Mission Chinese Food chef Danny Bowien.
You don’t need me, or any chef in the world, to tell you the best ways to keep from gaining weight. They involve breakfast, balanced meals and exercise. Instead, I’ve become fascinated with the less obvious ways that chefs and other people who are constantly around food keep from packing on pounds.
Employ an Eating Double. Besides being surrounded by food at their jobs, chefs face other caloric challenges. Namely, when they go out to eat, the host chef will invariably send out endless plates of food (they call it “killing you”). Mission Chinese chef Danny Bowien brings his manager, Allen Yuen, with him when he goes to restaurants. “I make Allen eat everything they send out,” says Bowien. “He’s the closer.”
Fake the Alcohol. At some point even the most hardcore bartenders secretly stop drinking. An unnamed mixologist admits to having called ahead to bars to tell them not to put alcohol in his drinks; that way, his friends wouldn’t know he’s not drinking. Star chef Michael Chiarello (whose new Spanish restaurant opens on San Francisco’s Pier 5 this spring) has the same idea. After one or two gin and tonics, he asks the bartender to just give him tonic with lime, as it looks like the same drink but doesn’t pack any alcohol.