Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Lauraine Jacobs reviews Smart Chefs Stay Slim

Smart Chefs Stay SlimAllison Adato - (New American Library $US25.95)

 American non-fiction books embrace subtitles with zest, and it seems the longer the better. In fact sometimes in the past I have often thought, read-the-title and you’ve read-the-book. The title and sub-title of this new collection of essays, pen portraits and recipes from a shrewd observer of the culinary scene is ‘Smart Chefs Stay Slim - Lessons in Eating and Living from America’s Best Chefs.’ However despite the long tells-it-all name, the book really hits the mark and is such a delicious read I found it hard to put down.

Top chefs set the eating trends everywhere, and thus in a land where obesity has dominated the scene for too long, fuelled by trends of fatty fast food, I am pleasantly surprised to learn of many talented American chefs who are developing eating habits that are helping to reshape their bodies and ensure better health. Author Adato interviewed chefs across the country, seeking opinions, secrets and stories from the likes of Wolfgang Puck and Nancy Silverton, weaving them into a series of ‘lessons’ that are entertaining, tasty and not at all preachy or dogmatic.

We know that eating well yet lightly improves our health but as I read through the book, with such chapters as ‘eat with your eyes open,’ ‘eat what you love,’ ‘eat in often,’ and ‘eat out smart,’ I found myself thinking about how I ate, actually changed some of my eating habits as I read and even sloped off to the gym more frequently (hate that gym!) Remarkable for this food writer and cook. And as someone who has eaten plenty of good meals in American restaurants, I particularly enjoyed the stories of the famous chefs and their interesting ways with food that are reflected in their restaurants and thus onto the customers’ plates.

Each chapter of Smart Chefs Stay Slim provides a few recipes from chefs, and having cooked a particularly interesting dish of salmon with lentils and rustic salsa, and a pea salad with shoots and basil, I’m keen to try more. It’s all enjoyable, tempting and far superior to any fad or popular diet book I have ever come across. I too may look slimmer and more healthy soon. Well, maybe.

Lauraine Jacobs

1 comment:

Alessandra said...

Sounds like my philosophy!!! :-)