Meat? Chocolate? Booze? Surrounded by food and drink all day, these food folk need extra fortitude to deprive themselves
Deciding to give up something for Lent — the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, observed by a number of Christian denominations, Catholics most of all — is like making a New Year's resolution: It seems like something you should do (if your religious background suggests it, at any rate) and you start off with the best of intentions, but are your vows to yourself (and in this case The Man Upstairs) really going to last?
Chick Here for the What Do Chefs Give Up for Lent? Slideshow
Of course, the good thing about Lent is that it only goes on for 40 days, whereas a New Year's resolution is theoretically in force all year, if not for the rest of your life.
A lot of our best-known chefs, in any case, come out of Catholic or other Lent-conscious backgrounds (look for all those Italian, Spanish, and French surnames, for instance — not an infallible indicator, but a good place to start), and we thought it would be fun to ask some of them what, if anything, they planned to give up for Lent this year. Here's what they told us.
How do chefs come up with recipes for good food?
I have been cooking for some time now, but I have always been a sort of recipe follower. I know the basic composition of flavor components (sweet, sour, umami. ) but I have never been able to come up with something new, nor have I really made an effort attempting it.
I wonder what kind of procedure professional chefs follow when trying to cook something new or trying to update a dish.
Is there really an established science about flavor out there to follow?
What should you give up for Lent?
These 10 ideas for Lent are for you & your family. I want to help you decide what to give up for Lent this year because it is such a great time to really better ourselves and spread love, goodness, and kindness to the world. It can go beyond “not eating ice cream” or “not having candy,” but we often overlook these things. There are many things that you can give up for Lent.
You are welcome to read about Lent or you can even skip down in this post, to below the picture. There, you’ll find my list of ideas for Lent and things to give up for Lent.
Gordon Ramsay Says He Dropped Over 50 Lbs. to Save His Marriage
He says his wife was "not impressed" by his weight gain.
Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay is known for his tough love methods on his Fox show Hell's Kitchen, but he was his own worst critic when it came to his weight.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, Ramsay shared how his wife, Tana, was his biggest source of motivation for losing weight because she has always been a fitness enthusiast and let him know she wasn't pleased with his weight gain, according to People.
"Tana was not impressed with the way I was," Ramsay revealed. "I was overweight, 18 stone [over 250 pounds]. I looked like a sack of s--t. I look at the pictures and think, 'How did Tana stay around?' Because Tana has got better-looking and more gorgeous. And there she is, getting in bed with a fat f--k."
Gordon and Tana have been married for over 20 years and have four children together, and at the time of his weight gain, he had just won his third Michelin star. But despite those accomplishments, Ramsay said he still suffered from low self-esteem.
"It was painful," he said. "I used to look at myself in the mirror and think, 'Holy s--t!' So it was a big wake-up call."
The chef attributed his weight gain to not eating properly when working long hours and during vacation trips with David and Victoria Beckham and their respective families. "I didn't have a figure," Ramsay said. "I didn't feel that good. After working my a-- off and achieving a lot, I wanted to get in serious shape."
"I don't want my industry to kill me," he continued. "I know how unhealthy chefs are at the top level. Stress. Suicide. There's a big downside to cooking loads for a living. It's lethal: from obesity to heart attacks to cocaine habits."
Around 2012, Ramsay began to make life change. "I started focusing on getting super-fit five or six years ago when my life got super-busy," he told The Daily Mail. "You get consumed by the work. You get sucked up. You get drawn in. All of a sudden your 'me time' is zero. There was no breathing space, no down time, no time to even think straight. It all started hitting me hard. I didn't panic, but my head was not in the game."
Ramsay teamed up with a trainer named Will Usher who has him ride bikes in the home gym for an hour and do other workout regiments at least three times a week.
Since then, Ramsay has lost about 56 pounds and his weight has gone down to approximately 196 pounds. The 51-year-old said he stays inspired to lead a healthy lifestyle, because he does not want to die at a young age like his dad, who passed away at 53.
"That's only a couple of years' time," he said. "I've got this reminder to get fit, it's scary. I get the fear on a daily basis. I may have not got on with him, but I still miss him. I miss everything I could have had from him if he was still alive in his 70s."
In December 2017, Ramsay released a book of his go-to recipes for when he eats well a home, titled Gordon Ramsay Ultimate Fit Food: Mouth-Watering Recipes to Fuel You for Life.
WORLD CHEFS GIVE RECIPES FOR WHAT THEY LIKE TO MAKE AT HOME
Can you really cook fancy restaurant fare at home, without a handy supply of sous-chefs and demiglace? Gourmet magazine and its ilk have made that promise for years. "Chef Interrupted: Delicious Chefs' Recipes That You Can Actually Make at Home," by Melissa Clark (Clarkson Potter, $32.50), like several other new cookbooks, contends it's not just possible, but easy.
Clark took recipes from more than 50 well-known chefs and simplified them -- in her publicist's words, "'interrupted' a chef's elaborate vision before it got out of hand." The "interrupted" terminology isn't just catchy. It's an affirmation for the humble home cook Clark isn't dumbing down dishes so much as reining in culinary artistes.
Dishes are the sophisticated, even exotic, sort you'd expect at high-end restaurants: Pear and Pecorino Ravioli Flatiron Steak Rendang With Spiced Coconut Sauce and, from the I-dare-you school of outlandish ingredient usage, Rosemary Polenta Poundcake and Olive Oil Whipped Cream.
But does the easy-as-pie promise pan out?
Some dishes really are a snap, like the Yellow Pepper and Almond Soup, a velvety puree of toasted nuts and peppers.
The Warm Gougeres With Crunchy Sea Salt -- tasty cheese puffs, made with a savory pate a choux dough -- were harder to pronounce than bake.
Other recipes took some doing, either because they involved steps like grinding spices with mortar and pestle or required hunting down exotic ingredients (kaffir lime leaves and lavender salt, to name a few). They weren't all worth the effort.
The book is written in an informal, occasionally self-deprecating, tone. It's attractively designed, though it does not have lots of photographs.
Beside each recipe are good tips for handling and locating obscure ingredients.
Off duty. When they hang up their aprons at the end of a long workweek, the world's greatest chefs surely don't swing by KFC for a bite to eat. They go home and whip up a little something for themselves. Something like Mackerel Tartare With Poached Quail's Egg, Peppercorn Dressing and Black Pepper Tuiles. Or Warm Lobster Salad With Panache of Tropical Fruit and Citrus Vinaigrette. At least that's what "Off Duty: The World's Greatest Chefs Cook at Home," compiled by David Nicholls (William Morrow, $39.95) would have us believe.
The book offers recipes from 48 top chefs, including Nigella Lawson, Wolfgang Puck and Alain Ducasse. A portion of its proceeds benefits the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, named for Daniel Nicholls (son of British chef David Nicholls), who was paralyzed in a swimming accident.
The recipes are grouped by chef. Not the greatest arrangement if you're browsing for dinner or dessert ideas and don't have time to flip through the book. There are lots of color photos of the food -- and the chefs, often posing with their sports cars.
There's also a Q&A with the chefs, which would get a little old were it not for their reliably pompous answers. Asked to give one piece of advice to the home cook, Britain's Albert Roux says, "Keep it simple." This from the man who offers us the Mackerel Tartare number.
EASY. Gordon Ramsay, the star of the Fox television show "Hell's Kitchen," tells us home cooking can be heavenly in "Makes It Easy," (John Wiley & Sons, $24.95).
Some recipes -- Banana and Passion Fruit Smoothie or Toasted Bagel With Serrano Ham and Broiled Tomatoes -- can be accomplished by anyone with a toaster or blender. There is more sophisticated fare, too, such as Scallops in Prosciutto With Monkfish and Rosemary.
The recipe categories are less than intuitive. Turnip Soup With Langoustines and Mango can be found in a chapter named "Posh," while Salmon Fish Cakes turns up in "Just for Kids."
Instructions could be more detailed. Makers of the fish cakes are told to mix pureed salmon with mashed potatoes, then form them into fish-shaped cakes. Maybe that should be obvious to anyone who's worked with Play-Doh, but a picture of the finished product would have helped.
Warm Gougeres with Crunchy Sea Salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt or kosher salt
1 cup quark cheese or whole-milk yogurt
13/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup grated parmesan or Gruyere cheese (divided use)
coarse sea salt or kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, butter, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in the quark or yogurt and reduce the heat to medium. Add the flour and stir until the mixture dries out slightly and no longer tastes of raw flour, 7 to 9 minutes.
Transfer the batter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat in the eggs one at a time until smooth.
Beat in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese.
Use 2 spoons to drop 1 1/4-inch (walnut size) blobs of batter on the lined baking sheets. Sprinkle each puff with a pinch of the remaining grated cheese and pinch of coarse salt. Bake until puffed and brown, about 20 minutes. Serve as soon as possible.
Per serving: 444 calories, 17 grams protein, 31 grams fat, 18 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 233 milligrams cholesterol, 560 milligrams sodium
25 Creative Things to Give Up for Lent in 2021
From gossip and complaining to junk food and coffee, ditching these habits could change your life.
In order to prepare for Easter, it's Christian tradition to observe the season of Lent. During Lent, believers typically fast, give something up, or commit to certain acts of kindness for the 40 days between when Lent starts and ends. However, it's sometimes difficult to decide what to give up for Lent &mdash after all, you can only give up chocolate so many times before it gets repetitive.
Ahead, we've found the most inspiring things to give up for Lent that can also improve your health, finances, and overall wellbeing. Not sure when to give up your chosen vice? Each year, Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. This year, that falls on February 17. Lent is 40 days long &mdash not including Sundays &mdash and ends on Holy Saturday, which is April 3. Easter Sunday is the next day, on April 4. Whatever you choose to give up &mdash whether it's candy, video games, Netflix, or something else &mdash you're guaranteed to complete Lent feeling lighter and ready to celebrate the spring season.
5 TV chefs give their tips and tricks for the perfect pancake
A romantic cooking session, or a food fight with the kids — however you are spending your Pancake Tuesday, it’s always a great excuse to indulge our collective sweet tooth. After all, today is the last day you can pig out freely before Lent arrives — if you’re planning to give up the junk food for the foreseeable (well, until Easter), this is your chance for a last hurrah.
If you’re wondering how the pros navigate Pancake Tuesday, the answers vary. Some stick to the traditional route, others experiment a little — but these little tips and tricks from the professionals will make your pancakes better than ever.
Nigella Lawson adds baking powder
Adding baking powder to your pancake mix, or using self-raising flour instead of plain, will add volume to your mix — perfect for spongey, thick, American-style pancakes. However, it should be no more than one teaspoon of baking powder to every 100g of plain flour, otherwise you’ll test it in your pancake.
Jamie Oliver recommends wholemeal flour
If you want to switch up the flavour of your pancakes, Jamie Oliver recommends swapping for wholemeal flour. It will give the mixture a nuttier taste.
Darina Allen’s ‘Dutch Babies’
Fancy a savoury solution to the recipe? Pancakes are the perfect binder for lots of different ingredients — leave the fruit behind, and go for ham and Gruyere cheese for this recipe.
Mary Berry gives a super easy recipe
Pancakes may seem easy to get right, but as Mary Berry demonstrates, you only actually need three ingredients for the perfect easy pancake — plain flour, one egg and one egg yolk, and milk.
Heston Blumenthal chills his overnight
Blumenthal is known for his wild and wonderful recipes but his pancakes are relatively tame. Lemon curd will give it a nice kick, but the real trick is to leave the pancake batter to chill in the fridge for four hours to set. Thick, luxurious pancakes await.
Recipes for Lent: 30 Meatless Meals
Let's get real: it's hard to figure out ways to diversify your meals when you can't have meat for Lent! Suddenly, all of your favorite dishes get put on the back burner as you try to figure out how you can add some variety to dinnertime. Our latest collection of Lent recipes gives you a few ideas that will help you go meatless, so you're not scrambling to figure out recipes each week. From dinner to lunch, we've got lenten meals we know you're gonna love! So do yourself a favor and check out the quick, easy, meatless meals we've cooked up. They're the perfect recipes for when you're holding out for that huge Easter dinner spread!
Looking for some great ideas for meatless appetizers? Get started with this delicious Spinach Arthicoke Dip and this Save-the-Day Corn and Black Bean Salsa. These are two of our favorite ways to start a meal during this season!
Chefs’ Picks: Holiday Gifts
The way to someone’s heart is through his or her stomach, particularly if that someone is the aspiring culinary superstar in your life. Now that holiday shopping is in full swing, we asked chefs across the country to tell us what foodcentric gifts they love to give and get.
Hillside Supper Club Chef Tony Ferrari gets the same thing from his mother every year: a care package with panettone and schnecken from their hometown bakery, Busken Bakery in Cincinnati. “I can smell the schnecken before I even open the box,” says Ferrari. “It’s a cinnamon bun that’s drenched in caramelized butter glaze and studded with raisins. When it would snow, we used to pick up a bunch [and] warm them up over a fire pit in the park before riding sleds down the hill. It reminds me of home and family.”
Efrain Roman, the executive pastry chef of Brick & Mortar Kitchen prefers to gift edible concoctions, including coquito, an eggnog-like beverage that’s a traditional gift in Puerto Rico. “It’s part of my heritage and always makes me think of home,” says Roman, who mixes the cocktail in Mason jars with a note that reads “Feliz Navidad.”
Aliya LeeKong, a Food Network judge and the author of Exotic Table, loves giving a gift “that inspires someone to try something new or different,” she says. The Amarena cherry is a sour cherry from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy when Amarena cherries are preserved in a tart sugar syrup, they are an easy host-gift favorite because you can spoon them over ice cream, include them in a champagne cocktail or even top breakfast waffles with them the morning after an event.
For bigger gifts, LeeKong goes for the Le Creuset Moroccan tagine. “What I love about this modern version of the tagine is that it’s cast iron,” says LeeKong. “It has great heat retention and is excellent for braises, but you can also sear right on the stovetop and then transfer to the oven. Braised short ribs, lamb shanks, stewed chicken all would be incredible in here.”