World Chefs: Art Smith shares weight-loss tips in latest book

Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:48am EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Celebrity chef Art Smith, who shed 100 pounds (45 kg) after being diagnosed with diabetes three years ago, shares his weight-loss tips and healthy recipes in his newest cookbook, "Art Smith's Healthy Comfort."

Smith, known for his Southern-inspired cuisine, has six restaurants dotted around the United States, including Table Fifty-Two in Chicago and New York's Joanne Trattoria, which is a joint venture with the parents of pop star Lady Gaga.

Before opening his own restaurant the Florida native spent 10 years as the personal chef of media mogul and actress Oprah Winfrey. He has also cooked for President Barack Obama and other world leaders.

Smith, 53, spoke to Reuters about healthy living, losing a television job and cooking for former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Q: There are so many diet cookbooks out there. Why did you decide to do one?

A: With this book, it was first one that the publisher allowed us to include calories counts in. Before they wouldn't do it ... That showed how people have changed. When they asked me to write another book I said I don't want to do a diet book. I want to show people more of a lifestyle, and how I eat and how I would like to eat. And what I did was that I put together a lot of delicious, healthy recipes.

Q: What were your food nemeses?

A: When I was diagnosed with adult diabetes, the doctor said, 'Control your diet or I have to put you on medication.' So I went on medication rather than address the diet. I did that for a year or so but I wasn't getting better. One of the biggest problems with my diet was that I would use sugar and caffeine to keep my energy level high.   Continued...

American chef Art Smith cooks at his home kitchen in Chicago in this 2012 photo released on September 16, 2013. REUTERS/HarperOne/Kipling Swehla/Handout