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MF Interviews Chef Geoffrey Zakarian [VIDEO]

Iron Chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian tells us about the most common mistake that new cooks make plus how he gets his kids to eat healthy.

When we caught up with Iron Chef and restaurant proprietor Geoffrey Zakarian at the 2013 South Beach Wine and Food Festival, he clued us in to a few things we could be doing to make our cooking—and healthy living—experiences a little more successful.

Never skip S & P.  As a judge on Food Network’s Chopped, Zakarian sees his share of rookie kitchen mistakes. The most common blunder? Nope, it’s not screwing up a reduction or burning a soufflé—Zakarian says the number one mistake that new cooks make it not seasoning food with good ol’ salt and pepper, the most bare-bones way to bring out flavor.

Don’t create a kids’ menu.  A father of two, Zakarian says the trick to getting kids to eat healthy is to feed them the same food you’re eating (yep, even veal) instead of offering up kid-friendly alternatives like chicken nuggets or PB&J. Also, cook everything you can at home. If your kids are craving a cheeseburger and fries, make your own recipe instead of getting them hooked on Happy Meals at an early age.

Keep your core strong to be a better cook.  Maintaining a certain level of fitness is essential to scrambling around the kitchen and standing on your feet all day. Zakarian’s workout of choice: Pilates plus cardio.

If listening to Zakarian makes you want to cook, check out The Fit Kitchen, MF’s hub for cooking how-tos, healthy recipes, and all the gadgets you need to make a meal come together in a flash.

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