Hi! This blog is written by me, Jamie Levine! I’m originally from Los Angeles, but lived in New York for 7 years, going to culinary school, working in restaurants and just living life! I’m now back in my hometown, working as a personal chef.
After years of culinary training and a not-so-healthy going-out-to-restaurants obsession, I’ve really had the opportunity to hone my skills, develop my palate and figure out my cooking style and philosophy.
Basically, I was always most impressed with what chefs could do with produce. (True talent leaves you licking your salad plate). So, I began to focus on fruits and veggies…and I think that it’s time they get their place in the limelight (ok, bad pun).
And so here we are…green beans & grapefruit is an ode to fruits and vegetables.
Not only are they good for you and invariably make you feel good, but they’re so much more attractive than other ingredients! Bright colors, different flavors, tastes, smells, textures. And they’re cheap!!
Did I mention they’re cheap???
These recipes are simply the way I like to eat. I try to eat on the lighter, healthier side but love food and absolutely indulge (probably too much). I cook what’s in season, when ingredients are at their peak, and try to keep it simple, letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
I’d rather caramelize an onion to make a soup sweeter than add sweetener, but I’ll add lots of sugar to coconut cake because if I’m going to splurge then it better be worth it!
Don’t get me wrong, I love all other food groups as well. If I could have it my way, I’d have chocolate cake for breakfast and a hunk of cheese for dinner. Everyday.
Thank you for your interest!
QUESTIONS FREQUENTLY ASKED:
How did you get your start in cooking?
At an early age and I give full credit to my mom (who is an amazing artist but lousy cook). My sister and I grew up on a diet of take out and 3 homemade meals: breaded chicken (usually burnt), chicken with tomato sauce (which somehow always made our oven look like the chicken was murdered), and spaghetti with tomato sauce (not awful, but she made this one at least twice a week). By age 8, I had enough and began experimenting in the kitchen to produce a dinner without chicken or tomato sauce.
Did you go to culinary school? Would you recommend culinary school for someone who wants to go into a food career?
I graduated from The Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde Park, NY campus in 2005 with a degree in Culinary Arts. I think that culinary school is a great way to obtain a solid foundation of food/cooking knowledge but it is geared towards those who want to professionally cook. It was the right choice for me because I was serious about cooking.
Have you worked in restaurants?
What do you currently do for work?
I work in Los Angeles as a personal chef. I realized while working at my 4th restaurant that I really didn’t want the life of a restaurant chef. Personal chefing (it’s a word, I swear) was a natural transition into being able to cook but without all of the other restaurant and catering world challenges. And I have full creative control.
Do you have a specialty?
I’d describe my food as seasonal New American with Italian influences. My friends describe my food as Ina, but lighter, with a little Giada and Nigella.
What’s your favorite dish to make?
*Last but not least, a HUGE thank you to my sister Jackie for helping me endlessly with this site. Cover photo by Robert Kane.