Celebrity Q&A – Joe Bastianich, Master Chef
Restaurateur-winemaker Joe Bastianich, along with partners Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali, operates three wineries in Italy, as well as twenty-three successful restaurants across the country, including Babbo and Del Posto in NYC, and Carnevino in Las Vegas. Joe is a judge on FOX’s reality TV hit, MasterChef, scheduled to make its two-part season three premiere on June 4th and June 5th at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT . His highly anticipated memoir, “Restaurant Man,” is being released May 1. Visit heartinthekitchen.com for some of his healthy recipes.
What was the ah-ha moment that made you start taking your health seriously?
Eight years ago at age 35 my doctor gave me a rather brutal wake-up regarding the state of my health. I was 60 lbs. over weight, suffering from sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and was on the fast track for developing type 2 diabetes. The picture he painted for me was not pretty, and I knew I had to make a change in my lifestyle. I started running and went on medication for high cholesterol. I also modified my diet in a way that I didn’t feel deprived.
Do you have a secret habit that is part of your healthy lifestyle?
Being a restaurateur isn’t exactly conducive to dieting — I knew there were certain foods that I would not be able to give up, pasta being the big one. I had to change the role food played in my life. Growing up, food was seen as a reward, but once I took up running, I began to use food more as fuel for my athletic ambitions.
If you could get a free pass forever with one bad habit, what would it be?
Cigars! Sadly those days are gone.
What is your greatest health achievement or milestone?
Completing the Ironman World championships in Kona, HI, last year. Participating in the race was a privilege — and a very spiritual experience for me.
Run, walk, ride or swim?
I love running, and I’m from Queens, so biking comes easy for me. It’s swimming that has been a challenge.