Olive Oil Road

Athleisure - - Contents -

We talk with Chef Sea­mus Mullen to talk about Spain, Olive Oil and fit­ness.

A few weeks ago, we met Chef Sea­mus Mullen at the Olive Oils of Spain where he kicked off the Olive Oil World Tour. Known for Span­ish cook­ing and his love of olive oil, we talked with this res­tau­ra­teur of Whirly­bird + Greens and El Col­mado and au­thor of Real Food Heals. He shared why olive oil is so im­por­tant to him, be­ing a fit­ness en­thu­si­ast and his com­mit­ment to giv­ing back via Chefs Cy­cle to en­sure that he fights child hunger.

ATH­LEISURE MAG: Tell us about how you got into cook­ing and de­cided this was a field that you wanted to work in.

CHEF SEA­MUS MULLEN: Grow­ing up on a farm I was al­ways around re­ally good in­gre­di­ents, in fact both of my grand­moth­ers were ex­cel­lent cooks and I started cook­ing at a re­ally young age with them. When I got into high school and needed a Sum­mer job to earn money, I started work­ing in a pizze­ria and that was re­ally the be­gin­ning of be­ing around food for me pro­fes­sion­ally. Af­ter col­lege, I threw my­self into pro­fes­sional cook­ing and I’ve been do­ing it ever since.

AM: We love olive oil - tell us about how you em­braced it from a cook­ing per­spec­tive?

CSM: Olive oil was some­thing that we al­ways had in the house, grow­ing up, but we only used it for vinai­grettes. When I was 17 I went to Spain for a year abroad and lived with a Span­ish fam­ily that was to­tally food-ob­sessed. Be­ing in the kitchen with my host mother re­ally turned me on to how fun­da­men­tally im­por­tant olive oil is to Span­ish cui­sine and I to­tally fell in love.

AM: How did you con­nect with Olive Oils of Spain?

CSM: I’ve spent a fair amount of my ca­reer in Spain and I think it would be fair to say that Olive oil is re­ally the foun­da­tion of Span­ish cui­sine. My early love for the olive oils of Spain has stayed with me through­out my ca­reer and I re­ally can’t imag­ine cook­ing with­out it. AM: What are the ben­e­fits of uti­liz­ing olive oil for health rea­sons?

CSM: There are so many health ben­e­fits of cook­ing with olive oil, from its anti-ox­i­dant prop­er­ties, to its nat­u­rally anti-in­flam­ma­tory qual­i­ties, it’s a fun­da­men­tal in­gre­di­ent in the healthy kitchen. As an oil that is high in mo­noun­sat­u­rated fat, olive oil helps the body pro­duce healthy choles­terol. And most im­por­tantly, it’s in­cred­i­bly de­li­cious!

AM: Tell us about your restau­rant in NYC and what are some of your fa­vorite dishes that are per­fect for the sum­mer.

CSM: Sum­mer in NYC is all about the pro­duce. We get some re­mark­able fruits and veg­eta­bles this time of year. Lately I’ve re­ally been into a very sim­ple salad of sliced peaches with herbs, fresh ri­cotta cheese, a sprin­kle of sea salt and a healthy dose of ex­tra vir­gin olive oil from Spain.

AM: We have done var­i­ous in­ter­views with Chefs Cy­cle and know that you par­tic­i­pated in this - how im­por­tant is it for you to be in­volved in phil­an­thropic/well­ness events of this na­ture?

CSM: I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to give back. As a chef, our job is to feed peo­ple and with 1 in 3 kids fac­ing food in­se­cu­rity in the US I feel com­pelled to work to fix what is a solv­able prob­lem. It also has the added ben­e­fit of get­ting chefs out and moving and health­ier!

AM: What is it about cy­cling that you en­joy and what other work­outs do you en­joy do­ing in ad­di­tion to this?

CSM: Cy­cling has been a part of my life for a re­ally long time and there’s so much I love about it. First and fore­most, rid­ing a bike is fun! It’s also a great way to get around, in fact I go pretty much ev­ery where in the city by bi­cy­cle. If I’m rid­ing my moun­tain bike, it’s my med­i­ta­tion, I’m fo­cused just on the mo­ment, tak­ing the woods, the trees, the out­doors. On the road bike it tends to be a

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