Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Q & A with Celebrity Chef Jason Roberts

 Before we start asking Chef Jason questions, let get a little background from www.ChefJasonRoberts.com :

"A native of New Zealand, Roberts is best known for his charismatic smile and fun personality. Having grown up in a family of food professionals, he discovered a passion for food at a young age. Turning it into a career, he spent seven years as an Executive Chef of the restaurant Bistro Moncur in Sydney, where he was immersed in the traditions and techniques of French Cuisine in by his mentor, Damien Pignolet. His accolades caught the attention of Australia’s Channel 9, where he became the host of Fresh, a cooking program which aired five days a week in Australia and New Zealand.

In January 2003, Roberts was introduced to the US on ABC’s Good Morning America. He has also appeared The Wayne Brady Show, The Sharon Osbourne Show, E!, The Style Network’s You’re Invited, New York City’s morning show Ali & Jack, and Talk Soap with Lisa Rinna. In 2005, Roberts hosted the award winning food talk show, Jason Roberts’ Taste on the PAX Television Network which earned him two American Accolade Awards for Best Host and Best Health & Lifestyle program. Roberts is the author of two cookbooks, Elements and Graze: Lots of Little Meals Fast. Jason Roberts is an internationally known chef and former cast member of the hit daytime talk show The Chew on ABC. Roberts brought his unique flair and cooking style to the show for in studio segments and traveled the country in search of unique and interesting food. He is currently working on a new cookbook, scheduled for release in late 2014,.

Jason believes that meal time fosters deeper connections between family and friends and his motto is “A family that cooks together, stays together.” As a long time supporter of OPAL, an initiative founded in Australia that teaches families in under-served areas how to cook healthy foods, Roberts’ advocacy for healthy living continues to make a difference. He is also a partner with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign as a spokesman and advocate to end childhood hunger. "

Chef Jason Roberts

Jason, I just missed you at the MetroCooking Show in Dallas this past October, how was it?

The metro show was fun as per usual, always a great opportunity to bump shoulders with fellow chefs and fans. Plenty of new exhibitors and products to try.

Jason, it is the first of the year and, of course, the most common resolution is to lose weight.  Eating and diet are a huge part of this lifestyle change, what tips do you have for the everyday person?

Set yourself goals that you can remain accountable for…. Diets are a thing of the past, find a lifestyle that works for you and stick to it. The biggest change in my eating habits that have given me the greatest results was to go gluten free, eat smaller portions, more consistently and increase my exercise.

You are a very fit person, what does a typical day look like for you?
I have a pretty hectic lifestyle due to the amount of work commitments and travel. I make sure to always start with a good breakfast and at some point during the day at least 45 minutes of exercise. The day will generally involve recipe writing, recipe testing, conference calls or meetings, photo or TV shoots.

What are your thoughts on the FDA cutting the recommended sugar intake by half?
It's a start… I think they should be really letting people know how damaging the large consumption of GMO wheat, corn and soy is…..

If we opened your fridge right now, what would it have in it.
My fridge is always well stocked with vegetables, eggs, almond and coconut milk.. On occasion, a little cheese and prosciutto. I will only generally buy what I need daily as I live by myself.

What do you find to be the most under utilized spice or food and why?
Is it bad if I say salt, there are so many restaurants that I have been too with chefs who just don’t know how to season properly. But outside of that, we should be doing a lot more research into the wonders of mother nature. Currently loving fresh Aloe Vera and turmeric. Big cancer fighters.

What is Gluten Free, and how do I incorporate some of these recipes into my everyday routine?
Gluten free is pretty much removing all gluten from your diet. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley.. Gluten itself is one of the proteins found in these grains, it's the protein that gives breads, pasta, cakes its ability to stretch and bind. Its also the protein that is messing with our digestive systems.

You come from a culinary rich family, how was that growing up?…
Growing up on a farm was amazing. We were never short on something weird and wonderful to work with. There were plenty of mentors when it came to time in the kitchen…May Nana goodman, my mom, all the ladies in the kitchens. Having said that, I have always a burning passion for the hospitality industry, being amidst chefs and restaurants is a comfort zone for me.
You have cook alongside many chefs, who was your favorite and why?
Cooking alongside my grandmother will always be my favorite spot.. She is no longer with us in person, but definitely in spirit…she had the ability to not only create and cook, but to always bring our family together.. And yes there are some amazing chefs that I have worked alongside on a celebrity level.. But nothing will ever outweigh the importance of ones own family

 What did you see in BodyKey to make you want to be their spokesperson?
Bodykey was not only a gluten free product, but was more about eating smaller portions, encouraging exercise … but what really sets it apart from fad diets and other weight loss products is the genetic test, which determined what category you fall into.. As you're aware, not everyone needs to lose weight, not everyone needs to put weight on. Under the BodyKey program you fall under a Carb reducer, a better balancer or a Fat Blocker. It's a weight loss system designed around your personal genetics.
Can you explain the "Lost Art of the Chef" a little more for us.
Lost art of the chef, is about paying respect to the industry, the uniform, the chef. I have really noticed over the past few years that through, media, radio, the celebrity chef is really not embracing the importance of why we started in this industry. I see more and more people who want to become chefs, not so much to cook for the masses but to be a tv star… we are not pumping out tv chefs, but wanna be tv stars.. I find it most sad. 
You have already written 2 cookbooks, Elements & Graze, what can we expect from the book you are currently working on?
A Glutenfree book aimed at those who need a hand on a budget to eat well
What are some of the big differences in cooking from your part of the world (Australia, New Zealand) and America? What are some opportunities you see?
I think the biggest difference is the quality and quantity of ingredients we have to work with.. We have a sub tropical climate, so have the ability to grow pretty much anything, our choice of seafood is amazing.
I asked my twitter followers for questions for an upcoming Chef interview and YOU tweeted a question.... So... I have to ask you your own question, What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is failing, I am very competitive. Its' not even about coming in first. Its always about being good at what I do and finishing what I start.
What is next for Chef Jason Roberts?
A Ride across America for NO KID HUNGRY on my bike with chefs.. Raising money to help feed the 17 million children who turn up to school hungry. A possible new TV Show and I'm exploring opening up restaurants in NYC and Cleveland

Rapid Fire: Favorite: (one word answers)

Animal Unicorn
Food Mango
Sports team Browns
Song Hawai'I 78
Type of Music RnB
Sport surfing
Artist Escoffier
Actor/Actress Will Ferrell
Color pink
Number 88
Spice 4 spice
Astrological sign aquarius
Movie the goonies
Book Larousse gastronomic
Drink water
Interviewer You
You do lot of work for non-profits and charities, how can we help?
Log onto NOKIDHUNGRY and make a donation #shareourstrength 
How do you prefer fans to keep up with you? (Twitter, facebook, instagram, etc)
All of the above.. And to come say "hi" when they see me. 
Final Thoughts?
Make everyday count.. Life is to short to eat bad food!!!

 Don't forget to follow Chef Jason on Twitter, visit his website for links to all of his social media, and his calendar of events!

Thank you Jason!

-Thomas (TeeJay Today)