For more than 30 years — starting with his first professional job at Le Cirque in 1982 — chef Geoffrey Zakarian has been cooking some of New York City’s finest food. He presides over the Modern American cuisine at The Lambs Club and The National, both in New York City, in addition to being a regular judge on Chopped and a co-host of The Kitchen. In 2011, he won the title of Iron Chef on the The Next Iron Chef. Here, he tackles some questions about his healthy eating habits.
What health food trend do you wish would go away?
Low-fat and fat-free. It robs the food of its flavor and richness. Just the eat the real thing, but eat less of it. I also hate the word “trend” when it comes to eating because health should be a daily lifestyle.
What must-have items are always in your kitchen?
Coconut water, Emmi yogurt, lots of mangoes and berries and canned Spanish tuna in olive oil. I use the tuna in salads and warm pasta dishes.
What are your favorite healthy foods?
I really think that anything can be treated in a healthy way. That being said, I love broccoli rabe, asparagus, quinoa and roasted root vegetables.
What’s your favorite vegetable?
It’s hard to say, but I do eat loads of ripe tomatoes.
What’s a dish that people think is bad for them but that can actually be made healthy?
What tool is most important in your kitchen?
What unhealthy vice can you not live without?
Sally Wadyka is a Boulder, Colorado-based journalist who writes about nutrition, health and wellness.
Photo by Ramsay de Give