Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meet Tori Groat, personal chef and organic food lover

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 10:27 AM

click to enlarge cheftori.jpg

When was the last time you produced a meal using ingredients from your local farmers' market? It appears that the days of using fresh ingredients have ceased, and have been replaced with the convenience of fast food. This is where Chef Tori Groat comes in to save the day. She is the founder of Eat Right at Home Personal Chef Services. As noted on her Web site, her philosophy is simple: using local, organic ingredients provides us with a closer connection to the foods we eat, makes us more aware of the food providers in our communities and brings us full circle to healthy farm-to-table eating.

Creative Loafing: I read in your biography that you prepare special diets for clients with food allergies. What is the most challenging food allergy to cook around?

Tori Groat: I don’t think any one allergy is tough to cook around. I would say multiple food allergies can be tough. I have really been able to work around that; I have two kids that have multiple food allergies, so that made me very experienced, very quick.

You speak on your Web site about "organic ingredients providing us with a closer connection to the food we eat." How is this achieved exactly?

Well, let me first start by saying that the term organic is really loosely used, and it differs from state to- state.  So anyone can put a label saying organic on their food. With me, I get to see the farmers. I can see when it’s picked, how it’s grown, and these are all things we have lost connection with. Just having that connection with farmers helps me.

For those people contemplating a transition from a McDonald’s diet to an organic diet, what advice would you give to convince them to try organic products?

Well, I have quite a bit of experience with that because I used to be the McDonald's eater. I was very hesitant at first to try organic products, but the taste cannot be beat, it cannot be compared. And the way you feel is a big difference. I heard a quote from a farmer, this put it so well: "Cheap food is neither cheap, nor food." And I love that, because it is so true. We do, we have to make our health a priority by eating real foods.

(photo by Logan Canale)

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