Many of you have heard of the Table of Life Fundraiser that supports the Foodbank’s Feed the Future programs, a sequential series of programs created by the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County that fosters nutritional health and independence in children of all ages. This year, on October 5th, the Foodbank is thrilled and proud to have Stephanie Sokolove as Table of Life’s keynote speaker. Stephanie is Owner and Executive Chef to THREE nationally recognized restaurants in the Boston area, Stephanie’s on Newbury, Stephi’s on Tremont, and Stephi’s in Southie.
Stephanie has built her business on a style of cooking that she calls “Sophisticated Comfort,” a style that is fresh, interesting, and yet familiar. “Sophisticated Comfort Food” is the next generation of comfort food in that it blends traditional favorites with today’s food preferences. Dishes are imaginatively created with current, fresher ingredients and bolder flavors then artistically presented. At the restaurant, Stephanie spins familiar classics into elegant dishes that comfort and surprise without being fussy or intimidating. http://www.stephaniesonnewbury.com/stephanie-sokolove-bio.pdf
I sat down with the gracious Stephanie Sokolove to ask her some questions about her health and food philosophies, and of course I couldn’t help but ask a little about her restaurants.
Waking up and feeling good. It’s being energetic, clear headed, and ready to face the day.
It’s important to function at your top level. If we’re not healthy, it’s hard to get through day. For instance, I play golf. I take care of myself by not eating big meals beforehand as I need to feel light to play well. I fuel up after the game to replenish.
It has to play into it! Survival probably comes first before health. If more people knew that healthy choices are offered through the Foodbank and they knew where they could get that food, that message would be amazingly welcomed. What kills me is to see overweight kids, eating unhealthy foods, they can’t feel well, but it’s not their fault!
Personal health choices and restaurant services can be very conflicted. What can make food delicious is not necessarily what you should eat everyday. However at our restaurants, everything is fresh, nothing comes out of a can. Fresh is best, and that is a requirement to make food delicious. While we still use butter and salt to flavor our food, we love experimenting with alternatives, such as, using a fresh sauce instead of a rich cream sauce for fish. There has been an evolution over the last 20 years in restaurant food in California. Many restaurants really focus on fresh ingredients and there are many more amazing salads.
I think I would share that the Avocado is probably the healthiest single food we could eat. It is fantastic in all sorts of recipes. It’s a Fruit/ vegetable that is worth experimenting with! Substitute oil or butter with it. Use it in salads, sauces, and in baking, Salads don’t need oil. A ripe avocado gives salads a lovely creamy texture.
Working in a restaurant where food is so abundant, you become unaware of how much food is needed. Working with the Foodbank has been a real eye opener for me, to how much need there truly is.
Thank you Stephanie for spending time with us at the Foodbank, we look forward to seeing you present at the Table of Life Gala on October 5th!