Get Fresh with Brian Malarkey

You don't have to stay away from the greasy spoon diners all the time, but moderation is key.

on Nov 12, 2009

Padma has been getting breakfast served to her by the cheftestants for several season now, and it’s always an interesting scenario. Once again our producer friends at Top Chef keep us as chefs and you as viewers constantly guessing as to when, where, why, and whom the next turn of the journey will take us.  

Now I recall, way back when on my season when we got to cook the breaking of the fast for Ms. Padma, as a contestant and a chef, I had to take into account that Padma was a model and an actress before she took over as hostess on TC. I knew, as you know, that she always looks great (except for some awful wardrobe disasters). She has healthy skin, a slender body, and glowing hair ... oh my, I sound like a PR person or my dear friend Amuse Biatch. It is all true, she has an extremely healthy appearance, and when I made breakfast for her I took this into careful consideration. I made her a nice smoothie with some fresh fruit and a light lobster omelet to get her day started off right. Of course, I lost to any Egg in a Hole and Steak and Eggs; the wrapping defiantly does not tell the present. Now, if it was Tom all cuddled up in his bathrobe, I would have been a little more aggressive with my morning meal choices. Breakfast is tricky on Top Chef, and often here at Healthy Remix and Get Fresh we are always working at ways to keep the great flavors and loose some of the fat and calories.

I love breakfast, and I thought Eli did a fantastic job with his playful approach on the Reuben.  There were a lot of references to “hangover” food and I am a huge fan of the morning after breakfast that has enough grease and fat to coat the belly, and talk the tequila, whiskey, or beer down from a rebellious rendition of Old Faithful blowing her top! Shit on a Shingle was always one of my mom’s favorites, but we had it for dinner, living the good life from an early age, and I get asked where I get my culinary influence. Steak and Eggs was exactly what we expect from our boy Kevin, who leans very heavenly(and heavy) on the side of rich and full-flavored. The brothers were off getting fancy, and Robin was making a mess of things “again.” Now it's nice and OK to eat Eggs Benedict on occasion, and to smother jams, syrups, and butter on your toast, waffles, and flap jacks, but it shouldn’t be the approach everyday. We all want to feel good and live a long, fulfilled life, so let's discuss my ideas on getting the engine that is your body started right.

Now I have mentioned this several times this season, but this blog's purpose is to give my pats and punches on the cheftestants, but more importantly, to look at what they are doing and how we can take the “idea” of it and transform it into something we can do at home with a healthy twist. You can watch my tweak on the winning dishes under the "Healthy Remix" tab. Enjoy the online cooking class or throw some bacon grease on the screen; it's entirely up to you.Why I got asked to do the healthy version is comical to me, as I enjoy so many different indulgences, but I do my best to know, learn, and improve on my health as people tend to do more of as they grow older (“Ouch”), and enjoy the love of a child they want to be with as long as their health and heart will allow. 

So, back to the healthy “everyday” morning meal... It’s very important to start your day off right with water, fruits, grains, and a little protein. When you eat breakfast, the body has fuel and something to digest. If you skip breakfast, the body starts breaking down the reserves that are already in your body; it’s a double loss. I always found that if I skipped breakfast or just had a cup of coffee, it wasn’t long before I was looking for the cookie quick-fix in the pastry chef's cooler, and from there the day was a yo-yo of peaks and valleys. Start the day strong and finish the day strong. You have all day to burn up the calories in the morning, and much less time to burn up the calories from dinner. Maybe we should start doing breakfast rather than dinner to enjoy the “high” all day!  Stay away from the buffet, and avoid being frequently hungover because you will be at the greasy spoon battling the bulge soon. Save the hollandaise for the holidays or the occasional splurge, and always follow it up with a walk in the park or the local farmers market. When you find yourself at a breakfast spot on a Tuesday or any other random day, do as I do and order from the sides: A couple tomatoes, avocado, poached egg, etc and watch out for the big cheese omelets and those fresh-baked scones, muffins, and butter croissants. Good Luck! Eat right and love large!  

If Robin doesn’t get kicked off tonight, maybe she has the luck to win it all! I have to go watch the end! GO KEVIN! Bacon and all!

Brian Malarkey 
chef@brianmalarkey.com
www.brianmalarkey.com