We all know there are many chefs with a weight problem. The poster child for this right now is, of course, Paula Deen. Too much butter, sugar, and deep-frying usually make for extra pounds, unless you have major willpower. Most people do not have the kind of willpower to avoid those foods if they are constantly making them or are surrounded by them.
Enter Food Network's Fat Chef. The timing couldn't be better on this series, where trainers teach chefs to deal with their surroundings and find the time to exercise. The idea is to co-exist with food at a healthy weight - sometimes easier said than done.
I missed the first episode last week, but there was no way I was going to miss last night's show.
Fat Chef hit me right where I live - literally. Trainer Brett Hoebel, who was on Season 11 of Biggest Loser, came to Cleveland to help two chefs get healthy. Rocco is in charge at Fahrenheit, and Kim owns her own catering company and sells her own line of food products. Both of them juggle multiple aspects of the food service business.
The show is part Biggest Loser, where people deal with the demons that helped get them to an unhealthy weight, and part Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, in which the trainer comes right to where each person lives and teaches them in their own environment. This is crucial for a chef, who is in the ultimate profession of being constantly assaulted with food every time they turn around.
Rocco had more weight to lose and dove right into the program. Brett taught him how to give his all working out, and some anger management skills as well. (Although I admit, I would certainly have fired the employee who kept screwing up!) He hit his goal for the show, and is working on being even fitter while helping his brother get there as well. From what I've heard, he is incorporating a lite menu into his restaurant, which I am looking forward to sampling!
Kim had a little more trouble. She fell into the same trap many of us do, following the exercise plan but not being able to do the same with the food. I know I've been there, thinking that working out would solve the problem even though I was still eating the same stuff. It was even more difficult for her, because she is always tasting her foods to make sure they are right - plus being offered samples by other chefs, where she doesn't want to appear rude by not accepting. She also had personal demons from childhood to deal with. She finally got in line with the program and lost about half of her goal. Now that she's gotten this far, I know she will continue and meet her full goal too.
It was a treat for me to see so many great places featured around my city, like the Fabulous Food Show at the I-X Center and the markets. I hope Brett continues to come to Cleveland to help those of us who are working on our health, chefs or not. (I know I'm far from being a chef myself!) I also look foward to seeing how the chefs in other cities do on the show each week. if they can conquer their food issues, I know we all can.
And I hope that more positive shows come to Cleveland to film...our city really does rock, and is filled with wonderful people from all walks of life. Time to show our Cleveland pride!