We all know that losing weight is not an easy feat. With the holidays soon approaching, shedding excess weight becomes even harder. We are always bombarded with various diet plans, but it all boils down to making sustainable, informed choices. It’s all about creating perfect decisions, and there is no better choice than eating a healthy snack.
It is easier to say than to implement, right? When you are going out on a vacation or business meeting, you don’t always know what constitutes a healthy snack. That is why this article has come to your rescue! This article will provide excellent tips to help you prepare a slim and smart snack suitable for your weight loss needs. There are a series of crucial decisions you have to make when renovating your kitchen. No kitchen is considered to be complete without modern cooking appliances.
Choosing the right cooking appliances can be an uphill task, especially when you don’t know where to start. This article will help you select kitchen ovens, refrigerators, sink and dishwasher amongst other cooking appliances. If you want to learn more about the best cooking appliances, then visit https://yourcookingexpert.com for more details.
5 Simple Tips for Healthy Snacking
1. Match and Mix
Your diet is personal. Although we have general guidelines to follow, our eating habits are unique and not universal. Maybe you consume more fat in your breakfast than an average person. If that is the case, you need to include that in your afternoon snack. Your gut will probably react with something nutritious and delicious like walnuts. Making healthy snacks are as easy as limiting specific foods and combining them with other micronutrients. Snacking using a single food can be dangerous. Match and mix for healthy, smart snacks.
2. Reduce Simple Carbs
We all understand that sugar has adverse effects on our health. You might have already started to cut out sweets, candy, soda, etc., but many times we don’t remember those simple carbs can be dangerous. They behave like the normal sugars only that they are burned quickly by your body and won’t leave you satisfied for long.
Let’s take a typical example. A sandwich is a quick snack for many people. It contains a lot of lean proteins; it has a beautiful appearance when packed in a paper. One slice of bread contains 15 carbs, but it does not exceed the macros. White bread contains processed wheat, and that could probably be the source of those carbs. To avoid this problem, you can add some proteins in the salad, vinaigrette dressing and dark greens.
3. Have a Pre-vetted, Go-to Healthy Option
Sometimes making perfect snacking choices boils down to having healthy options in your hand. Preparing meals is a hard task for many people, but preparing snacks are a little bit easier. Adding something simple like carrots can make a significant difference in your snacking. If you require something healthier, there are various pre-vetted options such as Espresso Obsesso offers balanced macros in a simple package.
4. Remove Troublesome Ingredients
Sometimes pre packaged snacks help people to eat healthily, but certain ingredients blow them off. For instance, Trail mix is full of complex carbs, fruits and nuts, but they add something such as M&M to make it more enjoyable. But removing M&M from your snack could be the best option. If you want to reduce your sugar consumption, you need to keep off from those delicious morsels. That could help you save a lot of carbs and calories!
5. Begin with the Meals
A surefire way to make sure you over-snack is avoiding eating enough food during the previous meal. Snacks should be easy, quick and sufficient food to make it to the next meal. Therefore, if a snack in between your meals ensure that you consume enough food during your main dishes.
Snacking is hard. But this article aims to make it easier, by providing top-notch snacking tips that will help you prepare healthy snacks. If you follow the snacking tips outlined above, you will be able to suppress those midday hunger pangs effortlessly. This article has provided five simple tips for healthy snacking that readers wanted to know.
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As an Italian myself, I can say with the utmost certainty that Italians love their food. Each bit of cuisine is a combination of different flavors that blend together in harmony. There are Italian restaurants everywhere, but few make you feel like you’re inside grandma’s kitchen. You know a good Italian restaurant when those are the words that leave an Italian’s mouth. Between the sauces and spices, the pasta, the meats, there is something unique in every dish that would please even the harshest of food critics.
Journey to Italy?
You don’t need to take a trip to Italy to experience the art of true Italian cuisine. Some of the best Italian food can be found right here. The authenticity of these different dishes can take you on a journey. You may even feel like you’ve been transported straight to Italy.
1. Focaccia Bread
The Focaccia al Rosmarino, or rosemary focaccia bread, is a simple, Italian classic. This baked flatbread resembles pizza, without the sauce and cheese. It is flavored with delicious herbs and is delicious dipped in olive oil. If you aren’t a fan of tomatoes, this table favorite is an excellent choice.
You can never go wrong with the Burrata Pugliese. This lovely antipasti starter takes a few of the foods we love and combines them into a dish that will dazzle your taste buds. The burrata cheese is served with juicy cherry tomatoes, micro arugula, dried cranberries, and white balsamic dressing. This is a dish that pairs wonderfully with crispy Italian bread.
If you’re looking for the meat, lasagna has it. This take on a traditional lasagna dish combines homemade spinach pasta with a meat-based Bolognese sauce and béchamel, a white sauce derived from milk. The two sauces are combined between each layer of the pasta for an intricate blend of flavor. If you would like an additional flavor trip, try it with Parmigiano cheese.
Ravioli is a personal favorite, a very simple dish of pasta stuffed with cheese. However, the Ravioli alla Bergamasca takes the simple and intensifies it into a delicious blend of ricotta cheese, mild Italian sausage, fennel, and garlic. It is topped with a cherry tomato sauce and shaved Pecorino cheese. By this point, I’m sure you’re seeing a trend. We Italians love our cheeses.
Pizza is probably one of the most iconic Italian foods. Though Americanized, pizza was actually invented in Naples centuries ago, and it exists to this day. It is like the focaccia, a flatbread, though it is covered with a tomato base and mozzarella cheese. There are a variety of toppings that have been added to pizza over the years. Still, you cannot get anything more authentic than a Napoli pie.
With Italian dishes you get both quality and quantity from any chef. Why? Honestly, because we love food. It reminds us of home, and we would like to welcome you into it. So join us for an Italian journey and enjoy the food. Just make sure you’ve saved room for dessert!
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If your beer has gotten to a place where it's honestly pretty good, but not quite where you'd like it to be yet as far as flavor and quality, then you might want to consider looking for a wort chiller sooner than later. They can improve the quality of your beer by leaps and bounds quicker than you realize.
Wort chillers function to instantly chill your hot wort combination to yeast rising temperature, assisting to lessen oxidation & resulting in an excellent-tasting beer. This process additionally cuts down on the probability of bacterial development which can spoil even the most meticulously brewed beers.
However, deciding on the right one for you can be a daunting task especially when there are numerous types in the market. Here's what you should consider when shopping for one of your own.
1. Only Buy Wort Chillers From Top And Trusted Brands
When it comes to items like wort chillers, it really pays off to go with trusted brands that have built solid reputations for providing quality at affordable prices that won't break the bank. For instance, there are companies which have been producing the very best counterflow wort chillers money can buy for years and years, so you really can't go wrong with them.
Don't forget to pay attention to consumer reviews as well, especially in regards to individual models! Researching what other homebrewers did and didn't like about a particular item will help you determine what's right for you better than any sales pitch or advertisement ever could.
2. The Type of Chiller Best For Your Needs
Wort chillers come in two basic types:
Both types get the job down and get it done well, but you may find that one fits more easily into your personal routine than the other does. Immersion chillers are simple, cheaper, and easier to clean and sanitize. On the other hand, counterflow chillers work better at minimizing the amount of time the wort spends in the temperature "danger zone" when it's more susceptible to infection. They also get the job done more quickly than the immersion type.
Some homebrewers like to start with an immersion style wort chiller because of budgetary concerns and because of the ease of use and then upgrade to counterflow chillers later on down the line. However, you may decide that counter-flow is the better option for you right off the bat.
3. Compare Prices Online Before You Make A Purchase
While it's possible to locate used wort chillers for excellent prices, you can just as easily buy new ones if you check out what's available online. Online equipment suppliers don't have to pay for expensive overhead costs the way brick and mortar shops do, so they're free to pass the savings on to the consumer.
In conclusion, when you know what to look for in advance, even shopping for complicated items like wort chillers becomes a simple process, so don't let the newness of the concept intimidate you! They represent the perfect opportunity to send the quality of your homebrew into the stratosphere and your only complaint will be that you didn't have yours a lot sooner!
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Rice is the oldest known food and is still widely consumed today. It is the primary staple food of more than half the world’s population -- more than 3 billion people.
Genetic studies conducted in 2001 revealed that all forms of Asian rice, sprang from a single farming region that occurred 8,200–13,500 years ago in the Pearl River valley region of Ancient China.
From there, rice spread to farms in South and Southeast Asia and was introduced to Europe through Western Asia, and to the Americas through European colonization. To this day, rice is grown anywhere there is water much like is has been grown in Asia on flooded terraces adjacent to wetlands and riparian zones.
Rice is Life
In many cultures, rice is a symbol for life and fertility, which is how throwing rice at weddings became a global tradition.
In India, rice is associated with prosperity and with the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi.
In numerous countries, the word rice is interchangeable with the word food.
In China rather than asking “How are you?” people will say “Have you had your rice today?” to which one is expected to say “Yes, of course”.
Chinese architects during Ming dynasty (1300-1600) used rice in the walls of the city of Nanjing to add strength and stability to the cement.
The name for the Toyota automobile company translates as “Bountiful Rice Field” and is associated with luck and fortune. The Japanese brand, Honda, translates to “The Main Rice Field”.
Rice is Important Everywhere
Today, rice provides 20% of the world’s dietary energy supply, while wheat supplies 19% and maize (corn) 5%. In many countries, particularly in Asia, rice accounts for more than 70% of the calories people take in.
The average American consumes 25 pounds of rice per year, four of which come from beer. Asians eat as much as 300 pounds of rice annually, while individuals in the United Arab Emirates consume about 450 pounds.
While rice is classified into short, medium and long grained, there are more than 40,000 varieties of rice that are grown on every continent except on Antarctica.
Nearly 85% of the rice consumed in the United States is grown on small family farms across the six rice-producing states: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. A barrel of rice weighing about 170 pounds, sells for $17 in Mississippi, which is down from $18 last year. Half of the rice produced in the U.S. is exported, and American farmers seek greater access to foreign markets where rice prices have been rising. In the Philippines, prices are at an all-time high, and government leaders are scrambling to stabilize the markets. The farmers are doing really well, but the high prices hurt poor families.
Rice and Nutrition
Rice is a complex carbohydrate, that also contains protein and many important vitamins and nutrients that are needed to maintain a healthy, balanced diet:
• Rice as a complex carbohydrate, an important source of fuel for our bodies. Simple carbohydrates—like those found in white bread—digest quickly and provide a short burst of energy. But complex carbohydrates provide a more even, steady source of energy.
• Rice is low in calories and is a good source of protein. It contains the eight essential amino acids, which help the body break down food, repair body tissue, and perform many other key functions.
• Rice is loaded with vitamins and nutrients. It contains thiamin, niacin, phosphorous, iron, potassium, and folic acid.
• Rice is one of the few foods that are non-allergenic, has no sodium or cholesterol and barely any fat. Unlike most carbohydrates, rice is naturally gluten free.
• Brown, wild, or basmati rice are healthy choices for diabetics. They have a lower glycemic index than most other carbohydrates, are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized, causing a lower and slower rise in blood glucose levels. Harvard researchers have found that Americans who eat two or more servings of brown rice a week reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 10 percent, compared to those who eat it less than once a month.
Rice—It’s Not Just for Dinner
Cooking isn’t the only way to use rice. It’s also great for craft projects, decorating, and household chores. Try these 10 creative uses for rice:
1. Make a heat or ice compress.
Need to put heat on a sore neck or aching back? How about an ice pack to relieve swelling or help soothe a headache? Simply put a few cups of uncooked rice in a sock, and either heat it in the microwave or put it in the freezer. When microwaving, start with 1.5 minutes. If it’s not hot enough, add more time in 30 second intervals.
2. Dry water out of electronics.
If you’ve dropped your cellphone in the toilet or spilled water on your iPad, rice can be a lifesaver. Fill a bowl or Ziploc bag with rice, place your device inside, and let it sit overnight. The rice will slowly absorb the water and often leave it good as new. (Sadly, this might not work if you’ve spilled soda, juice, or other sugary beverages on a device.)
3. Decorate with it.
Looking for a creative way to hold silk flowers in place inside a vase? Instead of Styrofoam or glass marbles, fill the bottom of the vase with rice. Add a pop of color by dying the rice with food coloring first. This is also a great way to liven up clear candle holders. Make layers of multicolored rice, and place a tea light candle on top.
4. Keep your salt shaker unclogged.
Prevent salt from clumping in the shaker by putting a few grains of rice on the bottom before filling it up. The rice absorbs any moisture and keeps salt flowing freely.
5. Help fruit ripen.
Tired of waiting on produce to ripen? Place it in a paper bag with ½ cup of uncooked rice. By absorbing moisture, rice will help speed up the ripening process so your fruit is ready to enjoy sooner.
6. Clean your coffee grinder.
For coffee lovers who prefer freshly ground beans, a burr grinder is a must-have kitchen accessory. But after many uses, these appliances end up covered with an oily residue that looks dirty and can make coffee taste bad. For a cheap and easy way to clean it, grind ¼ cup of rice for about a minute. The oils and leftover coffee should cling to the rice residue. Dump this out and wipe the grinder with a damp paper towel.
7. Clean coffee pots and glass vases.
To remove residue and stains from glass coffee pots and vases, add a few tablespoons of rice to hot water and liquid soap, then shake and swirl until it’s clean. The abrasiveness of the rice helps to remove tough stains.
8. Sharpen the blades on your blender.
If blender blades are getting dull or rusty, correct the problem by the pouring ½ cup of rice into the blender and running it for a couple minutes. (Don’t forget to put the lid on first.)
9. Make rice glue.
A popular art supply in Japan, rice glue dries hard and is nearly transparent, making it ideal for paper crafts. You can buy it pre-made or make your own at home. You’ll need one cup of rice (preferably a sticky variety like sushi rice or basmati) and three to four cups of water. Combine these ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until it begins to look like oatmeal. If it’s not the right consistency, add more water and keep boiling. Remove from heat and let it cool. Then push the mixture through a sieve to remove any larger pieces. (You can also put it in the blender.) Pour into a jar and refrigerate between uses.
10. Make noise makers for kids.
Put uncooked rice in a closed container, such as a cup with lid, plastic egg, old pill bottle, or two paper plates that have been glued together. Then send them outside to make music!
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The month of Sept is always a hectic time of year as it's summer's last hurrah, NYFW kicks off Fashion Month, football season begins and fall is embraced with it's transitional style and food festivities! As we finished our final show of NYFW SS19, we found ourselves enjoying Eataly's Chef Series, which is a collaboration of chefs including Chef Daniel Boulud, Chef Marc Forgione just to name a few, with Manzo's Chef Adam Hill. We took some time to talk to Chef Adam to find out about how he got into the industry, his work at Eataly's open kitchen Manzo, sourcing and sustainability and of course the Chef Collaborations.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us when you knew that you wanted to be a chef.
CHEF ADAM HILL: Believe it or not, probably when I was 10 years old. I started watching this show and it was before Food Network. There was a show called Great Chefs of the USA and The World. It was a very dry show and was not at all created for a 10 year old. It wasn’t like Emeril Live and didn’t have any kind of flash to it. I remember one day in particular that my dad went out for a business meeting and he came back a little over an hour later and I was still sitting in front of the TV fascinated by it! I started cooking dinner for my family at the age of 10 or 11. My mom took a job at night and even though I was the youngest in the family, I started cooking for my 2 older brothers, my mom and my dad. From there, I just fell in love with it. I started reading cookbooks at the age of 11 or 12. It got me at a young age!
AM: That’s a huge part of your culinary journey! Where else did you go and where did you train prior to coming to Eataly?
CHEF AH: I started my Lucibello’s in West Haven, CT. I started working there at the age of 16 as a dishwasher and prep cook. I worked there for about 2.5 years while I was still in high school. I ended up working my way up to prep cook full time. From there, I did some line experience also and working the hotline – starting at a young age. I also worked at a Country Club called The Stanwich Club in Greenwich, CT and I was at The Culinary Institute of America at the Rec Center – a student run restaurant called, The Courtside Café. It was simple things for students like burgers, fries, chicken fingers and cheesesteaks. It’s things that students want to eat when it’s not part of the curriculum. Even with that, after working there a couple of months, I became Student Manager – it was a good learning experience because at the CIA every 3 weeks, you have a new class. So you might be PM for 3 weeks and then in 3 weeks you might be learning Breakfast Class which starts at midnight but ends at 8am or 9am. So every 3 weeks, our staffing would change at Courtside so I got very good at teaching people because your staff may change.
Sometimes you go from having 15 available cooks to 10 and you have to figure out how to make it work with the schedule. Maybe someone has never worked a set station and you have to teach them how to do it and to pick it up as quickly as possible. That definitely helps. When I graduated from CIA, I worked at Chipotle for 6 months and I wanted to learn how they ran their business, how they did their ordering and their overall philosophy. It was also a great experience. My whole plan was to work there as that would be the job that would pay the bills and then train at other kitchens when I had free time. But once I became a manager, they said I couldn’t do that because I needed to have open availability and if I was trailing someone when I had a day off and they needed to call me in if someone couldn’t make it – it would be a problem.
Around that same time, Eataly opened and I started working at the Flatiron location when it opened 8 years ago. I started working at Il Pesce as a line cook and became a sous chef there and then I wanted to do something new, and then about a year and a half/2 years later, I came to Manzo as a line cook and worked my way through the stations. After 2 years, I became sous chef and after about 2 years I became the chef here for 3 years. So I have been at Eataly ever since it has opened and I have been able to stay here so long because there is always something new here, a new challenge to learn and everyday, everyweek there is something new and different going on. It’s great to run your own restaurant while fitting in with the Eataly structure.
AM: What’s an average day like for you at Manzo?
CHEF AH: I don’t know if there is ever an average day especially in the restaurant business and especially at Eataly.
On average, I come in and check in with the sous chef to make sure that we’re on the same page as far as running the specials, double checking with what the line cooks are doing, always walking around and talking with everyone tasting everything to make sure it tastes right before we go into lunch or dinner service. Talking with the General Manager to make sure we’re on the same page in terms of specials and changes to the menu. As we go into service making sure that we are expediting service and that food comes together at the same time. Making sure it’s right before it goes out. As we are getting through service, making sure that we are cleaning up and that everyone is taking their breaks.
The best way to explain the difference between being a cook and a chef is that a cook is a player on the team, but when you are the chef, you have to be the coach and it’s hard for some people to make that adjustment because when you’re the chef, it’s no longer about being the best player, it’s about making sure that your players are doing the best that they can and that your cooks are as well prepared as they can be. Making sure that as a chef, we’re always teaching and always having people think about the next step and training the person behind them to make sure that they are getting ready for a new station. For example, today walking kind of slow so that the person who is on salad station is learning on veg station and maybe the person on veg station learns how to grill meat and the person on meat station begins to learn on pasta. Some of the more advanced people can do the chef thing. It’s all about teaching and making sure that the cooks know that it’s not just a job to them, but that they are learning as much as they can while they are here. In this business, when people aren’t learning, they will put in a year on their resume and they will go elsewhere. The more that you can keep them invested and buying in, it keeps them engaged and hopefully you have a good succession plan so that you have a full circle of training happening.
AM: We truly enjoyed attending a recent Chef Collaborations dinner at Eataly where the menu was created by you and Chef Gabriel Kreuther. What is the purpose of the chefs series that took place there and how did it mold the menu as you partnered with different chefs through this series?
CHEF AH: We had this idea about a year ago as we had done a renovation of Manzo’s dining room. The kitchen is now in the dining room and it was an idea to help cross promote Manzo as well as the guest chefs, with some of the proceeds going to charity. It was a great opportunity for our guest chefs as well as for me to work with them to learn different styles of cooking.
The style of food and chefs definitely brings a different flavor each time. We recently changed the format because when we first did it we had the guest chef’s dish and a dish from Manzo’s menu, but as we continued through the series in the next round – we changed it to be a 4 course menu. So it was a dish of ours, either on the menu or off, a dish from the guest chef, the main course was a collaboration between the 2 chefs and then having the dessert course. This way was much better for the series to run for example at the dinner you attended, Chef Kreuther and I had a great overlap as he is from Alsace and there is some overlap with Alsace cooking and Italian cooking. One of my favorite things on the menu is Testa (it translates to Head Cheese in English, but it’s Pig Head) and I wanted to showcase this as it’s about responsible sourcing and eating sustainably and sometimes using just the pork chop or just the pork tenderloin – everytime an animal dies – the whole animal should be used. To utilize pigs head, it goes along with that ethos. If an animal is going to lose its life, no part of the animal should go to waste. That’s a big part of Alsatian cooking and Italian cooking. For the first course, I wanted to do a mix of Alsatian style and Italian style so the Testa was already Italian and Italian cooking uses a lot of sweet and sour components, which is also true for Alsatian cooking with the German influence. So I wanted to do the sweet and sour cherries and then for the main course, it was a similar idea. We wanted to a trio of pork – the braised pork is kind of Alsatian by braising it in beer which is also common in Northern Italian cooking. The polenta and green tomato sauce was a little sweet and a little sour. When you ate it, it didn’t feel forced there was enough of an overlap between the Alsatian and Italian cooking that it comes together naturally. That’s what those dishes should feel like and if you do a little digging into it – it makes sense historically and the customer finds it enjoyable, accurate and traditional.
AM: What was it like for you to create and work with these chefs throughout this series?
CHEF AH: There have been different challenges. It’s interesting to see the chef’s different styles and influences. Like, Chef Marc Forgione’s influence was a late night French Dip, but deconstructed so there was a carpaccio of dry aged rib eye and there was an au jus component – there was a horseradish sour cream component to it and it still felt natural together. But when you heard the story behind it, it was like cool that makes sense. Culinary-wise there is always a different technique, so there was a dish with Chef Daniel Boulud that was made with clams and andoulie which was very popular. We did a pork belly with kimchi that was pretty successful – so it was interesting to see the techniques and sometimes when we would get the recipes, they were more informal, where others were more precise down to the gram. Overall, it has been fun to learn about the chef’s history, their inspiration for the dish and their style of cooking. In every one, there has been a different learning experience.
AM: For you dishes that you created, how did you go about deciding what it was going to be and what ingredients that you would be using? Do most of them come from Eataly that can be purchased there?
CHEF AH: For the most part, yeah! I would say that when I do a dish, you can purchase the products here at Eataly, but it also depends on the flow of the guest menu that the chef wants to do. If they want to do an antipasta, then maybe we do a pasta. If they want to do a pasta, then it doesn’t make sense for us to do a pasta for the four course tasting, so we will try to do an antipasta. The collaboration is always the main course and it’s about finding that balance and that the flow of the menu is natural.
For this month, the whole menu had a country feel to it. Chef Kreuther’s dish had the apple cider braised rabbit with saffron butter, so we liked this idea of refined rustic cooking, and I love Testa so I thought that would work and he loved it too. So we agreed on this dish which flowed well with the rabbit and then for the main course, pork 3 ways was simple and elegant and continued the sweet sour play.
When we did the collaboration with Chef Akshay Bhardwaj from Junoon it was very natural. We tried to incorporate some thing that were very common in Indian cooking and in Italian
cooking. Naturally, you wouldn’t think that they would go together, but we did a Saffron Risotto with yellow lentils and lamb cooked two ways and this was really successful and I liked the dish a lot. It was because the lamb that we did, one part of it was Sicilian style and the other way was an Indian style where we had marsala and chili peppers and a lot of depth of flavor. We had Sicilian style lamb belly was cooked with garlic and herbs. The risotto was obviously Italian, but with the saffron in there it had the Indian approach along with the yellow lentils. When you ate it all together, it didn’t feel forced, you just loved the taste
playing well together.
AM: Although this series has come to an end, will there be another?
CHEF AH: I’m not sure. I mean, I know that the rest of the year maybe not, but perhaps next year. I know there is an Eataly launching in Las Vegas so maybe this is something that we could do there. It will be a new concept in Las Vegas so maybe getting people to be aware of this location, they can bring in other chefs that are established in Las Vegas through this series. Overall, we loved the concept and I think that going into the end of the year, we will be more focused on truffles and getting our menu ready for the winter.
AM: How many times a year does the menu change at Manzo?
CHEF AH: Constantly ha! It’s an organic thing. You change the menu based on seasonality, availability, for example we recently took off summer squash because it’s fall and even though it’s a bit early to put winter squash on the menu, we can’t call out to summer squash because it’s not summer. Tomato season is winding down so even though we love selling heirloom tomatoes and caprese, we can’t run it all year and it’s not true to the Italian cooking philosophy.
Somethings that are on the menu are mainstays and they don’t change too much like some of the steaks we have – it doesn’t go out of season. But it’s the garnishes that might change and as we go into the winter, we want to make our menu more comfort friendly, so tomato based pastas aren’t so friendly with truffles so we do more butter and cheese sauces because it goes great with truffles. Just keeping the menu flexible for things like that is key.
AM: What are your favorite dishes that you like to create at Manzo?
CHEF AH: Well that’s a tough question! I like doing something that is traditional but a little bit different. A good example of this is the lamb shank that’s on the menu right now. In the spring
time in Italy, much like we do a barbeque here in the US with a whole roasted pig on a spit, they will do lamb in the same way over an open fire. You eat it as soon as it comes off the fire.
You dig into it when it is so hot that it burns your fingers and it’s so hot, but you eat it any way because it is so delicious. The dish translates to “lamb that burns your fingers” – we do a version of that, but it’s not the whole lamb because we’re not going to sell a whole lamb. So we do lamb shanks and it’s marinated with white wine and olive oil, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest and a little anchovy. These are all traditional flavors and we slow cook the lamb for 24 hours and then we cool it down. When the customer orders it, we coat it with salt and sugar and we roast it so it gets crispy on the outside and when you cut into it, it’s crunchy and juicy
and falls off the bone. When you dig into it, it burns the roof of your mouth or your fingertips and it pays homage to the original. There's a story to it and it’s kind of modernized in a way that makes it appropriate to sell into a restaurant. You might sell 10 a day or 2, but if you cooked a whole lamb everyday, that wouldn’t be sustainable.
AM: That sounds really good – we’ll have to try it!
CHEF AH: Well you should come in soon as we’ll be taking it off of the menu soon as it is more of a spring or summer dish.
AM: Oh no!
CHEF AH: Realistically, we probably could change the garnish on it to make it feel more wintery, but the overall story of eating lamb in the spring or the summer time outside in the piazza where people gather around – is just like having a suckling pig for a barbeque – you think of it as more of a summery thing.
AM: Are you constantly thinking of different dishes and coordinating with the sommelier as well as your pastry chef?
CHEF AH: Yeah usually for pastry, there is some sort of collaboration between the party chef and myself, but I try to leave Chef Rebecca to have more creative freedom there and just make sure that it is something that we can execute consistently. As far as coming up with a new menu, we work with Central Kitchen. It’s like a group of chefs that oversee all restaurants at Eataly. I’m the Chef at Manzo, but then there are a team of 5 chefs at Central Kitchen which oversees all the restaurants as another set of eyes. If we weren’t all under one roof like Chef Wolfgang Puck who has 10 restaurants, Wolfgang isn’t in every restaurant every day, but he has a trusted team of people he meets with I’m sure that make sure things are going to plan, food costs are looked after and that the menu makes sense. The same can be applied here with our Central Kitchen, as they are not in everyday but they are making sure things are ok.
AM: How do you define your cooking style and how does that marry with the ethos of Eataly?
CHEF AH: That’s a good question. I like simple food that is well prepared. I like making something that is the best version of something that you have had before. Like, finding what it is that people don’t like about food or something that they could potentially like. A lot of people say that they don’t like mushrooms and when I was younger, I had a lot of bad mushroom – just thrown on pizzas with no seasoning and they got squishy and it’s a texture thing that grosses people out. I love mushrooms now and what changes them is when you get them a little crispy and mix them with a little garlic and butter and thyme. There are only 3 or 4 ingredients but it makes a lot of difference. Eggplant is another one if you eat it and there isn’t enough salt and you roast it – again, it’s a texture thing. If you get it a little bit crispy and roast it in a really hot oven, a good amount of garlic and oregano – people will eat it and the hugest compliment to me is when people tell me that they don’t even like eggplant but they ask me what I put in it to make it taste so good. I like to keep it simple as you don’t need to throw the kitchen sink on eggplant but if you find the right flavors to highlight it and to make sure the texture is correct – people can change their minds about it.
At home, I would say that I don’t cook strictly Italian. I cook some different things. The other day, I was kind of sick so I made some noodles with a lot of garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce – because when I’m sick I want to eat a lot of garlic which is good for your immune system. That’s not traditional anything – just ingredients that I like to cook with. My style is very simple and focuses on seasonality and it matches up with Eataly because our whole style of cooking is about paying respect to the traditions of Italian cooking.
AM: When you’re not cooking, how do you take time for yourself?
CHEF AH: I like watching football a lot and now that it’s football season, I’m very happy! I’m a Steelers fan. I like to go out with friends and it’s tough in the restaurant business as we don’t all have the same time off. Usually, when we get out of work at midnight, we’ve been cooking all day so we want to eat now because we haven’t all day. Sometimes we’ll go out for late night drinks and to grab a bite and since we're close to Koreatown, we go there as it’s open super late. A lot of people who don’t work in the industry are surprised that when we get out of work we don’t want to cook fancy food, we want comfort food. Like a pot of rice and bulgogi is great. Different kimchis and vegetables that are just stripped down and it’s not messed with too much. You want to be full and happy. I love Bonchon late night with their fried chicken wings. We try to go out once a week to go to the bars which turns into going to Koreatown for some Hot Pot or Korean barbeque. Late night tacos are a go to for me as I love Mexican food.
If I have a day off, I’m just doing laundry and relaxing. I’ll clean the house and if it’s on Sunday, then I am going to be a lazy couch potato and watch football!
PHOTO COURTESY | Eataly Flatiron
Sake (pronounced SAH-kay not SAH-kee) fans rejoice, we sat down with Benihana Inc.'s Senior Director of Beverage, Alfredo Martinez to find out about RA Sushi, World Sake Day, how this rice wine is brewed and a few misconceptions about this beverage in this month's Something You Should know!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us about RA Sushi, which we know is under Benihana Inc, the parent company to RA Sushi, Haru and of course, Benihana. Also tell us who you are and what you do at RA Sushi.
ALFREDO MARTINEZ: I’m the Senior Director of Beverage for all of the 3 brands that you mentioned as well as Samurai which is a concept here in Miami. We’re very lucky to have various brands. Benihana which everybody knows – we cook in front of you. RA Sushi, is the wild child. We are high energy, vibrant environment that is built on a strong happy hour with very innovative sushi. If you ever have a chance to go, we will be very happy to take care of you. It just so happens that during October, we will celebrate Nihonshu No Hi or World Sake Day and it’s just a world wide celebration day of Japanese food and culture. We’re thrilled to share a little bit of that which starts on Oct 1st and we will have specials such as $1 hot sake, Spiked Sushi Roll which is a brand new roll that we have where the tuna is marinated in sake and there is a sake pairing with it. We’re thrilled for people to try it.
AM: For those that aren’t familiar what is the process of making sake, are there varietals and in making it – is more like a wine or a beer?
AM: That’s a great question. The misconception comes when people call it a rice wine but it is actually brewed more like a beer. Since that is the case, it means that it is going to have some
of the elements of beer making. The important things to remember about sake is that there are only 4 ingredients various varieties that you can choose from), water – which is very important so the sake depending on where it is brewed in the North of Japan or the South of Japan you’ll have different qualities of water which are all amazing – but one may be a little bit more heavier, softer or sweeter depending on water content and it will have a big impact on what sake will taste like. Then you will have different kinds of yeast, which the makers will have to select the right kind to go with the rice that they are using, and koji – a special Japanese mold that will help with the brewing process and the fermentation process. Sake is the only beverage in the world that goes through a complex fermentation, but most importantly it’s sulphate free, gluten free as well. The craft and mastery of the sake creations are what we try to showcase at the restaurant to have a varied assortment for our guests to try that come from all over Japan as well as the US.
AM: Is there sake production in the US?
AM: Absolutely, you have breweries that are popping up everywhere. You have some very established ones in California and Oregon. Now we’re also seeing some are popping up in Minnesota, Tennessee and Texas. There is a lot of interest in learning more about this very special beverage because it is very versatile with food. That’s another misconception that you should only drink sake with Japanese food. It goes well with things such as steak, cheese, even dessert! There is a sparkling sake that we have at RA Sushi that we actually create mixology with that, but also as a great way to just finish your meal.
AM: What are some of the sake drinking traditions and what do you guys have going on at RA Sushi for World Sake Day?
AM: What we try to do with the celebration is to train our servers and to share with people this experience. On Oct 1st, we have Sushi 101 Classes where people can come in to learn not only how to make sushi, sushi rice, how to pair it together, but also we pair it with sake. We also include traditions. For example, if I am sitting with you, it’s never appropriate for you to serve yourself sake. I would serve you as it’s important to embrace hospitality and that’s what we do in our restaurants. The other thing is that sake is used at various ceremonies and rituals like weddings, sumo matches, etc. When we open a new restaurant, we will break a new cask of sake to celebrate the fact that we have just launched a new property.
AM: Should it be enjoyed hot or cold and are there certain sakes that should only be consumed one way?
AM: Another good point! We have been used to drinking it hot, but it’s another misconception that it should be enjoyed this way as it’s best slightly chilled or room temperature. It depends on the type of sake. The best type of sake in my opinion to warm is the fuller body or Junmai. When it’s warmed to the perfect temperature it becomes a little sweeter and softer. The more delicate sake should be enjoyed chilled because you are eating lighter types of food with it. That would be my recommendation.
AM: You talked a little about this earlier but how is the Spiked Sushi Roll made?
AM: The culinary and beverage teams put our heads together and tried to think about how the best way to celebrate sake month in Oct could be. Our chefs came up with a sushi roll where the tuna is marinated in sake and its rolled with seaweed and rice and we top it with two kinds of tuna, white and red. We then pair it with a Nigori sake which has been infused with cucumber. So of course, when you're ordering this sushi, we are going to card you – so bring your ID! You’ll also experience the rich flavors of Nigori sake with the tuna.
AM: How is it celebrated in Japan?
AM: Well basically, it’s more of a cultural celebration. This event really marks the start of the brewing season of sake. There are a number of small celebrations in the houses because people are saying goodbye to their loved ones before they go to the breweries to produce this beverage for days in a row. They have to be there everyday.
AM: So how long is the brewing season?
AM: It can go anywhere from 4 weeks to 8 weeks and then there is an aging period. So all together, it’s 6 months for it to be brewed. It's meant to be drank within a year. For our restaurants, that's why there is such a big dynamic in how we change our menus. It’s a great opportunity to try different styles because they are all going to be a little different.
AM: How do you toast someone or say cheers on World Sake Day?
AM: When you come to our restaurants, we have a lot of things going on during the whole month of Oct! But when you are with a group of friends, you just raise your glass and say kanpai! That’s the traditional way to say it in Japan.
IG @RA Sushi
Read more from the Sep Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Something You Should Know | Get Ready for World Sake Day in mag.
A few weeks ago, we met Chef Seamus Mullen at the Olive Oils from Spain where he kicked off the Olive Oil World Tour. Known for Spanish cooking and his love of olive oil, we talked with this restaurateur of Whirlybird + Greens and El Colmado and author of Real Food Heals. He shared why olive oil is so important to him, being a fitness enthusiast and his commitment to giving back via Chefs Cycle to ensure that he fights child hunger.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about how you got into cooking and decided this was a field that you wanted to work in.
CHEF SEAMUS MULLEN: Growing up on a farm I was always around really good ingredients, in fact both of my grandmothers were excellent cooks and I started cooking at a really young age with them. When I got into high school and needed a Summer job to earn money, I started working in a pizzeria and that was really the beginning of being around food for me professionally. After college, I threw myself into professional cooking and I’ve been doing it ever since.
AM: We love olive oil - tell us about how you embraced it from a cooking perspective?
CSM: Olive oil was something that we always had in the house, growing up, but we only used it for vinaigrettes. When I was 17 I went to Spain for a year abroad and lived with a Spanish family that was totally food-obsessed. Being in the kitchen with my host mother really turned me on to how fundamentally important olive oil is to Spanish cuisine and I totally fell in love.
AM: How did you connect with Olive Oils from Spain?
CSM: I’ve spent a fair amount of my career in Spain and I think it would be fair to say that Olive oil is really the foundation of Spanish cuisine. My early love for the olive oils of Spain has stayed with me throughout my career and I really can’t imagine cooking without it.
AM: What are the benefits of utilizing olive oil for health reasons?
CSM: There are so many health benefits of cooking with olive oil, from its anti-oxidant properties, to its naturally anti-inflammatory qualities, it’s a fundamental ingredient in the healthy kitchen. As an oil that is high in monounsaturated fat, olive oil helps the body produce healthy cholesterol. And most importantly, it’s incredibly delicious!
AM: Tell us about your restaurant in NYC and what are some of your favorite dishes that are perfect for the summer.
CSM: Summer in NYC is all about the produce. We get some remarkable fruits and vegetables this time of year. Lately I’ve really been into a very simple salad of sliced peaches with herbs, fresh ricotta cheese, a sprinkle of sea salt and a healthy dose of extra virgin olive oil from Spain.
AM: We have done various interviews with Chefs Cycle and know that you participated in this - how important is it for you to be involved in philanthropic/wellness events of this nature?
CSM: I think it’s really important to give back. As a chef, our job is to feed people and with 1 in 3 kids facing food insecurity in the US I feel compelled to work to fix what is a solvable problem. It also has the added benefit of getting chefs out and moving and healthier!
AM: What is it about cycling that you enjoy and what other workouts do you enjoy doing in addition to this?
CSM: Cycling has been a part of my life for a really long time and there’s so much I love about it. First and foremost, riding a bike is fun! It’s also a great way to get around, in fact I go pretty much every where in the city by bicycle. If I’m riding my mountain bike, it’s my meditation, I’m focused just on the moment, taking the woods, the trees, the outdoors. On the road bike it tends to be a bit more social, riding with friends, taking a break from the hectic pace of the city. And, of course, it’s the best way to see another country! I love cycling in Europe, riding through vineyards and olive orchards.
AM: If we were planning a culinary trip to Spain - where are 3 regions that we should go to and where/what should we eat?
CSM: I would definitely go to Catalunya, and not just Barcelona, but check out La Costa Brava, some of the most beautiful coastline in the world and delicious, delicious food.
Then head up into the Pyrenees for a completely different experience, it’s very alpine, the mountains are gorgeous and the food is hearty and delicious. And then I’d head down to the coast and take a trip west. Skip the Basque Country (because everyone knows how great the food is there) and head to Galicia for the best seafood in all of Spain.
AM: You made a simple dressing that was olive oil based, can you share this recipe with us?
CSM: I always make my dressings in this ration: 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 Olive oil. For this vinaigrette I whisked together 1/3 cup of sherry or red wine vinegar with the juice and zest of 1 lemon. Added a drizzle of honey, 1 clove of garlic grated on a micro plane, some sea salt and pepper. Then drizzle in 2/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain and you’ve got a delicious vinaigrette that is perfect on a simple salad or drizzled over some grilled vegetables.
If you're a BRAVO viewer, you're aware of Below Deck, their franchise that focuses on yachting and what takes place on luxury boats, from the craziness of the staff to those who book their trips. The show has a number of crew members and the chef is always a highlight worth noting from keeping up with guests' demands, transforming meals and keeping the crew balanced while they preside over their domain in the galley. We hung out with Chef Adam Glick of Below Deck Mediterranean to find out about how he got into yachting, what it means to be an Adventure Chef and what's next for him with his partnership with Jazz Apples.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We have a number of questions as our readers are avid fans of the show. But first, can you tell us about your style of cooking as we have seen you as a yachting chef.
CHEF ADAM GLICK: I believe in a cooking style that is very simple and not over doing it. I’m not a big fan of over doing food. A lot of chefs kind of push the limit too far. I just don’t think that it’s good to do. I call myself an Adventure Chef. I believe in a rustic style of cooking that is the exact opposite of a yachting chef.
I want to live my life in a way that I am passionate about. I believe that it is inherent in our DNA to want to eat outdoors and to eat food that is cooked over a fire. We are the only species that have the ability to do that on the planet!
When you go to any other country and eat street food, which is 99.9% of what the world eats, it's not about sitting in a restaurant. It's about getting a stick, meat and fire! In all my travels that was when I was the most satisfied. When I'm in Hawaii, I grab a pineapple and chicken and I'm so pumped! I have the chills now because there is something about just talking and enjoying simple food! I don't want to have to have a team of employees to plate a dish and I want to take a stand for this style of cooking. I am convinced that there is a client for me in the way that I want to present my food.
AM: From the show, we would have never expected that. Can you go back and tell us how you got into yachting?
CAG: I was cooking in San Diego at a restaurant at a nice hotel and I was peeling a bag of 50 pound onions and got an email that said, "Hey Adam do you want to cook on a boat?" I quit my job that day. I put the onions down, walked to the chef and said I was done. I was 21, I interviewed and got the job and I have been on a boat ever since and have never looked back.
AM: With your years on the yacht, how did you get onto Below Deck Mediterranean?
CAG: During my 20’s it was the peak of yachting for me. I did get kicked around and beat up a bit, but the end of my 20's I was fired up. It was a Russian Charter that I was on that drove me - a grown ass man to the top of the deck crying as I hated my job. I kid you not, but the same way I got the yachting job initially is how the production crew of the show reached out to me. They had called me 2 years in a row and I turned them down because I didn't want to ruin my career. But on that day with everything going on and knowing that this was going to be the last time that they would call me, I said yes.
I don't yacht like I used to in terms of jobs. I may do 6 weeks a year. I have a few calls from time to time asking me to come back and right now it's about being the Adventure Chef and of course coming to Below Deck which is a different yachting experience.
AM: As someone working on the Below Deck Mediterranean cast, what is that like?
CAG: It's very different than traditional yachting. We sign our lives away for 45 days straight - that's 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and knowing that a camera is always there!
My role on the show is to show how I am able to adjust when the guests change their minds with food choices and how to interact with the rest of the crew. I learned to just keep my head down and make great food confidently that I can be proud of! I'm not the captain and I can't say no. I also know since I have been on for a few seasons, that the production team can be interesting and they can put together whole sentences that you never said and literally, put words in your mouth.
I called them out on one the other day and said, "I never said that – I know I didn’t." They sent me back an emoji. That was seriously the response that I got! On the opposite side, there are times when the storylines are going your way! This season, I didn’t give them a lot to jumble up, I kept it clean and I just cooked good food the whole time. I didn’t get involved with anyone. I should have watched my language better, but they wouldn’t hire me if I wasn’t going to say those things.
AM: What makes the show so successful?
CAG: People are curious about yachting. On a traditional boat, people will pay up to 1 million dollars for these kinds of trips. Most people are not booking these charters and they want to be able to behind the scenes which is why the ratings of this show on a Tues. night are doing so well!
AM: You definitely stayed out of the drama this season, but it seems that Conrad has really had a rough go of this season!
CAG: I remember the first day that Conrad started dating Hannah, I told him it was a bad idea and that he needed to nip it in the bud. I took him to an area where they weren't filming so I could just talk to him. I guess he's young and there's only so much you can tell people before they have to learn the hard way. You'll see that as you go through the season that it's a bad idea.
AM: As the Adventure Chef, does that mean we won't see you on Below Deck Mediterranean next season?
CAG: Oh no, I am actually going to fly to the South of France as the next season is filming soon - so that's another 6 weeks with the team.
AM: How big is the production crew?
CAG: Commonly when you watch, you’ll see a sailboat with 2 masts and looks very old school, it’s in all the shots - they're on that boat. Every morning they shuttle between the second boat and the hotels. There are 70 people in that crew. All on location at any time 20-30 are on the boat. Whatever union rules are, as they are union, you can only handle the camera for X amount of hours a day and then they swap.
They work as hard as we do for sure. They’re on the boat and it’s not a lot of room.
AM: The show has been a great spring board. Tell us about your Jazz Apples.
CAG: It's been a cool ride and there have been a lot of cool opportunities that have come out of it like the Jazz Apples. They called me and asked if I wanted to do a roadtrip. I was in as that’s what I do. I’m promoting myself as the Adventure Chef and these guys are promoting themselves as the Adventure Apple – it’s an apple that you would take a picture with on the side of the cliff and I like to be on the side of a cliff with my van. They gave me a case of
the apples to see what I would do with it. That’s how Jazz Apples and I came together through this great brand alignment.
AM: We can't wait to see more of you as the Adventure Chef.
CAG: Seeing brands like REI, Patagonia, Outdoor World etc. that are pushing for outdoor cooking - it's where it's headed and I'm thankful to be on the forefront of it.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Zev Schmitz/BRAVO (Adam Glick + Hannah Ferrier)
Last weekend, the Gelato Festival America touched down for the second year in a row and had its first Jersey City Edition at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. A professional judging panel which consists of eleven judges enjoyed evaluating participating gelato creators over a 2 day period. Attendees had the opportunity to enjoy authentic gelato and to assist in voting for their favorites. In addition, guests enjoyed demonstrations, contests and games, ceremonies and of course - tasting gelato.
Best flavor at the Festival was given to Dark Chocolate Surprise (this flavor included 80% dark Chocolate from South America with a little bitter infusion), presented by Giacomo d’Alessandro from Polosud Gelato, Coffee & Pastries in New York, NY. Taking 1st place meant that not only did he receive a medal from Florentine goldsmith Paolo Penko, he will compete in the North American Semi-Finals in 2019 for a chance to be 1 of 3 Americans to compete in the Gelato Festival World Masters in 2021 in Italy.
The Gelato Festival America is on a missoin to spread the culture of artisanal Italian gelato in the US, this year featuring eight cities. Held in collaboration with strategic partners Carpigiani, ISA, Italian Exhibition Group Sigep and main Sponsor PreGel, the Gelato Festival America 2018 generates the first entrants into the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021, the challenge for the best artisan gelato chefs on the planet. The first eight gelato chefs selected at each stage of the Gelato Festival America 2018 will win the right to continue the challenge towards the final – it’s the World Cup of gelato, a journey with hundreds of trials over four years on five continents!
The Gelato Festival made its debut in Florence in 2010 inspired by the idea of he first gelato recipe by the architect Bernardo Buontalenti in 1559. Since then, the Gelato Festival has expanded its borders, beginning in Italy, then spreading throughout Europe and finally in 2017 to the United States - A total of 64 festivals, preparing the whole planet for the world championship of the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021.
The four 1st place winners from the 2017 Gelato Festival America, along with the eight 1st place winners from the 2018 Gelato Festival America will be competing in 2019 for one of the three spots to head to the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021 in Italy. The 2nd and 3rd artisans will be selected in 2019-2020. In the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021, there will be a total of 36 chefs from all over the world competing for the main title.
Additional gelato categories and their winners are below:
- The Fabulous Flavors of Jersey City '18 Winner: Dark Chocolate Surprise by Giacomo d’Alessandro of Polosud Gelato, Coffee & Pastries.
- The Fabulous Flavors of Jersey City '18 Runner Up: Buontalenti by Niccolo Pomposi of Gelateria Badiani
- The Fabulous Flavors of Jersey City '18 Third Place: New York I Love You! by Noel Knecht of Black Dog Gelato
- The Gela-to-go Award: The most sold gelato at the New Jersey festival was Dark Chocolate Surprise by Giacomo d’Alessandro of Polosud Gelato, Coffee & Pastries.
- Technical Jury by ISA: Persian Paradise by Mike Guerriero of Gelotti in Caldwell, NJ.
- Popular Jury by PreGel: Peach-Mango with Calamansi by Peter Jose of Jersey & Co Gelato in Jersey City, NJ.
- Kids Jury: Partly Cloudy by Jenny Ao of A La Mode.
- Speed Cup Race by ISA: Jenny Ao of A La Mode. Sponsored by ISA, Speed Cup Race is about speed. Each Gelato chef has 30 seconds to serve as many perfect servings of Gelato as possible. Jenny was able to serve 11 perfect cups, followed by Mike Guerriero of Gelotti with 9 and Dolma Yang Chen of Roots with 8.
- Stack It High by PreGel: Mike Guerriero of Gelotti. Sponsored by Pregel, each Gelato Chef was given 30 seconds to stack as many scoops of gelato into a cup as possible. Mike set a record with 22.
- Best Video: The best video made was by Kristina and Pierre Frantz of Dolce Brooklyn in Brooklyn, NY.
Read the July Issue of Athleisure Mag.
We are firmly in the summer season and although we have been working out and watching our intake, we know that there are other tips that are important to keep in mind when it comes to working out. We decided to tackle 5 Belly Foods by getting tips from Eraldo Maglara, NSCA-CPT.
If I had a dime every time someone has asked me “can you get a six pack just by doing 100 crunches a day?” I would be a very wealthy man. Most of us have cometo realize (by now) that no amount of sit ups, leg raises or “crunches” can sculpt your abdomens to look like a pro bodybuilder. On the other hand, a well-balanced approach of foods and fitness tips can get you ready for that summer beach body you will be proud to share with everyone.
One of great things about yogurt is that it has evolved over the years. Just a while back, I could count the number of varieties on my hand. Today, there are over twenty manufacturers and an array of varieties. However, what makes yogurt so appealing to your belly is that it is low fat, low calories and it helps improve your digestive system.
Fitness Tip: Having a yogurt mid-morning can help you avoid unwanted calories at lunch and /or give you the boost you need for your evening workout.
Research has shown that eating cherry’s or blueberries can help reduce belly fat. The chemical (which gives the fruit it’s color) helps burn stomach fat. Moreover, berries are good source of antioxidants which play a big role in protecting your body from free radicals which can play a big role in heart disease, cancer, etc.
Fitness Tip: After a great training session, your body depletes itself of vitamins and minerals. Having a cup of berries can replenish those lost nutrients and help you keep unwanted fat around your waist.
There is no doubt that eliminating the bad fat from your body (i.e. trans-fat, heavy saturated fat) will lower your cholesterol levels; which has been linked to heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat (good fat), low in cholesterol and a great source of fiber.
Fitness Tip: Avoados contain a great amount of potassium. Eating them, can maintain proper function of your vital organs (such as your heart and your kidneys) which is necessary to maintaining a strong and fit body.
Having a well-balanced breakfast is key to starting off your day on the right track. Eggs (over the years) have played an integral part in our morning routine for good reason. The vitamin content in eggs include Vitamin D (which attacks the visceral fat around your organs) and Vitamin B12 (responsible for burning fat cells) is an ideal choice to help maintain your belly looking “eggstra”ordinary.
Fitness Tip: Protein is the cornerstone for building your muscles. Eggs contain a good amount of it which makes it an ideal food to have post-training.
Personally, I believe cucumbers are underrated. Given the fact that they are loaded with H20, low in calories and help with bloating, cucumbers are a great source of vitamin A, B and C which boosts your immunity and supply you with an abundance of energy for the day. Did I also mention they are great for reducing puffiness around your eyes? Underrated....nevermore.
Fitness Tip: Flushing out toxins is a great way to keep your system running optimally. While working out, slice up a few cucumbers in your water and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Eraldo Maglara, NSCA-CPT is a personal trainer, author of The Real Fountain of Youth: Simple Lifestyle Changes for Productive Longevity, a book on healthy aging. He is also a contributor to media outlets across the country, has been featured in numerous publications and is the host and Executive Producer of the show "Healthy Lifestyle with Eraldo" seen in Philadelphia.
Read more from the June Issue and see 5 Flat Belly Foods and Fitness Tips with Eraldo Maglara in mag.
We're always excited to be introduced to a number of creatives across verticals here at Athleisure Mag. A few weeks ago, we got an advanced copy of Soul: A Chef's Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes and from the selected dishes, colorful imagery and the voice of Chef Todd Richards, we had to interview him for this month's issue. He brings to life what soul food means as a genre and how it can be interpreted within its classic dishes as well as being utilized in other dishes that are not commonly thought to align with this category. Chef Richards is self-taught, passionate about educating others about the food and bringing the love and community that surrounds it.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you know that you wanted to be a chef and what was your journey to getting there?
TODD RICHARDS: I really knew that I wanted to be a chef when my first job was being a butcher at Kroger in Atlanta and people at the meat counter would ask me questions about how to prepare things. I figured that I needed to know how to prepare those items that I was serving so I started studying and I thought, "this is really cool." There was someone across the street that needed someone to grill so I thought, if I can cut the meat, then I should be able to grill. So I started working there and then I never really looked back. The creative process of learning how to butcher and preparing meat satisfied that creative need that I had.
AM: You've been on Iron Chef and have 2 James Beard Nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast, what do these accolades mean to you and what was it like being on the show and receiving these honors?
TR: It's such a great honor to be on Iron Chef and to be a James Beard Award Nominee but it doesn't just stop there it really fuels me to be even better, and I think that that has always been the catalyst that I got from my parents. What happens right now is great, but you always have to keep striving regardless of how many awards that you may win.
AM: Tell us about Richards' Southern Fried at Krog Street Market in Atlanta.
TR: Well Richards' Southern Fried is a chicken walkup. I really wanted to do Fried Chicken because mainly at the Ritz Carlton, it was one of the most popular dishes that we served - imagine that you're at the Ritz, one of the most luxurious hotels and that's what people are eating! We put that on the menu and people went crazy!
We also entered that recipe into a couple of Fried Chicken competitions and we won those as well. I knew that we had something really good going on, and it was like, we need to do this because people always ask about it. That's how Southern Fried started.
AM: How do you define Soul food and why is that an area you decided to focus on as a chef?
TR: Well the first thing is that soul food is only defined by 1950's/1960's just in that genre of food. It was only in that time period that there was an African American contribution in that area not before and then not after. Really it's a misnomer of the technically driven cuisine that soul food is. Most people do not understand it that way, but if you think about it, how in the hell do you make chitlins taste good - you have to have skill to make them good and to make something like collard greens taste good. Those things are all technically skilled recipes and I believe that soul food has the same place as French cuisine or Japanese cuisine.
AM: With your cookbook being available, what was the thought behind creating Soul?
TR: I wanted readers to know that soul food is always progressing. Soul food, especially in African American culture, is not just one straight society and there are a lot of different variations in our culture and in our food that we're known for. If you take the ingredients and explore them, in different manners and in understanding the technique, there are different ways that we are talking about in true American cuisine that have techniques from all around the world, but is distinctly, African American cooking in taste.
AM: When we flipped through your cookbook, we were struck with the Collard Green Pesto as we're fans of pesto - looking through the offered recipes there are classics, twists on a classic as it pertains to soul food as well as taking dishes that are not in this area of food and adding soul to it - how do you go about doing that?
TR: When you think about collard greens that our grandmothers put on the stove - the way that they approached it with the onions and braising the pork and things like that - it was always a technical cuisine. So when you look at other cuisines around the world, it's always starting with the simplest of ingredients and how we just do them correctly without destroying the integrity of them.
When you look at collard greens and why it makes sense for a pesto, it stands up well to oil, it loves vinegar, creams and stuff like that. So it makes sense that as a leafy vegetable that it would work in a dish like that.
AM: If you had to choose 3 meals that you would cook over a weekend, what would they be that are in your book?
TR: Well, fortunately, we grow a lot of food in our home so right now we're growing a lot of tomatoes - so definitely tomatoes! Sliced tomatoes with a little vinaigrette and all the flowers that we still have held over from the winter - like brussel sprout flowers. The next thing would be my mom's Fried Catfish because I don't think that there is anything better than dipping it in your own hot sauce. The way that she always prepared the catfish, it was crispy and you just dipped the catfish in the hot sauce and all this vinegar, pepper and using garlic and onions in there as well which has really great sensibility. And because I love to have a cocktail, strawberries are in season right now - the Strawberry Rum Cooler is a great way to use strawberries. Don't get those really pretty ones, get the ugly ones that are kind of soft and when you bite into them the juice just runs down your chin. Those are the strawberries that you want for a Strawberry Rum Cooler!
AM: What are your 3 favorite meals that are in this book?
TR: It is so hard because the book is divided by ingredients. In this period of time right now, onions, spring lamb is available - I use that as a reference because my answers today will be different then when it is in the fall when there are collard greens. Seafood is universal so you can enjoy that any time. But just to understand that we are at the end of collard green season so having the Collard Green Pesto with Poached Oysters might be at the end of that season but pairing it with tomatoes - it will make it make more sense.
AM: What's on your playlist when you're cooking?
TR: The great thing is that in the back of the book, there actually is a playlist and on Spotify there is a soul food playlist as well that we put up. And growing up with my parents, we were the hospitality center of our entire family - every birthday, holiday, Christmas party - I think that we even had a bah mitzvah at our house. It didn't matter we loved any reason to celebrate and food and music were intertwined together. They had the same exact place. When we were talking about soul as a cultural reference, that's one thing that African Americans - that we do. We want everything to look good visually, to taste good and to hear our passion in cooking. That to me is why I put the soundtrack in the back of the book.
AM: We love the trend where cookbooks have transcended to being lifestyle cookbooks. It feels like we're literally hearing you share your personal life as you talk about mentors and your method - was that a conscious choice?
TR: As a chef who probably has hundreds of cookbooks - I know where they all are. I still read Larousse Gastronomique - one of the bibles of cookbooks that has over 10,000 recipes. But for a consumer, we have to make cookbooks relevant so that people can continue cooking and do it with their kids. Today they are so phone sensitive and are connected to their devices. I wanted to make sure that people can always connect to the cookbook. It's as easy as when you put that song on and someone says, "man remember when you came to the house and we started smoking some ribs and we played that song from the book," or visually, you see some ugly tomatoes at the store and everyone is walking past and I know that I can make the best dish with those tomatoes. Those are the reasons why I wanted to put all those things in the book.
This is the gift that my parents gave me - being prideful and our culture which is the other sense that they gave me. Reading is so important to understanding us as a people and we have to produce things that people visually want to understand so that they can get out of their own stereotypical kind of minds and to just indulge themselves into delicious food.
AM: When you're not cooking in Atlanta, where can we find you grabbing drinks/dinner, where do you shop and what do you do in your personal time?
TR: People ask me that question all the time and it is a really difficult question to answer in the sense that I work so damn much - I like to go home! But there are a lot of good chefs that I just gravitate to and a number of them are good friends of mine. In Athens, Jerry Slater just opened The Expat. Jerry and I have had a long history in working together off and on. I look at Guy Wong who's another great friend of mine who has Ton Ton and Miso Izakaya. I look at Hector Santiago with El Super Pan. Anne Quatrano who is the matriarch of Atlanta dining scene. Every time I go to Bacchanalia I'm blown away and I feel like I just sat in my own living room having the most delicious meal. Then I go to the godfather of fine dining in Atlanta with Gerry Klaskala's Aria who everytime I see him he gives me the biggest damn hug ever! And he's only like 5'2" haha.
AM: Are you involved in any charities or how do you give of your time?
TR: Yes I am on the board of Wholesome Wave which is really important to me because we support Snap Benefits which means that dollar for dollar we match with EBT so people can go to Farmer's Markets and to get fresh food. That one is always dear to me and Lupus Foundation. Lupus affects African Americans especially African American women more then any other people in the country. It is an under served disease that affects a lot of people.
AM: Is there anything that you want to share with our readers that we can keep an eye out for?
TR: Well, the Soul Tour is traveing from NYC to the West Coast with many stops in between. Over the next month we will hit Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Charlotte and then back to NYC and of course many many places in Atlanta. Anyone can find me on Social Media - if you're in Atlanta, I want to know where you are and if you buy the book, I'm glad that people are posting but I want used cookbook posted - get into the kitchen and utilize it. I want to see wine stains, hot sauce stain - some boil that popped over on the book! It's great to be on the coffee table, but it's better to be in the kitchen!
PHOTO COURTESY | Excerpted from Soul by Todd Richards. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.