We’ve all heard those kidding-but-not-really-kidding jokes people direct toward chefs (and other somehow professional eaters) that are usually along the lines of “Oh my god, if I had that job, I would weigh 700 pounddddddds!” But really, this is a pretty serious logistical quandary. Metabolisms (especially mine) are slow! Food has calories! Modern life is deeply sedentary! And chefs — like political candidates — have to eat, constantly.
So, in a great post over at F&W, Kate Krader has collected the wisdom of a bunch of real-life chefs on the matter, and their answers are as weird (and totally normal) as you’d probably expect. On one end of the spectrum there’s Gail Simmons, who eats a lot of vegetable soup to stay healthy, or Chicago-based chef Stephanie Izard, who “take[s] only a bite of everything.” Sensible enough, I’d say.
On the other end there’s Danny Bowien (of Mission Chinese fame), who actually just has someone else eat his food for him. Specifically, his manager who fields extra dishes sent out by chefs at other restaurants. “I make Allen eat everything they send out,” Bowien told Krader. “He’s the closer.” Huh. Still, not as crazy as the anonymous mixologist who actually calls ahead to make sure bars don’t put any alcohol in his drinks for the night, so that he can teetotal without his friends knowing. Utterly inconceivable.
Well, I guess if you inhabit a world in which free food and booze are just endlessly, relentlessly coming your way — a world very far from the world of locally-oriented bloggers — this sort of makes sense. Not as much sense as eating as much as you possibly can of every piece of free food that comes your way at all times, because you never know when this will happen again, but still. Some sense. If nothing else, this has taught me a new measure of success in this world. The ability to pay somebody else to eat (or at least chew) my food. Then I’ll know I’ve made it.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.