Our Summer Reading List
At Chef Contos Kitchen & Store, cooking isn’t our only passion.
Reading is also high on our list. If it inspires, enlightens, entertains or educates, you will most likely find that book in our beach bag or on our nightstand.
We checked in with Chef Contos to see what titles are capturing her attention this summer.
Not surprisingly, her current stack is focused on health and well-being. The move to Mexico, and the opportunity to build a new kitchen and stock a new pantry with essentials that nourish and heal, motivated Chef Contos to approach this opportunity with her characteristic curiosity and desire to dig deep. Her research led her to these three titles first.
In his newest book, Chef Seamus Mullen shares how he transformed his health, and ultimately his life, through cooking delicious, wholesome simple food. Entitled, Real Food Heals: Eat to Feel Younger + Stronger Every Day, this book’s goal is to help you reclaim your health. In addition to “ nutritious recipes that are synonymous with delicious and will recalibrate what delicious means,” Chef Mullen shares lessons, insights and information learned through his own journey from a debilitating illness to a body that is younger, stronger and more energized every day. Enthusiastic followers of each other on Instagram, Chef Mullen and Chef Contos share a passion for marrying their professional skills with healthy ingredients to create food that nourishes and delights.
Throughout his story, Chef Mullen credits the people that motivated and supported him to embark on his path to healing. Chief among them is Dr. Frank Lipman, a pioneering Functional and Integrative physician whose newest book, How to be Well, is a “unique handbook with everyday habits and practices you can deploy to live your best, healthiest and happiest life.”
Dr. Lipman has organized the book around The Good Medicine Mandala, and we knew we were going to love it when we read that the first part of his formula for vitality is EAT! He then guides us through SLEEP, MOVE, PROTECT, UNWIND and CONNECT, in the hope that we will consider this a field guide to being well in an increasingly unwell world. Chef Contos keeps this well-designed, graphically pleasing volume close by and consults it often for the essential skills it provides.
In her classes, Chef Contos often teaches students with dietary restrictions or allergies. Wanting to create recipes that respect these circumstances while also respecting her standards, she started to read about food sensitivities and treatments. That quest led her to Dr, Steven Gundry and his book, The Plant Paradox. Every week we are hearing from one source or another about the importance of prioritizing plants in our diet and on our plate. However, what we aren’t hearing is that not every vegetable is created equal. Dr. Gundry shares the science behind his belief that the root problem causing many of the health issues in our society is not gluten, but a highly-toxic plant-based protein called Lectin. He offers some simple approaches for how to minimize Lectin in our diets and classes at Chef Contos will now peel and de-seed our veggies, focus on preparing fruit that is in season, and swap brown rice for white.
What’s on your reading list this summer?