Farming for Health Podcast #7: Brian Levy

Farming for Health Podcast #7: Brian Levy

Today’s guest has a diverse journey to share: that of being a writer, recipe developer, pastry cook (not chef, cook, because he never ran a pastry department), private chef, cookbook author—and then there’s also a bit of kitchen designer to throw in for good measure. 

Fresh out of college, Brian wanted to write for food magazines, and he thought that restaurant experience would help him in that endeavor. So, he worked in France at a bistro-style eatery that served a wide range of foods. He then worked at the Michelin-starred Babbo as a pastry cook in New York.

After that, Brian worked in the kitchens of inns as a private chef and in the fields of farms. He enjoys using and developing different parts of his brain, so he also learned about architecture. Leveraging his artistic ability, he worked on kitchen designs: from traditional to communal. His goal was to put his interests together in a unique way although it didn’t quite work out as he envisioned.

Veering a bit from his path, he began creating digital illustrations, which ultimately led to his interests in fruit-inspired pastry. This twist in Brian’s journey occurred when he ate a mango. (Seriously!) He realized that he wanted to make a dessert that focused on fruits and other natural sugars without actually adding sugar. 

He therefore made a mango custard, and the reaction to this dessert was encouraging. He then began exploring existing recipes that used fruit and other inherently sweet ingredients, but didn’t find what he was seeking. There were plenty of recipes with reduced sugars, sure, and with alternative sugars—but none of that fit his vision. He saw other recipes that used fruit juice concentrates, but that didn’t have the whole food-based focus he wanted. 

Through a process of experimenting and researching, he created the recipes he wanted to use, and he shares them in his 2022 book, Good & Sweet. His focus on health played a subconscious role in his development of his recipes and cookbook, a book that the Los Angeles Times calls “one of the best cookbooks of the year.” 

Listen to the rest of his story in his own words in our Farming for Health podcast, Iodine, Egg Yolk Enzymes, and Miso.

Past Episodes of our Farming for Health Podcast

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