Dr. Gourmet Newsletter:
October 16, 2006
Chef Tim Says...
In my travel this past week I had dinner in a restaurant that has been acclaimed in a number of food magazines as being one of the best in America. It certainly did not live up to its reputation, in spite of the apparent feeling of the staff that we were being treated to something "really special." I have dined in so many restaurants that have that special balance of great food that says something about the personality of the chef along with a staff that embraces what they are doing. It is seldom that those on "50 Best" lists are actually the "best."
Thankfully, many restaurants today produce much of their fare in house, including breads, cheeses and smoked fish. They pride themselves on using local ingredients and both of these decisions are generally successful. In this vein it was with a flourish that the waiter placed two small loaves of bread baked in house on our table. The crusty little torpedoes were warm and slightly yeasty. A small pot of locally made organic butter accompanied the bread. The butter was pretty bland, however, and did little to complement the lovely artisan style bread.
I am not a big fan of spreading fat on my bread and am generally partial to dipping bread in olive oil if I have a choice. This is the preference of Mediterranean-style fare, and once you get used to the complex yet light flavors of olive oil, being presented with butter in such a restaurant doesn't seem in keeping with great food. Olive Oil
Isis and Minerva
Woodfire Grill, in Atlanta, is my favorite restaurant. Woodfire Grill is a fine restaurant that prepares Northern California style food with local, organic ingredients from Georgia, in a daily changing menu of olive oil tasting and dishes prepared traditionally in the wood oven, braised, or grilled.
Because I am interested in food and I love Woodfire Grill, I decided to talk with Chef/Owner Michael Tuohy and I learned how much food is important to him. Chef Tuohy thinks that "dining out should be pleasurable." Woodfire Grill: An Appreciation
Ask Dr. Gourmet...
How do genetic factors influence the simplistic calories in - calories out = surplus = fat?
Dr. Gourmet Says...
I do believe that there is a subset of people who have a genetic predisposition to obesity, however, I feel that this is a very small percentage.
If you look at the epidemiology of weight gain in the last 50 years it is pretty clearly tied to the changes in what we eat and the ease of obtaining foods that are calorie dense. The surplus diet has different effects because some people eat more of the surplus. If a 5 foot 7 inch woman should be eating about 1500 - 1600 calories per day (depending on activity) and she eats about 2000, the weight gain will be about a half pound per month. She will eat less when she sees herself gaining weight and her weight will rise and fall some, but over her lifetime she will end up with a body mass index near the obese level. Genetics, Weight, and Obesity