Guillaume is a French –American chef who trained in the best culinary schools and toiled in Michelin-starred kitchens. He is convinced that his love for food and cookery is unsurpassed by anyone he knows. When he was much younger, he would work long, ridiculous hours so he would barely have any time to eat. Poor lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking and lack of sleep developed.
After several years in the restaurant scene, Guillaume worked his way up and eventually became a part-owner of a couple of New York restaurants. As an entrepreneur, his schedule was just as hectic, but as he was not in the kitchen anymore, most of his time was spent sitting down in meetings over food and wine. Almost all networking events he used to attend also centered on food like food festivals and trade shows. Everywhere he looked, food was there.
Of course he enjoyed every bit of it and this definitely showed in his weight. He came to a point when his weight went up to an unmanageable number that his doctors would not even let him near his own menu. He was also easily tired so he rarely cooked. He became out of breath every time he attempted to lift a heavy pot or stay in a heated kitchen for extended periods. This was what pushed him to undergo bariatric surgery.
During one of my pre-operation consults with him, he confided that his fear was the liquid stage pre op and post-op. He said he cannot imagine eating pureed food as it seemed like an insult to his palate.
Instead of being defensive, I actually understood where he was coming from. I know that when you are surrounded by fine food all the time, it can be hard to accept that you can never go back to that indulgent stage. After bariatric surgery, clients would have to make much healthier choices for life!
I let Guillaume vent out his fears and frustrations, but knowing his profile prior to our session, I was ready for him. What I did was actually challenged him. Being the world-class chef that he is, he should be the best person who can come up with tastier alternatives and recipes that can suit his post-surgery diet. I even joked that he should think of it like a TV reality show episode where he is given a box of mystery ingredients and he had to come up with an award winning recipe! He actually bit the bait. He told me that he’ll give it some thought and talk to me again in the next session.
Now, it’s been a year since his weight loss surgery. He has made tremendous progress. He is also back in the kitchen developing a healthier menu for one of his restaurants. He did send with me one of his favorite to share with all of you.
- 1 15oz can white kidney or cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Cayenne pepper
Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent, add garlic and cook for about a minute.
Stir in the beans, milk, broth, parsley, salt and thyme.
Let it boil. Once it reaches a boiling point, reduce the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes.
Cool the mixture and pour into a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!