After Hungry Waif interviewed me for her blog
(on which she has also posted hilarious and informative interviews with both Leslie
), I decided it would be fun to turn the tables on her and asking her all the questions that I’ve always wanted to ask a chef. Some of you e-mailed a few in to me (thanks guys!!) and the girls at the gym also pitched in a few goodies (see the last one). As you can see from her answers, she is one smart & sane chick and… I will never look at paper towels the same way again;)
Q: What is your fave “health food”?
A: hmm, well i believe every food has its place and value somewhere in our diet, but i do like eggs even though they get a bad rep. I also love broccoli, peaches,blueberries, strawberries, and i am really digging asian pears now and they’re a great source of fiber!
Charlotte’s Note: My love for Asian pears is so great that I would write sonnets about them. Except only naughty limmericks come out – but that’s not the pear’s fault. Seriously, if you’ve never tried them – splurge!
Q: What is the worst food, in your opinion, to eat?
A: Well like i said, i dont think a food should be “off limits” because it makes you crave it even more, but i guess the most nutritionally empty food is probably sugared soda. It also drains the calcium out of your bones.
Q: As a chef, how do you feel about people special ordering stuff (like their veggies steamed only with no butter added)? Do you feel like they are criticizing your work or are you okay with it?
A: As a health concious person, i understand it and so be honest, i dont see the reason to adding butter to already yummy veggies. i mean if you need butter and salt to coat your veggies to make them taste better,i’d say you’d better get fresher veggies. Butter should be used as a cooking medium, not really acondiment. I feel that with maybe other stuff like proteins, having to special order the butter can make the chef a little nutzo, but with veggies? nah,veggies speak fo themselves and the simpler, the better.
Charlotte’s Note: Can I get that on a t-shirt? Please??
Q: What is your favorite cuisine to eat? To cook?
A: Hmm…I love Indian and Brazilian food. I secretly wish i was Brazilian so i could have a great ass and have all that great tasting food at family gatherings. To cook? well i am not sure…i like mixing up cuisines, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but its fun to experiment (like a curry stuffed taco?)
Charlotte’s Note: I would totally eat a curry-stuffed taco. Especially if it had chutney on top. Waif – you and I gotta go out to eat sometime. Indian/Middle Eastern food is so my favorite cuisine right now. They do vegetarian like nobody’s business!
Q: What cuisine is the healthiest to choose when eating out? What is the worst?
A: Uhh, well i know most people might assume Japanese butt hey put lots of mayo in the sushi and its easy to over-eat because the food does not fill you up very quickly because its very carb-dense with white rice (at least in Japanese joints in the states, in Japan, its a whole different story). Honestly, I’d probably say maybe Indian or Israeli/Middle eastern. Just be wary of ghee (clarified butter) in Indian joints, but mostly, their lentils and spinach are flavorful and their meats are lean because they dont use cow. Middle eastern places will use oilve oil instead of butter, but just be wary of deep fried falafel and shwarma (lamb, but not the lean kind at all). They’ll uses a lot of fresh veggies for salads and use hummus, instead of mayo for condiments. The worst? well its not bad, but its just that i am used to really goodquality Italian food and pastas at many italian places i’ve been too have been so blah that its just notworth it. plus, they overload on the starch to save money and if its got protien in it, its usually the”bottom of the barrel” because chefs will use the leftover meats from other filet cuts to make pasta sauces because they never like to throw protiens away.
Q: What are some places you’ve seen hidden calories in restaurant food?
A: Definetly veggies “steamed” and sauces, oh my the sauces! most are butter based anyhow, but at the very end, its mounted with you guessed it, more butter! Its called mounte au beurre, a classical sauce technique and surefire way to sneak in more calories. Also, someplaces will actually add sugar to their soups! crazy,i know but it does not hurt to ask.
Q: How do you balance the joy of cooking/eating with the desire to be healthy?
A: It goes hand in hand. good food is most likely good for you. Cooking IS a healthy habit, I mean ifAmericans cooked at home more, i think there may be abig decrease in obesity. Cooking also teaches you howto appreciate GOOD food, so you dont blow your calories on mediocre tasting fast food and package stuff.
Charlotte’s Note: I couldn’t agree more! Once you learn to appreciate the made-from-scratch stuff, Hamburger “Helper” will become Hamburger “serial-killer-that-leaves-taunting-clues-for-the-police-and-can-only-be-caught-by-a-psychic.” Or, worse, Hamburger “the-slightly-creepy-boyfriend-you-dumped-after-you-found-him-spying-on-your-roommate-in-the-shower.”
Q: What is your favorite treat?
A: I love these Brussel waffles. they are a kind ofBelgian waffle (my father is Belgian so i go there alot) thats a bit less dense and more light and crispy but very BIG. i love it topped with fresh berries and powdered sugar! ahh divine!
Q: What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you as a chef?
A: hmmm….its actually unrelated to food, but we have avery strict uniform code, and we need to wear a neckercheif underneath our jackets. I forgot mine so i just wraped a paper towel from the bathroom and hoping no one would notice (its hard to tell anyhow). my French chef instructor sneaked up behind me and pulled it out infront of everyone and said “Wat eessdiss???”. I was mortified. Nothing too embarassing has happened food related, o but i did forget to take off a few scales last term on my snapper, thats not good to serve!
Q: And… who’s hotter: George Clooney or Brad> Pitt? (This is important> stuff so think carefully!)
A: oo toughy, ok, i thought long and hard while on the elliptical and i think Brad Pitt fight club era, but Clooney circa now (is it me, or does he get hotter as he ages!)
Charlotte’s Note: I do my best thinking at the gym, as well! And yes, you are right about Mr. Clooney:)