Dining out while staying slim

Adato’s book also includes chefs’ tips for eating in.

When Allison Adato began covering celebrity chefs for People Magazine, she found herself in a conundrum common to many New Yorkers: how can we appreciate good food without compromising our health? For her book “Smart Chefs Stay Slim,” Adato asked just under 40 top-name chefs, some of whom have achieved stunning weight loss, how they maintain control with some of the world’s finest cuisine within a tasting spoon’s reach. Or, as Adato put it, how to “strike the proper balance between pleasure and caution.” We asked her for tips on how to walk away from the table satisfied, not stuffed.

You make a great case for sharing entrees — what are the benefits?

I like sharing, even when the plates are moderately sized, just because I want to taste a lot on the menu, and I don’t necessarily want to eat an appetizer and an entree and dessert myself. Several chefs told me that that’s how they eat themselves: Tom Colicchio talked about ordering just appetizers. He’ll get two or three, and that makes a more interesting meal for him: more flavors, more tastes, better portion sizes.

Is it ever inappropriate to ask for a substitution, say, if you wanted salad instead of frites with your steak?

I don’t think anyone should ever be intimidated by a restaurant to the point where they won’t even ask: Can I have that with the dressing on the side? … I think it’s always okay to ask — you may not always get the answer you want. A chef once told me, “You can take away whatever you want, but you can’t add anything. That’s why we went to cooking school.”

What about asking for a takeaway bag?

If you eat the right amount of food and there’s an untouched piece of chicken left, I think it’s fine to take it away. And it gives you another meal. If you take home that piece of chicken, slice it up over salad, then you have lunch for the next day.

I was at The Dutch recently, and they give you a beautiful little loaf of cornbread when you sit down. We had taken one little slice, just to taste it, and I thought, “Man, that would be good for breakfast.” When I asked the waitress, “May I have that cornbread wrapped” — because obviously they were going to throw it away once we touched it — she said, “We’ll give you a full loaf.”

Because you don’t really need to eat a lot of cornbread before you eat dinner, right?

Right. Don’t eat breakfast for dinner. That’s actually one of my favorite tips in the book. When I look at that cornbread, as delicious as it looks, it’s definitely better for breakfast.

What is your favorite dish in New York to share?
   
I love going to Otto, which is Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s pizza restaurant downtown. If I
go with my son and my husband, we might get one pizza, one pasta and one salad. And then we’ll usually get the gelato, ostensibly for our son. [Laughs] Somehow we eat some of it, too.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."