Book Review

Book Review: Smart Chefs Stay Slim by Allison Adato

Guess what. I joined an online book club! I’ve wanted to post more reviews of food, nutrition, and cooking-themed books so this is the perfect opportunity to share some good reads with you.

A couple of weeks ago I was wondering how some chefs are so skinny. I wouldn’t say I’ve gained weight since learning how to cook, but I’ve definitely felt more gluttonous ever since I really got into it a half year ago. And I’m not even that good! I imagined that if I could produce top restaurant quality food myself, I wouldn’t be able to resist my own cooking. So it’s kind of perfect that the book club’s selection this month happened to be Smart Chefs Stay Slim by Allison Adato (my Amazon affiliate program link). The author is not a chef herself, but rather a journalist who once covered celebrity chefs at one point in her career, which led her to wonder about how chefs eat.

And there isn’t one answer. I like the fact that the book is a collection of thoughts and practices from different famous chefs rather than a follow-this-diet-plan nonsense book. I agree with some of their ideas, and disagree with others. But it’s interesting to read about their different strategies to stay healthy nonetheless, and you can pick and choose what might work for you. The underlying theme that I took from the book is to cook simple meals from whole and natural foods most days. You can treat yourself to decadent things you enjoy, but that’s not everyday eating…even for celebrity chefs! There are also lots of little cooking and eating tips in the book that were helpful, even for people who already know their way around the kitchen. Smart Chefs Stay Slim is an enjoyable, easy read.

Now it wouldn’t be a good book about celebrity chefs if there weren’t some scrumptious recipes involved, right? There are plenty of tasty but healthy recipes sprinkled throughout the chapters by different chefs. Here’s one I tried out:

The book has quite a few seafood recipes which is awesome because fish is one of the healthiest things you can eat, yet totally underrepresented in cookbooks and food blogs. I decided to make Laurent Gras’s Halibut Ceviche with Jalapeño and Parsley. I used cod instead because I happened to have a very fresh fillet I wanted to use. I love ceviche but have always been too nervous to make it, thinking I’d leave raw meat to professionals.  But it came out great and we didn’t die of food poising, yay! WIll be making a lot of ceviche this summer. How awesome is it to “cook” fish without having to turn on the stove or oven?

Check out the book club I joined, The Kitchen Reader, and the lovely Aileen’s blog, 300 Threads!

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: Smart Chefs Stay Slim by Allison Adato

  1. Welcome to the group! It’s great that you joined and I’m looking forward to what you think of our books. I also found this to be an easy, relaxing read with plenty of good advice and funny parts, too. I liked it when Adato said that it can be pleasurable to be a little hungry before meals. I would like to more often associate a little hunger with a satisfying meal experience.

    I have made ceviche once before and discovered how easy and tasty it was! Wow, it’s such a clever chemical reaction and a great summer way to cook. Well done on expanding your repertoire. :)

    • Thanks Sarah! Yes, I agree re: hunger. I think with the rise of snacking culture, a lot of people have forgotten what it’s like to be hungry, and that it’s perfectly normal!

  2. Pingback: Smart Chefs Stay Slim: June Round-Up | The Kitchen Reader

  3. How cool that you made one of the recipes from the book! (I totally meant to do that when we read A Homemade Life a few months back but life got the better of me.) I really appreciated the acknowledgement that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to balancing flavor and figure – it’s all about what works for the individual!

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