The impressive exercise routines of healthy chefs, from BNC Laurent Gras to Chez Panisse's Beth Wells.
Food & Wine
June 11, 2013
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Chef-owner, No. 9 Park and B&G Oysters, Boston
In 2009, Barbara Lynch started boxing at F-15 Training Center, a fighters' gym in South Boston run by legendary Golden Gloves Champ and Ultimate Fighter coach Peter Welch. Her daily workouts in the ring—combined with sprinting, jumping rope and resistance training—have resulted in 35 pounds of weight loss.
F&W Best New Chef 2002 Laurent Gras's name crudely translates to "Fat Larry" in French—wholly ironic, considering he carries an incredible two percent body fat (the average is about 13 to 17 percent for an adult male). To maintain his extraordinary physique, each week Gras cycles up to 400 miles—including one mega-long 100-mile ride—even in winter.
Quinn Hatfield takes his cycling so seriously that he trains with a two-time Olympian coach. Hatfield's personal best for the 1,000-meter sprint was 01:11.40 in 2009—which put him in at 18th fastest in the country. He recently won three sprints in the 2010 California Masters State Championship.
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Co-chef, Chez Panisse Café, Berkeley, CA
To stay lean and maintain her stamina in the kitchen, Beth Wells alternates seven to eight workouts a week, including hour-long intense circuit training (including weight-lifting, chin-ups and sit-ups) with 20-minute to hour-long kettlebell workouts, a full-body routine with 20- or 26-pound cast iron weights shaped like cannonballs with handles.
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Executive chef, 606 Congress, Boston
Over the past decade, Greg Griffie has raced in 10 full and 12 half marathons. To train, he runs at least five days a week, logging four to 10 miles each time (and inspiring his kitchen staff to run as well, in the process). For his 11th marathon, he's added Pilates to his repertoire to help him breathe more effectively and strengthen his core.
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Chef-owner, Comme Ça, Los Angeles and Pizzeria Ortica, Orange County, CA
Determined that working in the restaurant industry shouldn't require sacrificing fitness, F&W Best New Chef 2003 David Myers built a gym and hired a trainer to lead CrossFit sessions, an intense aerobic, strength and conditioning program, exclusively for his employees—for free. Myers's own workouts consist of CrossFit sessions six days a week and surfing "whenever the waves are good."