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Healthy Dishes That Won’t Weigh You Down

Heavy meals and trapeze workouts don’t go so well together. Amateur aerialist Stéphane Vivier, a Napa winemaker, has mastered light, healthy cooking.

One of the principles of healthy eating is avoiding rich, heavy foods. For winemaker Stéphane Vivier, who’s also an amateur trapeze artist, eating light seems especially wise. He’s mastered a range of delicious recipes to power his aerial workouts, from a spring soup with tarragon from his garden to a Thai-inflected chicken stir-fry with cashews and asparagus.

The 33-year-old winemaker at Napa Valley’s HdV Wines (a partnership between Napa grower Larry Hyde and renowned Burgundian winemaker Aubert de Villaine) discovered the trapeze after moving next door to a trapeze school in Sonoma five years ago. Soon after starting lessons with instructor Marek Kaszuba, Vivier found himself mastering tricks like the Bird’s Nest and the Plank, learning to trust that Kaszuba would catch him. “Winemaking is a lot like trapeze,” he says. “When you’re trying to decide when to start the harvest, it’s like getting ready to jump—you need some heart, and some guts.”

For Vivier, preparing light recipes is another kind of workout. “It’s a good mental exercise to create dishes that go with my wines,” he said.

Published April 2008
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