You’ve probably heard the term, “Never trust a skinny chef.” But in LA, chefs often have to be camera ready. You never know when the Food Network might call. This city is full of beautiful chefs serving food to beautiful people, and I’ve always wondered how they manage to stay so trim amid all that temptation. Then one night while watching late-night TV, I ran across Ford’s Filling Station’s new chef, Kristi Ritchey, in an infomercial for Barry’s Boot Camp. She was touting the fact that she’d lost 100 pounds.
I decided to dig a little deeper and came up with this piece that will appear in Monday’s LA Times. The answer, of course, is working out really hard and watching what you eat — unless you’re Table 8 Chef Govind Armstrong, who is blessed with an inability to gain weight no matter what he eats. But what surprised me most is how many chefs refuse to eat their own food.
Here’s Page Moll, chef at the beachcomber Cafe in Malibu: “I’ll make you a great crème brûlée or flourless cake, but I’m not going to eat it.”
“Every dish we do we taste over and over,” says Sona and Comme Ca Chef David Myers. “You get sick of it.”
I suppose I can identify. Back in college, I had a summer job at Billy Bakers in San Pedro. Oat bran muffins were all the rage at the time. For years after leaving that job, I couldn’t eat another muffin. The thought made me cringe. In fact, the first muffins I truly have enjoyed since then were the fresh ones baked every day on a recentWilderness Safaris trip to the Kalahari Plains Camp and the Okavanga Delta in Botswana. Enough time and distance from the saturation source, I suppose. Plus, those muffins were goooood.
So if cooking is an appetite suppressant, maybe those who want to lose weight should get a job in a kitchen. Then again, if you have a serious sweet tooth or issues with impulse control, that strategy just might backfire. Here’s Kristi Ritchey: “There were definitely times after a workout — I’m not going to lie — there were a few days when I ate cheesecake for breakfast.”
Good to know that chefs are only human. — Jenny