Chefs have the great task of nourishing others. And hopefully that means caring about every ingredient they are using. Though just as consumers turn a blind eye to food choice, so do many culinary wizards. And while I realize and appreciate that everyone has a different starting point, it’s time that we help these incredible men and women take on the role of agents of change, understanding the true value of quality ingredients.
Partaking in social media is one of my necessary evils. Likely many 40-somethings feel the same way—we were just not raised on this kind of communication. But as I try to get into the groove for this nouveau kind of gab, posting information on food matters that move me (good or bad) seems to be my shtick.
Now, I am not an avid meat eater. In fact, if my body didn’t downright crave animal foods I would be a hardcore vegetarian. But it does so I thoughtfully nourish. Three weeks ago while waiting for the bus to take me from New York City to home, I popped into a newly opened fast casual joint (it was super cold outside and I was craving French fries). Glancing at the menu, I noticed that “100% all natural Angus beef, no hormones and no antibiotics ever” was center stage.
I ditched bottled water long ago, only turning to it in an absolute pinch. It was a lecture at my kids school several years back when folks from Long Island Clean Water Partnership, Suffolk County Water Authority and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation came to town to talk about what I call liquid life.
My friend recently asked, “Who of all of our cronies has the best pantry?” Let me preface my answer by saying that the woman who asked knew that her's was not my top ranked larder (a running joke). I hesitantly answered as I have a general rule of thumb when I go to family and friends’ houses—to keep my mouth shut.
When working one on one with folks, an extensive initial evaluation is in order. I meet peeps in the comfort of their own home and we chat for roughly two hours. One of the first questions I ask, “What are your goals in working with me?” And nine out of ten times weight loss is numero uno on the list (whether someone needs to lose weight or not).
A few summers ago, my friend’s son David was selling lemonade for charity. I took my oldest boy Jack, then four, into town to contribute to the cause. Now I must preface this by saying that Jack has been in the kitchen with me since he was old enough to sit in a high chair and I have been talking to him about it as well—the good, the bad and the ugly (the rated PG version though).