Celebrity Chefs

Fit to Fight: Chefs who want to slim down

People who work in professional kitchens can't usually moonlight as fitness models but these chefs are competing in a brand new competition to slim down. The weight loss competition is called Fit to Fight and will be hosted by Mike Isabella of “Top Chef." Check out their starting weights here. 

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Mike Isabella - Starting weight: 241 lbs

Founder of Fit to Fight and owner of Washington, D.C.’s Graffiato, Kapnos, and G.

Isabella was in Bravo’s “Top Chef” season six and was later runner-up on “Top Chef All-Stars.” He’s the author of Mike Isabella’s Crazy Good Italian, and he’s a member of the American Chef Corps --a network of chefs who assist the U.S. Department of State.  “I lost almost 40 lbs. last year and while I've kept off some of that weight, I'd like to lose more, get in shape, and have more energy," Isabella says.

 

DigestMiami.com

Jamie DeRosa - Starting weight: 280 lbs

Chef and owner of Tongue & Cheek in Miami Beach. DeRosa has worked around the world at a host of notable eateries, including Geoffrey Zakarian's Tudor House, Allen Susser's Taste Gastropub and Wolfgang Puck’s outposts in Orlando, Toronto, Las Vegas and South Florida -- among others.

Jamie says he’s in it, “To be part of a great cause and compete with friends and fellow chefs. Be healthier, live better and enjoy time with my family."

DigestMiami.com

Jacob Anaya - Starting weight: 195 lbs

Executive chef of OTC in Miami. Anaya previously worked at the five-star rated Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, in addition to Australia’s Wildfire and Bel Mondo, San Francisco'sCampton Place and Pauia Restaurant at the Four Seasons in Hawaii and California.

"I want to make sure I can hang with my boy, Gibson, in every sport that he plays," Anaya says.

DigestMiami.com

Tim Andriola - Starting weight: 188 lbs

Chef and owner of Miami’s Timó Restaurant & Bar and Basil Park. Andriola, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, was previously chef de cuisine at Chef Allen’s in Aventura and executive chef of Mark’s South Beach.

"With the help of Basil Park's food as fuel...I'm in it to win it!" says Andriola.

DigestMiami.com

Julian Baker - Starting weight: 264 lbs

Executive chef of Miami’s Toscana Divino.

The England-born chef  has worked in Maine, Milan, Trentino, Tuscany and Manhattan in eateries that include  Fishers of Baslow Hall, The White Barn Inn, The Cardozo Bar & Grill and Bice Café. "Obviously to help the charity and be part of the community are good enough reasons to do this, as I see the younger cooks chasing me I could do with shedding a few to help stay ahead," Baker says.

 

DigestMiami.com

Timon Balloo - Starting weight: 270 lbs

Executive chef of Miami’s Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill. 

Born to parents of  Chinese and Trinidadian descent, Balloo graduated from Johnson & Wales University, and has been running the kitchen at Sugarcane since 2009. "My goal is to lose as much weight as possible and to use the challenge to jump start a healthy lifestyle while supporting a great cause," Balloo says.

 

DigestMiami.com

Andre Bienvenu - Starting weight: 250 lbs

Executive chef of Miami Beach’s Joe's Stone Crab. 

Bienvenu, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, spent 10 years with Hyatt Hotels and working at various hotels and restaurants before joining Joe's Stone Crab. "My goal is to help the charity. Being a chef in South Florida, charities are very important to me. As a chef, you know the right foods to eat and the right things to do but with the hours we put in it's very hard to live that way," Bienvenu says.  

DigestMiami.com

Sean Brasel - Starting weight: 167

Chef and owner of Miami Beach’s Meat Market. 

Brasel got his start as a sous chef at Cliff Young’s in Denver. Eventually, he and business partner David Tornek opened multiple successful restaurants in Colorado and Florida, before launching Meat Market. "I’m excited to be a part of this, because it’s a great cause,” Brasel says. “I’m also pretty active and very competitive, so I think it will be a lot of fun to get in the gym with my colleagues and work out with them a bit."

DigestMiami.com

Aaron Brooks - Starting weight: 183 lbs

Executive chef of Miami’s EDGE Steak & Bar.  

Brooks served in Four Seasons kitchens from Vancouver to Boston before joining Four Seasons’ Edge in Miami. He’s performed in venues including the James Beard House, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. "Having two kids (the youngest is one and a half), I realized it's time for me to get my life in order. In this industry it's easy to get carried away with all the good food and good drink," Brooks says.

DigestMiami.com

Todd Erickson - Starting weight: 189 lbs

Executive chef of Miami Beach’s HaVen South Beach and Huahua’s Taqueria.

In 2011, Erickson partnered with HaVen Hospitality Concept owners, Mike Boles and Niloy Thakkar, to open HaVen. In 2013, they followed it with Huahua’s Taqueria. "I'm excited to be part of Fit to Fight because it's for a great cause and to set an example for all those other chefs and line cooks that work long hours and eat poorly. This goes to show we can all make progress toward personal health," Erikson says.

DigestMiami.com

Brad Kilgore - Starting weight: 230 lbs

Chef de cuisine at Miami’s J&G Grill. 

Kilgore opened L2o in Chicago and EPIC restaurant before working as executive sous chef at Azul in the Mandarin Oriental. These days he serves as chef de cuisine under chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

"I want be a part of this great cause not only to support my peers but to challenge myself for a greater cause," Kilgore says.

DigestMiami.com

Dena Marino - Starting weight: 180 lbs

Chef and partner of Miami’s MC Kitchen. 

Marino worked with chef Michael Chiarello before serving as chef of Colorado’s D19, Ellina and Ajax Tavern. She opened MC Kitchen in Miami's Design District in 2012.

"I'm excited to participate in Fit to Fight because one, it's a great cause, two it's great for the body, and three I'm a competitive person so I love any challenge," Marino says.

 

DigestMiami.com

Ralph Pagano - Starting weight: 205 lbs.

Chef and owner of Sunny Isles Beach’s Alba Seaside Italian and Naked Taco.

Pagano has held executive chef roles at NYC’s West Broadway Restaurant, Bobby Van’s Steakhouse and served as chef /owner of The World Pie. He’s host of The Travel Channel's “Pressure Cook,” and The Lifetime Channel's “All Mixed Up.” "Truthfully I think all of us chefs can change the world by doing one thing differently in our kitchens every day, because we feed so many people. So I'm going to start by feeding myself differently," Pagano says.

DigestMiami.com

Fit to Fight: Chefs who want to slim down

People who work in professional kitchens can't usually moonlight as fitness models but these chefs are competing in a brand new competition to slim down. The weight loss competition is called Fit to Fight and will be hosted by Mike Isabella of “Top Chef." Check out their starting weights here. 

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