Q&A with Sam Talbot
The chef on surfing, snacking and coping with diabetes.
Things you probably know about Sam Talbot: he was a breakout Top Chef star, runs two of-the-moment restaurants and is a regular on the NYC beach and nightlife circuits. Things you don't: he has diabetes and never leaves home without a snack. We grilled the 6'5" chef just before the release of his first book, The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries.
Number one reason for taking care of his body:
I’m a type 1 Diabetic, and I was diagnosed at age 12. So I really learned at a young age the importance of monitoring your blood sugar and watching your food intake.
I do a lot of abs and yoga and free weights. Sometimes at home. Sometimes at the gym.
What we'd be surprised to find in his fridge:
Shiratake noodles. Usually when people look in my fridge they’re like, "what the hell’s that?"
Usually scrambled egg whites with almond milk.
Inspiration for his forthcoming book:
I really wanted to use the platform that I have to be able to educate others on the importance of eating well and what it can do for anybody — not just someone who is a diabetic. It doesn’t just come from my cooking, it comes from my whole lifestyle. You know: yoga, surfing, the outdoors, the whole nine.
How he snacks:
I make a lot of different low-carb, vegan stuff. And I carry juice boxes. I’m like a six year old.
Best place for a hot date:
I like to go out of the city; either the Catskills or maybe cooking at home in Montauk.
Favorite fall farmer's market find:
I love that cooking gets a little more hearty and comforting and root vegetables start to pop. For me, it’s about making warm hearty stews. Things that warm the soul.
All-time favorite city:
I really love New York City. It’s so alive here. I also think Marin County is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Brazil with my friends, Goose and Mike.
I dig Steve McQueen, Ralph Lauren and Hunter S. Thompson.
One thing in his wardrobe he can’t live without:
I wear a lot of vintage button-downs that I’ve collected from all across America from different small towns. I like things that tell a story.
Gwyneth Paltrow is a great example of someone who is really trying to bring awareness to overall health. I think Dr. Oz is on the forefront of educating.
When the bottoms of my jeans get wet (laughs). You know, like when you’re walking and the heels of your pants get all wet?
Most surreal career moment:
Having Eric Ripert write the forward of my book.
What he eats to feel healthy:
My homemade Coconut Acai Crumble (find the recipe here).
On his bucket list:
I don’t think I have one. I just fly by the seat of my pants.
I’m really loving my new One Touch Ultra Mini, my blood glucose reader to keep my blood sugar in check. It’s small and sleek, and it’s my favorite color: purple.
What he's totally over:
Best gift he's ever received:
I’m kind of obsessed with my new Barbour jacket. My girlfriend gave it to me as a pre-birthday gift. My birthday’s in December, and since it’s so close to Christmas I always get screwed.
If he wasn't a chef:
I'd probably do something in fashion.
Message he'd like to send to the world. (Only catch: It has to be 140 characters or less):
Photography by Joe Termini and Sarah Kehoe