There are so many weight-loss programs in the world, from the Master Cleanse to the Cookie Diet. You might easily ask, how could there be room for even one more? But when I looked at the options, I didn't see a plan that put flavor first. So for this issue on healthy eating, we add to the diet canon with recipes from the people who understand flavor best: chefs. "How Chefs Lose Weight & Keep It Off" is full of great ideas and recipes. My favorite: Michael Psilakis's mussels and gigante beans, made luscious with garlic confit. Legendary chef Joël Robuchon, known more for butter than for restraint, also impressed us with his healthy dishes and proclamations ("One should eat cumin every day!").
Healthy eating is about more than weight loss, of course. Country-music star Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland has figured out the easy way to feed guests with a range of dietary likes, dislikes, food allergies and ethical objections. At her party with Atlanta chef Steven Satterfield, she set out a bunch of soups and mix-ins, so vegetarians could skip the crumbled bacon in favor of parsley pistou, for instance. There were 28 potential mix-and-match combinations on her buffet table. My personal choice: cauliflower soup topped with seared scallops.
And then there's the psychological aspect of well-being. For this issue, Dave Chang, the notoriously type-A chef, went to South Korea to find his zen and pick up some tips on vegetarian cuisine from the nuns at secluded Buddhist temples in the countryside. Once he put his BlackBerry away, he learned quite a bit.
Wine, in moderation, is good for both body and soul. For this issue, F&W's Ray Isle considered resveratrol and organics and found out that forgoing a single Krispy Kreme doughnut frees up enough calories for a glass of wine and two Parmesan shortbread coins by Top Chef star Carla Hall (that's Carla with me in the photo). Now that's something we can all feel good about.
Where I'm Coming From
My Copenhagen Weekend
I made a pilgrimage to Denmark just to eat at chef René Redzepi's visionary Noma. The experience was pure pleasure—from the service to the 13 courses—and it made me rethink what I know about food, restaurants and the natural world.
Located on a hip shopping street, Relæ is run by one of René's acolytes, Christian Puglisi. His veal heart was shockingly tender.
A groovy setting for fantastic seafood. I loved my fish and chips prepared in the Danish style, with smoked haddock.
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