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Chefs and junk food

honkman Feb 6, 2009 11:16 AM

I found this article in UT quite interesting:


I was surprised that a chef who has access to good ingredients and food eats a lot of junk food at home. You would expect that somebody who works in this industry is aware about nutrional facts etc. and lives accordingly.

  1. goodhealthgourmet Feb 6, 2009 11:41 AM

    You would expect that somebody who works in this industry is aware about nutrional facts etc. and lives accordingly.
    you're kidding, right? just because someone knows how to cook doesn't mean they have a clue about proper nutrition, or the desire/motivation to eat a nutritionally balanced diet themselves. and it didn't say anything about her eating junk food at *home,* just fast food...and picking at dishes off the line in the restaurant kitchen, which would certainly do a number on your waistline since most restaurant meals are even higher in fat & calories than fast food.

    as for assumptions that just because people work in a certain industry they know what they're doing and/or practice what they preach, i abandoned those when i got into the wellness business. do you have any idea how many unfit personal trainers and overweight nutritionists & dietitians there are out there?

    7 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
      kattyeyes Feb 7, 2009 06:40 AM

      <<<do you have any idea how many unfit personal trainers and overweight nutritionists & dietitians there are out there?>>>

      Or doctors and nurses who are overweight or smoke--both things about which they know better? "Do as I say, not as I do," for some, I suppose.

      I have to say, just from watching the Food Network, many of the on-air talent seem to have gained weight over the years--Tyler Florence, Emeril and Mario Batali, just to name three. And I don't mean it as a personal criticism whatsoever. It has got to be one of the biggest on-the-job "hazards" of cooking (and tasting) food all day.

      1. re: kattyeyes
        goodhealthgourmet Feb 7, 2009 07:25 AM

        kattyeyes, i've noticed the same thing with the FN personalities over the years. particularly Tyler, Emeril, and Rachael Ray. last i heard (here on CH, of course), Mario Batali was going to make an effort to slim down a bit.

        anyway, everyone who says working in the kitchen may be hazardous to your waistline is absolutely right, especially if you taste as you go - not because you want to eat, but just to ensure things are seasoned correctly. people always ask why i never eat the goodies that i bake, or keep them in the house...after multiple tastings of various batters AND the baked results, the last thing i want to do is eat more of that stuff.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
          kattyeyes Feb 7, 2009 07:43 AM

          I have to commend you--it must really take restraint/willpower and exercise. I also have to hand it to David Glass, who is local to my area. I don't think I would be in the kind of shape he is if I was anywhere near all those desserts all day. I met him a few times while doing tastings in his factory (open to the public--fun!) and he tells me he runs. I'd have to run *away from* the whole factory--I just don't think I could do it. ;)

          Desserts By David Glass
          1280 Blue Hills Ave, Bloomfield, CT

          1. re: kattyeyes
            goodhealthgourmet Feb 7, 2009 09:12 AM

            i do exercise a lot, but that's not it. i'm just not a fan of eating large quantities of sweet things. even though my baked goods aren't nearly as sweet as the conventional stuff, i'm still over it after a few tastes.

            David Glass' desserts look amazing but i definitely wouldn't have a difficult time restraining myself there - if i have more than a few bites of something really rich & sweet, it makes me sick to my stomach. my mom says i've been like that since i was a baby.

        2. re: kattyeyes
          Sooeygun Feb 7, 2009 05:04 PM

          My friend in public health was quoting some stats to me the other day about the number os dieticians and nutritionists with eating disorders. They find the field a perfect job, because they have an excuse to obsess about food all day.

          1. re: Sooeygun
            goodhealthgourmet Feb 7, 2009 05:48 PM

            your friend's right...and i'm one of them. though it wasn't at all the reason why i chose the field, it certainly made my *lifestyle* easier to maintain & justify. however, that kind of experience can prove extremely useful in the field once you've acknowledged your illness, returned to a normal, healthy weight, and addressed the underlying issues that contributed to the development of your eating disorder in the first place. anyone who's reached this point can be immensely helpful to others, particularly those who are struggling with food issues. it's much easier to trust someone and let them help you with this when you know they've walked in your shoes...and made it safely to the other (healthy) side.

        3. re: goodhealthgourmet
          honkman Feb 7, 2009 05:57 PM

          "as for assumptions that just because people work in a certain industry they know what they're doing and/or practice what they preach, i abandoned those when i got into the wellness business."

          I don't agree with this generalization. I am not working in the wellness business but in the industry I work I am quite confident that the people which work in this industry know what they are doing. It doesn't mean that everybody has the same level of knowledge but there is a certain standard which everybody should (and is) reach or otherwise they wouldn't work for very long in this industry.

        4. DiningDiva Feb 6, 2009 11:59 AM

          Honkman, the operative word is "access". It doesn't matter how good the ingredients are or aren't if you've got unlimited access to them. It's easy to walk through a kitchen and sample a bit of this and a bit of that...all in the name of quality control. It's all too easy to graze your way through the kitchen, especially if you're in an authority position. And if you spend enough time in commercial kitchen the testing/grazing becomes almost an unconscous, automatic habit. It's even worse when it's actually written into a job description that you must sample all the food at least once during the day to ensure compliance with recipes and other quality factors. It's not necessarily the food and the food choices so much as it is always having access to the food.

          It takes a huge amount of discipline every day to make wise food choices when you're surrounded by all kinds of foods with all kinds of nutritient profiles. Sometimes I'm good other days I'm not. You have no idea how hard it is to walk past the fryer station when a fresh batch of fries is just coming out. Those <gasp> frozen fries are pretty damn good ;-D

          1 Reply
          1. re: DiningDiva
            Sooeygun Feb 7, 2009 05:02 PM

            I can't count the number of times I ate cheesecake for breakfast when in the pastry kitchen. Then my DH started in the breakfast kitchen and we started trading brownies for bacon and hashbrowns. Probably not much healther though.

          2. h
            harryharry Feb 6, 2009 12:06 PM

            Also remember, that if you're cooking for others all day long (good food, nutritious food or otherwise), that the last thing you want to do is go home and think about cooking well for yourself - I live on Pizza, chinese food and some frozen dinners during my busy season.

            3 Replies
            1. re: harryharry
              DiningDiva Feb 6, 2009 12:17 PM

              Boy, isn't that the truth. When I was younger and dating a lot my boyfriends all thought they were doing me a favor by letting me choose where they were going to take me for a meal. It use to frustrate the heck out of 'em when I'd decline and say "you choose". They always seemed to have a hard time grasping the concept that since I worked around food all day and was making decisions about food all day that the last thing I wanted was to have to make more decisions about it. I just wanted a meal I didn't have to think about - LOL

              1. re: harryharry
                BruceT Feb 7, 2009 06:29 AM

                Yep. I knew a guy who'd had a lot of high-powered chef jobs, including having been chef to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The only thing -- the ONLY thing -- he ever ate at home was fried bologna sandwiches. (Actually, I'm kinda surprised he bothered with the "fried" part -- seems too much like work!)

                1. re: harryharry
                  MrKrispy Feb 7, 2009 06:51 AM

                  agreed! I HATE fast food, but I go thru phases where I am working a ton and that is all I have time to eat, so I guess it serves a purpose besides obesity haha

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