I can’t remember not cooking. Growing up in California one of my early kitchen assignments was to prepare the oil and vinegar dressing for our nightly salad. Several years cooking in France refined my approach and enhanced my appreciation of butter and bacon. I live in New York City now, buy as much as I can from the GreenMarket, and take full advantage of Manhattan’s vibrant restaurant scene. Food is my first love. And since fluent French and broken Italian only gets you so far in the real world, when I decided to go back to school and find myself a job, I choose nutrition. I’ve been working in the field ever since. Though my choice of fats has shifted back to the olive oils of my youth, fat is key to my cooking. As a nutritionist, I do understand concerns about sodium, added sugars, and solid fats, but my assumption has always been that good cooking, especially my good cooking, was healthy and nutritious. So not being your conventional dietitian and having excellent analysis skills, I set out with my software analysis tool in hand to prove it. Here is what I discovered. My cooking is plenty nutritious but not “healthy” as per current regulatory language. Too much fat! I find myself in good company however because a growing number of voices from both the culinary world and the scientific research community are currently questioning the lipid hypothesis. The way I see it, a little culinary discretion, some nutrition savvy, and a good dose of common sense just enhances that value of what we do every day when we cook and feed the people we love. My recipes include calories because calories count and, though my preference is a scale, both weight and common measure are noted.
- What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
- Freshly shucked oysters served in honor of my arrival in Brittany. I had never eaten an oyster before. I'm not sure I'd even seen one. All eyes were on me and I finished the whole plate.
- What do you cook when home alone?
- All those odd bits that need to be moved out so it's never the same thing twice -- I call it my kitchen challenge night.
- Your most treasured kitchen possession:
- Hard to choose between my digital scale or my knives.
- The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
- Guess I don't have an ideal number as long as they love to eat and like my food ...