The life of a Top Chef alum seems like it's a nonstop food-fest all day, every day—cooking and tasting the best of the best, traveling the world, and getting wined and dined everywhere you go. We can imagine all that excess takes its toll. So when Top Chef Season 14 winner Brooke Williamson eats at home, she tries to stay healthy.
"I don't eat a lot of dairy, I don't eat a lot of processed food," the Los Angeles-based chef said, explaining that she travels a lot—and when she travels, she indulges herself. "So when I go home, I feel like that's my time to kind of collect myself and clean out," she explained.
In fact Brooke, who owns four restaurants in LA along with a store selling culinary goods, recently completed the trendy Whole30 diet and gave up drinking alcohol for a month. "And I felt great! So I kind of wanted to continue it," she said, adding with an eye-roll: "And then I came to New York."
Top Chef Season 14 first runner-up Shirley Chung also likes to stay healthy when she's not traveling or working. "I cook a lot of Italian and Chinese food at home, so it's always balanced with lots of vegetables, a little bit of protein, and some starch. Naturally, I don't eat a lot of dairy…and I love vegetables," she said.
Shirley is hard at work on her new restaurant, a casual spot called Steamers Co., which she plans to open in downtown LA. She's partnered up with her husband (who will be working the front of the house) to serve up simple, healthy bowls of steamed seafood.
Keeping it healthy at home, however, isn't always easy. Shirley said she tries to avoid carbs, but "I cannot stay away from rice, noodles, or soy sauce," she declared. "So there's no way I could do [Brooke's] Whole30."
The Whole30 program bans ingredients like sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes—including all forms of soy. Meat, seafood, veggies, some fruit, and good fats are allowed.
"What I missed the most?" Brooke couldn't help but chime in. "Bourbon and soy sauce! I wanted a bourbon and a bowl of rice with soy sauce. That's what I missed the most."
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