Healthy Eating

Feed Your Passion

These chefs love to work up an appetite outside the kitchen. They reveal the recipes that help them recharge.

Feed Your Passion
Pin it Chris Court

From the outside looking in, the life of a chef seems downright delectable: gourmet meals wherever you go, access to incredible ingredients and the ability to whip up whatever the heart (or stomach) desires. But as most culinary pros will tell you, the gig sounds far more glamorous than it actually is. Brutal hours, managing a kitchen staff and dealing with the occasional ornery customer can be seriously stressful. So what’s the perfect recipe for recharging after work? According to these four chefs from around the country, it’s a good workout followed by a satisfying meal. Take a peek at their favorite sweat-inducing (and stress-busting) activities, plus their mouth-watering recipes for refueling post-workout.


Annie Sommerville of Greens Restaurant, San Francisco
Her passion: biking
On mornings when executive chef Annie Sommerville doesn’t have to head into work at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, she wakes up, puts some beans in a bowl to soak and then gets on her bike to cycle around the city with her husband. Even if it’s cold outside, they bundle up and take off early. “So often, I’m in such a rush—to get to the farmers market to shop for the restaurant, to get to the restaurant to start cooking,” says Sommerville. “But when I’m on my bike, it’s an opportunity to take in what’s around me, and to not be distracted. It’s a moving meditation.” When she and her husband get home after their ride, Sommerville puts on a pot of Italian butter bean soup. “I’m a rule breaker, and I find it hard to follow recipes,” she says. “You can put any vegetable in this soup—whatever’s in season—and it’ll be delicious. And it gets even better on the second and third day.

PREP: 2 hrs. 15 min. COOK: 1 hr. 30 min.
1½ cups Italian butter beans (about
9 ounces), rinsed
8 cups vegetable stock
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh marjoram or oregano
3 fresh sage leaves
6 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
plus more for garnish
1 large yellow onion, chopped
(about 2 cups)
¾ teaspoon salt (plus, to taste)
Pepper (2 pinches, plus to taste)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1
1 medium red pepper, diced (about
1 cup)
1∕3 cup white wine
10 kale leaves, ribs removed, cut in
thick ribbons (about 3 cups)
1. Place the rinsed beans in a pot, cover
generously with water and bring to a
boil. Remove from heat and set aside to
soak for 1 to 2 hours. Drain the beans
and rinse well.
2. Combine 6 cups of vegetable stock,
the beans, herb sprigs and leaves, and
the bay leaf in a soup pot and bring
to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer,
uncovered, until the beans are cooked
all the way through and beginning to
break apart, about 1½ hours.
3. While the beans are cooking, heat
the oil in a large sauté pan and add the
onion, ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch
of pepper. Cook over medium heat
until the onion begins to soften, about
3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook
1 minute more. Stir in the carrots, red
peppers, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch
of pepper and cook about 10 minutes,
adding a little stock as needed to keep
the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
Pour in the wine and cook until the pan
is nearly dry, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the vegetables to the soup
pot, along with the remaining stock,
¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper
and cook until the flavors begin to come
together, about 20 minutes. Add the
kale and cook until tender, about 10
minutes more. Season with salt and
pepper, to taste. Remove the bay leaf,
herb sprigs and sage. Serve in warm
bowls and drizzle a little olive oil over
each serving.
Per serving (1 cup): 200 calories,
3 g fat (.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg
cholesterol, 10 g protein, 32 g
carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 300 mg