An artist in the truest sense of the word, Chef Jason Graham has a unique talent for figuring out how to make the most delicious food without the ingredients you think you need to make it delicious! He is internationally renowned for his work at Golden Door, Rancho Bernardo and most notably, as Executive Chef at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in San Diego, where he also co-authored, Cal-a-Vie Living: Gourmet Spa Cuisine. Jason was honored as one of America's top healthy gourmet chefs by the Aspen Center for Integral Health and is the recipient of the "Platinum Carrot Award" for Best Health Gourmet Chef in the World. Jason is widely admired for his innovative and trailblazing contributions to the world of healthy, gourmet nutrition and cuisine.
I met Jason during a time when I was recovering from serious digestive issues. I couldn't eat basic things like chicken, kale, broccoli, lemon, carrots, egg whites, vanilla, rosemary, oranges and many more seemingly harmless, extremely common, healthy foods. My body was rejecting them. They made me sick. A total of 75 foods were eliminated from my diet (out of the 200 tested) for the purpose of giving my stomach and body a chance to heal from the deteriorative effect toxic chemicals had had on my health.
Among the foods taken out were also the usual suspects: gluten, dairy, soy and sugar (refined). And then there was brewer's yeast, which took out a whole category of anything fermented. Vinegars, ketchup, mustard, relish, pickles and salad dressings all had to go. I'd spent about a year trying to figure out how to eat under these circumstances, which was no easy task because I was nothing short of an idiot in the kitchen to begin with. Not surprisingly, I had a very hard time making food that motivated me to eat.
Then I met Jason. At first he made fun because it was so absurd; my situation was just so absurd, especially for a world-renown chef who used food - all kinds of foods - to create culinary masterpieces. He couldn't believe the list of things I coudln't have, which meant he had to make the gorgeous, delicious meals for which he is known with a severely limited "palette." It would be like giving an artist one brush and two tubes of paint and expecting magic.
Well, magic is what I got. After the joke was over, Jason tackled the challenge like it was straight from an episode of Chopped, where the ingredient list seems impossible to work with, but in the end, the food is 5-star, to die for.
Eating Jason's food was the first time I fully got my head around the meaning of "culinary genius." He can figure a way to switch out, substitute, or alternate ingredients like nothing I dreamed possible. From blueberry pancakes to chocolate cake with ice cream to Brussels Sprouts, a bento box and saffron rice, he made it and I loved every bite. I learned from Jason that food can taste good (and by that I mean over-the-top delicious) in the absence of all the things we think we need to make it so.
We have a lot of fun learning from Jason and have more ideas and videos coming soon. Check back in to bring Jason, his recipes, techniques, tools and tips into your kitchen too!
This is one of my favorites, not only because of how much I actually crave these kale chips (a miracle in itself), but more importantly, for how easy and fast it is to make them.
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