Monday, December 18, 2017

On Ice Talent Goes Off Ice and Into the Kitchen: Brian Boitano Releases New Cookbook

May 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured Articles

By Nicolette House

Cooking and writing are just a few new tricks Olympic Gold Medalist Brian  Boitano has up his sleeve. With the recent release of his cookbook, What Would  Brian Boitano Make, Boitano had the chance to reflect on his  past and move forward with his new career as a culinary expert.

While writing the book Boitano had the opportunity to remind himself of the  exciting life he has led. As a competitive figure skater, he began traveling the  world at the tender age of fourteen, as he attended international competitions  and toured in shows. International cuisine was a large part of his travel  adventures.

“I didn’t expect it to be as much of a biographical search through my travels  but it sort of just turned into that. I talk a lot about the first time I went to  certain countries; like to first time I went to Vienna. The recipes are inspired  by my travels but not necessarily knock offs of everything that I had,” says  Boitano.

Cooking has been a part of Boitano’s life for quite some time. He noted that cooking found him, not the other way around. Boitano was the first of his friends to purchase a house after the Olympics, making his place the group’s official gathering space.

“Everybody wanted to hang out at my house and cook. I had this group of six friends and we’d get together almost every night when I was home and cook different dishes. It became a ritual and it was the first time I started discovering how much I love to entertain and cook. It’s how I started developing my own recipes,” says Boitano.

Nutrition has been on Boitano’s mind since a young age. He pointed out that good nutrition is an important part of being an athlete. Boitano notes that athletes don’t always have the time to try different ways of eating to find out what is best for them. Boitano put himself on a diet when he was younger.

“I ate baked potatoes every night for dinner, with plain yogurt and maybe some chives. I had lots of salads. I don’t think my diet was great when I was competing,” says Boitano.

Boitano wishes that he ate the way he eats now when he competed. He tends toward more healthy dishes. He consumes large amounts of fish and is a huge fan of dark leafy green vegetables. He likes to mix his vegetables up and loves trying out different ways to prepare them.

“I try to incorporate every single type of vegetable in my diet. I have this one really great recipe in the cookbook. It’s a cauliflower puree.  I mix apples and cauliflower together and people think I’m serving mashed potatoes. It’s a bed for fish or poultry or anything,” says Boitano.

Boitano equates cooking with skating. Drawing on the similarities between cooking and skating has helped Boitano develop his passion for pleasing the palette.

“There are so many parallels between cooking and skating- all the layers that go into it. The music, costume, athletic ability, and the technical side are like the way a plate looks, the way the flavors melt together, the crunchiness of the tart. All these things go together. It’s the same as skating,” said Boitano.

Boitano draws on his skating experience as inspiration for his success outside of the sport.

“I think that the work ethic that you learn as a skater is so important. Skaters and athletes just have a different idea of what really hard work is.  I think that is the best thing athletes have learned from their sport. That transfers to anything in life,” said Boitano.

After spending his life working up to a gold medal winning performance at the 1988 Olympic Games, Boitano continues to embrace new challenges. He still skates and performs regularly. He can now add published author to his repertoire of success.

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