All Posts In Chefs and Restaurants

The Chef’s Take: Vegetable Soup with Pesto from Jody Williams

by in Chefs and Restaurants, May 7, 2014

soup

At both branches of Buvette, Jody Williams’s restaurants in New York City and Paris, sumptuous small plates are served throughout the day from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. in cramped spaces that ooze French-country charm. In the morning, croissants and steamed eggs are on the menu, and at night, pâtés and French-leaning tapas appear.

Whatever the time of day, Williams has considered how to make every morsel served feel extra-special. “We cook with a certain sense of purity and emphasize whole, natural foods. I put a lot of thought into what’s coming into my restaurant and what’s going into my pots and pans,” she explains. “Certainly soupe au pistou,” says Williams of the classic vegetable soup with pesto, “is flush with health and nutrients.”

Read more

The Chef’s Take: Chicken Mole Verde from Tamer Hamawi

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 30, 2014

chicken mole

“It’s called mole verde oaxaqueno, and we love it because it’s probably the lightest, simplest and freshest of moles,” says Tamer Hamawi, owner of Gran Eléctrica, in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood.

In this recipe, Hamawi’s beloved mole cooks down with crisped chicken legs and a scattering of plump white beans. This particular mole hails from Oaxaca, in Southwestern Mexico, and possesses all the depth that darker mole poblano is known for, but, thankfully, fewer calories. “Mole poblano is what people generally associate with mole and it is typically thickened by nuts, seeds and raw bread. It’s also seasoned with lot of spices and chocolate,”  Hamawi says. “This one is about fresh.”

Read more

The Healthy Eats Q & A: Masaharu Morimoto

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 28, 2014

masaharu morimoto
Japanese-born Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto planned on becoming a baseball player. But luckily — at least  for the food world — a shoulder injury sidelined those plans and he switched careers. Today, he oversees a family of restaurants around the world, including New York City’s Morimoto. While true to his Japanese roots, Morimoto’s cooking fuses the best of both Eastern and Western gastronomy, with results that are as delicious as they are innovative. Here, he answers the Healthy Eats Q & A.

What health food trend would you like to see go away?
Anything that is too extreme. For example, low-carb versus no-carb. If you go for a no-carb diet, you cannot eat even healthy dishes like sushi. So, if you eat everything in moderation, including carbs, you can enjoy your favorite dishes without overdoing it.

Chia seeds: Love them or leave them?
I have not tried Chia seeds before, so I don’t know if I love them or want to leave them!

What shortcuts do you use when you’re cooking?
Using the microwave! There are many high-tech microwave these days, and you can adjust the cooking time and temperature easily. My wife often microwaves sweet potatoes for our dog, and I like to eat them too!

Read more

The Chef’s Take: Baby Artichoke and Scallion Saute from Deborah Madison

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 23, 2014

artichokes

“As far as I’m concerned, vegetables — plant foods in general — are good things to eat and we should eat more of them. That’s as far as we need to go,” says Deborah Madison, the founding chef of Greens, the trailblazing vegetarian restaurant that opened in San Francisco back in 1979. “I am flavor-focused, not nutrition-focused.”

Read more

The Chef’s Take: Seafood and Tomato Stew from John Finger and Ron Stainer

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 16, 2014

stew
“With fish especially, I really like people being able to taste all the ingredients without covering them up with sauces and lots of fats and calories,” says John Finger, the founding partner of Hog Island Oyster Co. who first earned his reputation in the food world as an oyster farmer. An unpretentious seafood restaurant, Hog Island Oyster Co. is built around a buzzing raw bar in the iconic Ferry Plaza Building in downtown San Francisco.

Read more

The Chef’s Take: Chicken and Tofu with Spring Vegetables from Anthony Martin

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 9, 2014

chicken and tofu
“I started working out seven years ago,” says Anthony Martin, the executive chef and partner at Tru in Chicago. “I wanted to make the health aspect of my life as important as my career. I’ve seen a lot of chefs not being healthy and I didn’t want that.”

For Martin, getting into shape meant eating three square meals a day — often high-protein and vegetable-heavy dishes without processed ingredients or sugar — and working out regularly, both with weights and in the boxing ring.

Read more

The Healthy Eats Q & A: Marcus Samuelsson

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 7, 2014

marcus samuelsson
Born in Ethiopia, adopted by a Swedish family and raised in Sweden, Marcus Samuelsson comes to cooking with a unique background. He credits his Swedish grandmother, Helga, with first introducing him to the joys of the kitchen. He spent childhood summers at her side learning to pickle fresh vegetables, make meatballs and other Swedish delicacies. But as an adult, he returned to his native Ethiopia and learned about the culture’s cuisine and intricate spices.

In 2010, when he opened his restaurant Red Rooster Harlem in New York City, he described the menu as “American comfort food with hints of my Swedish and African roots.” Here, the chef — who has also made appearances on Iron Chef and Chopped – opens up about what goes on in his own kitchen.

What are your favorite healthy foods?
My favorites are definitely anything fresh and raw. Fruits and vegetables I pick up from the farmers market in the morning after a run are ideal, and there’s this guy that sells the best peaches in the summer.

Read more

The Chef’s Take: Watercress, Cucumber and Feta Sandwiches, Frank Stitt

by in Chefs and Restaurants, April 2, 2014

sandwich

“I want to feel really good after I eat,” Frank Stitt says. “I have always tried to work in a way to concentrate flavor without adding lots of extra fat. I’ve always used vegetables — our Southern vegetables of the season — as a dominant player.”

Read more

The Chef’s Take: Greek-Style Grilled Fish and Potatoes, Michael Psilakis

by in Chefs and Restaurants, March 26, 2014

branzino

“The idea that farm to table is revolutionary is funny to me because it is something I grew up with,” says Michael Psilakis. “I remember my mom pulling up tomatoes from our garden and slicing them and serving them with sliced onions that she had chilled in ice water. She’d serve me this as a snack so I could go and cut the grass or play baseball,” he says. With an upbringing full of such offerings, it is easy to understand why Psilakis, a first generation Greek-American who was raised in Queens, New York, has distinguished himself as an early proponent of the Mediterranean diet.

Read more

The Healthy Eats Q & A: Chef Geoffrey Zakarian

by in Chefs and Restaurants, March 24, 2014

Geoffrey Zakarian

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.

Read more