Take Five with Cheryl Forberg On Being the Nutritionist For “The Biggest Loser”

Friday, 5. December 2014 5:25 | Author:

Nutritionist and chef, Cheryl Forberg, has had anything but a one-track life. (Photo courtesy of Forberg)

Nutritionist and chef, Cheryl Forberg, has had anything but a one-track life. (Photo courtesy of Forberg)

 

You may know Napa Valley resident Cheryl Forberg as the nutritionist for NBC’s smash hit, “The Biggest Loser.’’

What you may not know is how she got that coveted job, or how superstar Chef Jeremiah Tower played a pivotal role in her making a dramatic career change, or how Darth Vader’s creator played a part along the way, too.

A few months ago, I had a chance to chat with Forberg about all of that and a whole lot more.

Q: You were a flight attendant in 1986 when Jeremiah Tower happened to be on your flight – and that experience totally changed your life?

A: Yes, it was a flight from New York to Nice. I was working economy and he was sitting in first class. I was crazy about Stars. I had his cookbook and cooked all the recipes. He was my idol.

I heard through the grapevine that he was on the flight. When I went up to meet him, he was sleeping, so I didn’t even get a chance to meet him. I had wanted to change careers for so long. It planted the seed. I couldn’t sleep that night. When I got back to New York, I went to a pay phone outside customs at the airport and called the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. And that was that. I quit my job to go to cooking school.

Q: Years later, you wrote him a thank-you note?

A: Over the years, I’ve been interviewed by so many people who ask why I became a chef. Every time, I tell that story. And each time I do, I think that I have to tell Jeremiah Tower since I never even really got to meet him. He wrote back that it was one of the nicest notes he’d ever received.

Q: After cooking school, you landed an impressive first restaurant job.

A: I was on the opening team of Postrio. That was before Wolfgang Puck had so many restaurants, so he was actually there. I trained with him on the sauté and sauces stations, before going to the pasta station, which was very, very busy, because we made everything in-house.

I learned a lot and he greatly influenced my style of cooking. But I had no aspiration to own my own restaurant. Instead, I started moonlighting for private clients in San Francisco who could afford a private chef.

Q: That led to you getting hired by someone quite famous?

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:"Take Five'' Q&A, Chefs, General, Health/Nutrition | Comments (3)



Chewy-Coconut-Chocolate Pinwheels for the Holidays

Wednesday, 3. December 2014 5:26 | Author:

Chocolate and coconut all swirled into one pretty cookie.

Chocolate and coconut all swirled into one pretty cookie.

 

When I was a kid, I remember my Dad buying me a fanciful pinwheel. It spun as you blew on it and its clear plastic rod hid a trove of tiny colorful candy balls inside.

It was truly two treats in one.

Just like these cookies — which are pinwheels of a different sort.

The kind where you get both chocolate and coconut in one delightful bite.

“Chewy Coconut-Chocolate Pinwheels” is by Martha Stewart. With their two-tone design and festive swirl, they a perfect treat at this time of year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:Favorite Cookie Recipes, General | Comments (7)



Join the Food Gal and Madera Chef Peter Rudolph for a Macy’s Cooking Demo

Monday, 1. December 2014 5:30 | Author:

MacysPeterRudlph

Join me at 6 p.m. Dec. 11 when I host Chef Peter Rudolph of Madera restaurant for a holiday cooking demo at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.

You’re in for a treat as Rudolph shows off one of his signature dishes that you’ll get to taste.

The East Bay native is the former executive chef of Campton Place Restaurant in San Francisco. Under his guidance, Madera in the Rosewood Sand Hill resort garnered a coveted Michelin star.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Person | Comments (3)



A Whale of A Gift

Friday, 28. November 2014 5:26 | Author:

Delicious whale tail-shaped cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company.

Delicious whale tail-shaped cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company.

 

Bypass all the craziness of crowds at the mall today — and still give a whale of gift to friends and family this holiday season.

Honolulu Cookie Company’s newest creation is exactly that — a shortbread cookie shaped like the tail of a Hawaiian Humpback whale.

The Hawaiian Islands boast one of the most important Humpback whale habitats on the planet. The whales migrate to Hawaii each year to reproduce.

The cookie company will be donating a bevy of its whale cookies to fund-raising and educational events hosted by Pacific Marine Life Foundation, a non-profit that supports marine research and conservation in the Pacific basin.

Besides drawing more attention to the whales, the cookies are just plain delicious, as evidenced by the sample I recently had a chance to try.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:Bakeries, General, New Products | Comments (4)

Cranberries — But Not For Sauce

Wednesday, 26. November 2014 5:26 | Author:

One way I enjoy fresh cranberries at this time of year.

One way I enjoy fresh cranberries at this time of year.

 

The first time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family about a dozen years ago, I made cranberry sauce from scratch.

It was my first time doing so. And my last.

I simmered fresh cranberries with orange zest, sugar and a dash of Cointreau, until the berries started to plump and pop, and the whole mixture thickened nicely.

It was fresher, zingier and more lively tasting than anything out of a can. When I set it on the table, I sat back proudly, waiting for everyone to dig in.

Everyone tried it. Then, everyone asked pretty much in unison, “Uh, where’s the stuff from the can?”

And that is why I have never made it again.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (5)