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Cooking For Tom Cruise | Celebrity Diets With Chef, James Barry (#118)

Lessons from 16+ years of culinary experience from private chef, James Barry

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What It’s Like To Cook For Tom Cruise | Celebrity Diets With Chef To The Stars, James Barry (#118) | My Home Vitality

Introduction to guest:

James Barry’s 16+ years in the culinary field started as a private chef cooking for celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Mariska Hargitay, George Clooney, Gerard Butler, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Barbra Streisand, and John Cusack.

Most recently, James launched his first functional food product, Pluck, an organ-based seasoning. It’s the first of its kind and an amazingly easy and delicious way for people to get organ meats into their diet.

James is also a published cookbook author having co-authored the recipes in Margaret Floyd’s book Eat Naked and co-authored the follow-up cookbook The Naked Foods Cookbook.

He most recently co-authored the recipes in Dr. Alejandro Junger’s book, Clean 7.

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More from James:


Key quotes and takeaways from the show:

Make “comfort food” healthier by using some of the following tips:

  • Bake instead of fry.
  • Use high quality oils.
  • Use high quality, high saturated fats and oils to fry (oils that can deal with high temperatures).
  • Use gluten free light flours like garbanzo bean, rice or coconut flour mix.
  • Infuse sauces or smoothies with vegetables; for example, thicken a curry with cauliflower or a smoothie with avocado.
  • Freeze vegetables: e.g. cut up an avocado, toss it in lemon juice and freeze it in chunks.
  • Eat more vegetables by keeping their ratio in a meal to 20% or less. You won’t taste the flavour.
  • Avoid pre-made dressings. Make them yourself.
  • If you need something to be sweeter, add (dried) fruit rather than sugar.
  • Use whole foods – your body has evolved to understand them.
  • Precook fresh ingredients (pre-additives) and freeze them. For example, black beans.

It’s really difficult to eat healthy when you eat out because restaurants are businesses and they use cheap ingredients to keep overheads low.

Keep cooking simple using formulas: what protein, fat and vegetables do I want in this dish?

Lemon zest turns up the flavour of almost everything.

We could all do with a little deemphasis on food. Be careful rewarding yourself with food.

Get to a place where your work revolves around your life, not the other way around. You can’t achieve your goals if you are not healthy.

Appliances that James has consistently had in his kitchen: a blender, a food processor, a chef knife.

Knowing how to use and sharpen a knife will take you to the next level as a chef. Cooking becomes easier then.

Olive oil should be in a dark glass (to avoid light damaging it) and be cloudy (means it hasn’t been over-processed). James rarely cooks with olive oil because it is too sensitive to heat, he mainly uses it for dressings.

“93% of Americans are nutrition deficient but not Calorie deficient.”

There is nothing new. Do your research, find what works and stick with that. Eat whole foods.

“The condition that most people think is their best, is not.”

Flavour profiles: Bitter, Sweet, Sour, Salty and Umami.

When we eat too fast, we don’t give our body or brain enough time to give us sufficient feedback.

AIP: Autoimmune Protocol – Diet purported to reduce inflammation, pain, and other symptoms experienced by people with autoimmune disorders by healing their leaky gut and removing potentially problematic ingredients from their diet.

You are not “supposed” to be on any specific diet. Diets are different for everyone. Use the feedback that you get from your body to determine whether your current diet suits you or not.

If you eat whole foods, it’s very difficult to overeat on calories.

In nature, flavour is connected to nutrients. When you eat tasty food that has little, or no, nutritional value, your body keeps wanting to eat it because it’s searching for the nutrition.

If you eat a plant-based diet that consists of plants grown by large farms/corporations, you are not saving animals. Ploughing crops kills a lot of animals. You can get a lot more food and nutrition from one cow than from acres of soybeans.

Burn it all. “If I could get rid of it all I would.”

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Show notes:

  • 00:00:00 – Book recommendations.
  • 00:04:45 – Cooking for Tom Cruise.
  • 00:10:31 – How to make comfort food healthy.
  • 00:17:52 – How to be a better cook.
  • 00:22:12 – What celebrities eat.
  • 00:25:22 – Meal prep tips.
  • 00:28:14 – Recommended kitchen tools.
  • 00:32:34 – What to keep in your pantry.
  • 00:34:45 – The perfect roast potatoes.
  • 00:36:45 – Organ meats.
  • 00:38:10 – Western health issues.
  • 00:47:46 – Pluck seasoning.
  • 00:58:19 – Diet.
  • 01:03:22 – NormaTec boots.
  • 01:06:11 – The plant based diet myth.
  • 01:11:28 – Let it burn!
  • 01:13:25 – Bigfoot.
  • 01:13:53 – More from James.
  • 01:15:44 – Is fruit, kale or fasting bad for you?
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