Chef Joel Gamoran is not only a National Chef for Sur La Table and the author of last year's Cooking Scrappy, but also a noted food waste crusader. In advance of NFL's Super Bowl LIII, I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Joel Gamoran himself, who kindly provided some tips and tricks for those hosting on Game Day no matter your sport of choice.
Below are highlights from that interview with Chef Joel Gamoran, while further information on Gamoran -- who also serves as the host of A+E’s hit series Scraps -- can be found at www.joelgamoran.com; Gamoran can be followed on Instagram via @JoelGamoran.
What was your entry into the food world?
Joel Gamoran: When my parents divorced is when I started cooking a lot more. I realized it brought my family together in a way nothing us could. Then it was off to restaurants to see if this was something I wanted to make a living doing.
You are both a chef and an author. Do you identify as one more than the other?
Joel Gamoran: Definitely a chef, I had a really hard time writing the book but had an amazing team around me to help my voice come through.
When or how did you first become aware of food waste?
Joel Gamoran: Cooking school in Italy. The chefs would always say how the best food was peasant food, stale bread, leftover cuts of meat, vegetable trim etc… One chef told me any chef can make a beautiful cut of meat taste good but very few can do the same for a shrivelled carrot.
For the Super Bowl, you have compiled some tips of tips of how everyday people can eliminate or minimize food waste. Do you have a favorite "leftovers recipe?"
Joel Gamoran: Yes, the Super Bowl is the second most wasteful holiday of the year behind Thanksgiving. Morton Salt and I teamed up to take on the holiday and inspire people to stretch the food leftover to its full potential. I love making stir-fries with leftovers, soups, pastas, etc. The trick is to find ingredients that can take on any flavor and try new things with them.
Where will you be watching this year's Super Bowl?
Joel Gamoran: We are having people over, hosting about 15 people.
Any insight as to who's going to win this year's Super Bowl?
Joel Gamoran: It's going to be tight but I think the young Rams have the edge.
Super Bowl aside, do you have a favorite sports team?
Joel Gamoran: Seattle Seahawks.
And sports aside, what is coming up for you in 2019?
Joel Gamoran: Continue to represent Sur La Table and all the great work we feel we are putting out there. Hopefully Scraps Season 3, and a bunch of other secret projects I cannot quite talk about yet.
When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?
Joel Gamoran: I love playing tennis, I am a big meditator and massage addict. Pretty much obsessed with anything water related, boating, swimming, etc. Finally, I am not above staying in a watching back to back to back movies.
Finally, Joel, any last words for the kids?
Joel Gamoran: Cooking opens up the world for kids. At Sur La Table we have summer kids camps and I watch kids transform within a week from picky eater or scared of the kitchen to absolutely loving cooking and food. My advice get messy, experiment and get into the kitchen as early as your parents will let you!