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Refrigerator Look Book: Sam Talbot

Sam Talbot, the fan favorite on Top Chef’s second season and the Executive Chef of Montauk’s Surf Lodge and Imperial No. 9 (until last week!), is known as a chef-about-town.

The New York Times called him “a perennial favorite on the sexy-chef lists” and “a staple on the A-list party circuit.”

But Talbot’s chef-glam glow is not entirely incidental. Since being diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 11, he’s had to pay careful attention to his health, which he does through fresh foods, yoga, and surfing. His new cookbook, The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries, is a testament to his healthy lifestyle.

We peeked inside his Lower East Side fridge to see what he serves when the order’s his own:

Do you cook a lot at home? I do. You don’t get sick of it? No—for me, it’s like meditation. As long as there is music.

Do you have a favorite dish you make? Shirataki noodles—the recipe’s in my book.

Sam Talbot

What do you do with the whole coconut? I machete the top off and drink the water, and then I peel the insides with a spoon and put it on a little bit of Greek yogurt with honeycomb.

Sounds like a great snack. As a diabetic, you have to snack a lot throughout the day, right? What do you reach for? Yes, there’s one section in the book called Squirrel Food, which is five or six recipes that I make, like goji granola with sesame seeds, vegan crunch, that kind of stuff. I just make it in bulk at the restaurant or at home and put it in plastic bags and carry it throughout the day.

Do you have any guilty pleasures you’re not showing me? There’s an amazing vegan ice cream in the freezer. It’s made with cashews.

Sam talbot cookbook
Talbot's new cookbook has diabetes in the title, but its recipes are meant for any health-conscious eater.

Sounds delicious. But that does not count as a guilty pleasure! What’s that big green fruit on the top shelf? A papaya? It’s a casaba melon. I eat it with a touch of sea salt, lime juice, and hot sauce. I love hot sauce—I always have Sriracha.

One more thing I’ve never seen—what is black garlic? It’s fermented garlic. It turns black and gets really sweet. It’s really aromatic and nutty, and it’s very pliable so you can make it into a paste or fold it into a mayonnaise and make an aioli for a sandwich. You can puree it and make a vinaigrette, or I also roast it with lamb. I’m definitely using it this Thanksgiving. —Lisa Elaine Held