia as an orphan following the death of his mother and was raised by adoptive parents in Sweden.

His journey from early years in poverty is a start of ascendance indeed. He went to cooking school in Switzerland and France, then came to New York in the mid 90s as a chef and part owner of a restaurant. His global background has inspired him to blend cultures in his cooking. In doing so, he’s brought together not just cuisines but human beings.

Twelve years later, he opened the wildly successful Red Rooster in Harlem, one of his many restaurants around the globe. He cooks on the Food Network, and has, to date, “done about eight cookbooks” with The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food: A Cookbook being the latest.

During his interview with The Manual in November, place was top of mind for him, specifically his adoptive home town of New York City.

What one place has had the strongest influence on your cooking? And what person?

MS: I mean I’d say the place of New York City. It’s such a multifaceted, multicultural place with such a high intensity of talent and the huge diverse customer base. As for people, it’s Miss Leah Chase from New Orleans. She just passed away last year but she was just highly influential in my life. She opened her restaurant in the 40s in New Orleans, saw integration, the end of segregation, she survived Katrina, she was just a major figure.

Fried Chicken and Waffles Angie Mosier

What is one dish you could prepare that wish everyone on earth could try?

MS: Oh, I would say an Ethiopian meal. When you eat Ethiopian food, you eat with your hands. You sit together. You truly break bread. It starts with the injera bread, which is a sourdough pancake that’s fermented, then you have these scoops of great stews, like lentil stews or chicken stews, and it’s all tied together with this incredible spice blend called berbere, but more importantly it forces you to engage, to eat together with extended family, it’s one of those things that’s truly social, truly together.

How do you describe the type of food you primarily cook?

MS: Well for me food is about bringing people together, so that’s what informs what I’ve done at Red Rooster, to try to offer foods that offer something beyond just the meal, but that can help you learn about a cuisine and through that a culture. My food is rooted in southern American tradition, what is often considered today as Soul Food, but really it runs the gamut of the Black Diaspora. It stems from Africa, not just the south here.

When you blend foods together from differing cultural backgrounds, how do you maintain authenticity even as you create new tastes?

MS: Blends will happen because the world is extremely blended, and it always has been, whether you go back to the markets of Marrakesh or in Africa or anywhere, there’s always been blending, but I think you’ve got to respect the origin of a dish, and how do you highlight that and broadcast that origin, that way a dish took shape in a meaningful way that now it’s spread and now that you’re broadcasting it, because it’s not about you, the chef, it’s about the dishes, the cuisines.

What are the most common misconceptions about Black cooking in America?

MS: The reason why I wrote The Rise is that I wanted to highlight Black excellence, to highlight the incredible Black chefs who have contributed so much to American food that we were really not broadcasting out there enough. This was my attempt to give credit where credit is due, and also to help us understand black cooking, which is highly layered, highly complex. It’s connected to Africa, it’s connected to the Great Migration, and it also has to do with immigration. It’s not just one story.

How long did it take to bring The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food to publication after you first conceived the idea?

MS: This was a four or five year project, I look at it almost like a PhD. I spent so long vetting this in my head: Is this an article? Is this a book? After all this research and working with all these people, is there enough for a book? And, you know, there was.

Tigernut Custard Tart Angie Mosier

Who is the intended audience for the book?

MS: It’s America’s food. I want as many people as possible to read it, because we need to engage in race and culture in a way that is not alienating us. This is just a delicious way for us to engage in that together.

What advice do you have for people who want to improve their own cooking at home?

MS: Look, just cook a lot. You need to learn to manage heat, which can be hard at home, but just cook a lot and you’ll improve. Learn the basics and then you can go from there. Like my nephew has been living with us during the pandemic, and I said to him: “Look, just learn five dishes for now. I want you to leave this house knowing how to make five dishes at least that are yours, that you have down.” I said one pasta dish, one rice, one potato, I want him to know how to make a soup. You just need to have those tools and then you can go as far as you want.

How has the ongoing pandemic affected your restaurants and how do you think it’s affecting food in America overall?

MS: I’m glad we all started cooking again. It’s been great to see that not only as a chef but as an American, it’s wonderful to see so many more people engage in cooking. But at the same time this has shown that we all miss restaurants. Restaurants are the heart and soul of neighborhoods. Once restaurants disappear, there go next the barber shops, the mom and pop places. Restaurants bring us together, and we’ve seen that here this year in Harlem at the [Red Rooster] restaurant. People kept coming, nurses, doctors, homeless people, and people who just wanted to get out and get something good to eat. Getting out of the pandemic is going to take all of us working together. Forget Democrat, Republican, we just need to say we’re Americans, we can do better than this together.


Follow Chef Marcus Samuelsson on Twitter for MORE great recipes!

Parsnip Soup with Porcini Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots

Marcus' Wine Pairing: Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet Shiraz

Ingredients: makes 6 servings

• 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 1/2 cups olive oil
• 1/2 cup reconstituted porcini mushrooms, chopped, with 2 cups soaking water reserved
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• juice of 1 lemon
• 1/2 tablespoon walnut oil
• 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped, plus extra finely chopped for garnish
• 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
• salt
• freshly ground pepper
• 3 cups parsnip, peeled and diced
• 2 teaspoons garam masala
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 5-6 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings

Soak dried mushrooms in water. Once reconstituted, strain, and reserve 2 cups for mushroom stock.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender and heat through for 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature and set aside 1/4 of the mushrooms for garnish. Stir in the parsley and tarragon in the rest of the mushrooms. Set aside. Season with salt and pepper, and half the lemon juice.

Heat the 1/4 cup oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garam masala, salt, and remaining garlic until fragrant, then add parsnips Sauté until golden brown. Add the cream, mushroom stock, and 3 cups of water, and bring to a simmer cook until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the remaining lemon juice.

Combine salt and finely chopped parsley and set aside. Heat the 1 1/2 cups olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When it reaches 220˚F, reduce the heat to low, add the shallots, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels. Sprinkle with the salt-parsley mixture.

To serve, place the mushrooms in each bowl. Divide the soup between 6 bowls. Drizzle walnut oil in each bowl and add 1/4 cooked mushrooms and the crispy shallots to garnish.


169 Great Quotes By Marcus Samuelsson That Will Tempt You To Wear Your Apron

Hard work IS its own reward. Integrity IS priceless. Art DOES feed the soul.


I am a chef through and through. Everything I do - whether it is cooking for kids in Harlem or cooking in a fine dining establishment - all my days are consumed by food.


I'm a big believer in the negligee, that nearly invisible screen standing between you and the object of your desire.


Taking dishes straight off the restaurant's menu and putting them into a cookbook doesn't work, because as a chef you have your own vision of what your food is, but you can't always explain it. Or you can't pick recipes that best illustrate who and where you are and what you're doing. And if the recipes don't work, you don't have a book.


Simple ingredients can be used to make elegant dishes with just a little extra attention to detail.


I learned from my grandmother, who grew up in devastating war times, how important it is to keep with tradition and celebrate the holidays during tough times.


For many sports fans, the onset of fall only means one thing: It's football season!


I love using rice as a flour I'll grind roasted rice and dip fish in that. It gives a beautiful, crunchy texture.


Packing lunches and going over menus is a great way to make small changes in the way your kids eat.


Just us two men," my father said, my father who had so longed for a son that he had flown paper planes--adoption forms in triplicate--all the way to Africa to make his dream come true.


I'm OK with firing people when they fuck up, but canning them when they've done nothing wrong - that's painful. [on the layoffs needed after 9/11 hit the business]


Sweden was once a very homogenous society, but no more. For decades, people have been coming into Sweden from all over the world, and that's changed the way we cook.


My father was a big influence - it was very important to him that we traveled, and he gave me my strong work ethic.


I am many different things, and that is why I am so proud to be American.


Every day, whether I am teaching or entertaining - I absolutely love bringing different people and cultures together.


I feel fortunate to be part of the cooking community. We learn from each other.


Getting to a place of comfort can be uncomfortable.


I want to make sure the cooking industry becomes more and more diverse.


Harlem is not a playground for rich bankers and consultants. It's got students of all colors. It's got old people who keep history and tell tall tales.


I had seen the photographs of Harlem in its glory days, stylish men in bespoke suits, women so well dressed that they'd put the models in 'Vogue' to shame. I knew that Harlemites loved to dance, to pray, and to eat.


Everyone's favorite breakfast dish can be prepared in a moment's time with just a few ingredients and minimum effort.


I always suggest something fast and simple so you have more time to share with friends and when we think of the ultimate food to serve for a football game, only one thing comes to mind - wings!


While I'm more of a soccer and tennis fan myself, I still enjoying catching some football games when I get the chance.


The avocado is native to the Mexican state of Puebla, which helps explain why it's so popular in Mexican cooking.


Not only does the summer bring warm weather and tons of summer activities, but it also yields a fresh crop of increasingly useful avocados!


Many popsicles you'll find in a supermarket have a lot of unwanted sugar or preservatives, but with a few ingredients you can make healthier popsicles with any flavor you can imagine.


I met Charlie Trotter before I actually saw him in person I was 24 when I first opened the pages of Charlie's cookbook 'Charlie Trotter's' and was greeted by a man I would know and admire for the next 20 years.


I'm an avid runner and play soccer every weekend, but I also have to constantly watch what I eat, and I'm always thinking about how to balance my meals.


People come up to me all the time and ask how I stay the way I am, and it's no secret. The first lesson a chef needs to learn is how to handle a knife the second is how to be around all that food.


We can all agree that government can't solve the obesity crisis alone. It's an ongoing issue that will require a collaborative effort across private and public sectors if we want to see some long-term success.


Here's a thought: what if we ban the word 'healthy food' from our culinary vocabulary? I'm not talking about banning foods that are considered healthy. I'm talking about changing the way we think about food overall.


When I ride the subway back and forth, sometimes I look at the other passengers and wonder if any of them are children who have been adopted or parents who have adopted.


My parents were there: in front of me, behind me, in the middle of my life at all times: reprimanding me, giving me confidence, teaching me valuable lessons, to help make me the man I am today.


The same ten dollars you spend on lunch is all it costs for City Harvest to feed 37 kids who are hungry. That's pretty astounding.


It's key to know which essential foods will keep you going and help your body recover after hard work.


While keeping active is a major aspect of staying fit, what you use for fuel definitely factors in.


For me, brunch is such a versatile meal since you can play on both the sweet and savory in your dishes.


As a chef and activist, I'm particularly concerned with food politics issues such as the farm bill.


The Swedish Christmas is definitely unique, even throughout Scandinavia. Like Christmas everywhere, it's a very family-centered holiday.


The holidays are my favorite time of year! Christmas was always one of the biggest celebrations in Sweden, and I look forward to the festivities each year.


The fact is that more and more people are developing a sensitivity to gluten, without necessarily being allergic to it.


Since the gluten-free diet is not for everyone, it's recommended that you stick with a gluten-free diet for at least 3 weeks first to see if it works for you.


While most individuals use the flesh of the coconut in their cooking, coconut water and oil are also known to have numerous health benefits.


Pot lucks are fun, especially when you encourage your guests to bring dishes that represent their families or cultures.


With all the endless varieties and toppings you can add to burgers, there's no need to keep munching on the boring burgers and ketchup found at all the tailgating events and BBQs.


As a chef, I always have in mind how to properly feed the public, but at times it's easy to forget that some people have trouble even getting any food, much less adequate nutrition.


Many people are turned off at eating vegetarian because of the misconception that all dishes are just an arrangement of bland vegetables.


Eating vegetarian doesn't mean you have to eat boring, humdrum dishes.


In America, we are engaged in constant battle with food.


I've lived all over the world, but Harlem is very special to me, and when I decided to open a restaurant near my home, I didn't want it to be business as usual.


For centuries, soup kitchens have been a way for local communities to offer a way of support, both nutritional and emotional to their less lucky neighbors.


People might not protest for overtly political or social causes, but when they can't feed themselves and their family, they will take to the streets.


When you are already eating as cheaply and meagerly as possible, any raise in cost can quickly plunge you and your family into hunger.


Between the ages of six and nine, my palette was taking shape as well as my identity as a chef. It was then that I learned the difference between salty, sweet, sour and even spicy.


The dialogue and conversation about food is everywhere - television, chat rooms, social media outlets and among everyday conversations.


I learned at a young age what chasing flavors meant, and I've been doing that my whole life.


I credit my grandmother for teaching me to love and respect food. She taught me how to waste nothing, to make sure I used every bit of the chicken and boil the bones till no flavor could be extracted from them.


I'm a firm believer that people find their own passions.


Let the fresh fruits and vegetables be your guide, and make something that will keep for the whole week.


Since truffle oil and caviar aren't always in the budget, learning to tweak and enhance just a few ingredients and flavor combinations can help you transform those ordinary ingredients into the extraordinary!


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Leah Chase Gumbo

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1⁄2 cup diced celery
• 1⁄2 cup diced red onion
• 1⁄2 cup diced red peppers
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 4 ounces ground chorizo
• 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 12 ounces fresh okra, diced small
• 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
• 1 tablespoon filé powder
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 cups fish stock
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 8 ounces smoked andouille sausage, sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
• 6 cups cooked rice, for serving
• Chopped scallions, for serving
• Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the celery, onion, peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translu- cent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes, okra, paprika, filé powder and cayenne and continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the stocks
and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. The filé powder, which is made by grinding sassafras leaves, will thicken the stew.

Add the shrimp and andouille and stir to combine. Continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the shrimp are just cooked through. Serve the gumbo over rice, topped with scallions and parsley. Serves 6 to 8.


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