When I got a request to review “Smart Chefs Stay Slim: Lessons in Eating and Living From America’s Best Chefs” by Allison Adato, I hesitated. I don’t read a lot of books about cooking, unless it’s something I need, like honest tips on how NOT to screw up my gluten-free baking. Even then, I find it dry and boring.
I am SO glad that I jumped on took this book to review.
Let me say first right off the bat, that this is one of the best books I’ve ever read either about cooking or about eating healthy or about staying fit! Allison is a food reviewer and writer and she took the time to interview a number of famous chefs who are either fit or lost weight about how they stay that way. Spending 8-12 hours a day in a kitchen cooking and tasting is an easy way to put on weight, and each chef in the book had to come to terms with how to manage that.
First of all, this is a book for people who want to be healthier or lose weight but are terrified they need to eat horrible, bland food to do so. You all know that diets don’t work. This book, however, is really about maintaining a healthy and happy relationship with food. All the chefs and Allison herself agree that food is central to life, and a major factor in family, friends, community, memories, and more. We’ve been raised to believe that food is evil, but when you unlock and discover how good – and good for you – real, well-cooked food is, your eyes are suddenly opened.
Each chef gives their tips – for a total of 92 tips – on everything from eating a breakfast to shape your day to losing the weight after a baby is born in healthy manner. I learned a lot, like how many varieties of salt and curry there are! It’s truly a love letter about food, and this book goes a long way to calming our fears about the dangers of overeating. It’s written in a warm, engaging way as Allison and the chefs share tales from their own personal lives about how they discovered cooking, learned to work with food, and took stock of their own health.
I honestly had no complaints, but if I had to be pressed, I suppose I’d say that 2 or 3 tips could have been combined, although even then each section contained new and interesting content. OH, and there is a chapter on bacon, which may be a bit over the top, however, if you can stay fit and lose weight and STILL eat bacon, that’s the life I’d choose!
Not only is this lush and gorgeous writing CHOCK full of tips, concoctions, and serving ideas that I’d never thought of, it’s also loaded with recipes! I’m excited to try them. In fact, I want to try my hand at paella and make a New Year’s Eve tradition this year. We’ll see!
If you are on a restricted diet, or learning to cook, or starting to cook more/eat out less, or just want to enjoy food but lose weight, this is the book for you. It is an awesome, easy, engaging read, and I highly recommend it!
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