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Bonus Episode: Work/Life Balance with Chef Kenny Gilbert

Weight Loss for Food-Lovers with Molly Zemek


In this episode, Molly speaks with her friend and former mentor, Chef Kenny Gilbert, about the effect of the coronavirus on his personal and professional life. Chef Gilbert was a former participant on Bravo's Top Chef, is a personal chef to Oprah Winfrey, and has been an Executive Chef for over 20 years at some of the nation's best restaurants and resorts. Molly worked for Kenny at The Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island and again at The Lodge at Sea Island.

In this epsidoe Molly begins by giving a little detail about their history and praises him for his work ethic and reputation for quality.

After catching up, Chef Kenny talks about how the pandemic has caused him to return to his roots and cook for those around him. Growing up, he had the opportunity to experience the importance of food and community through his grandmother. He sees this time as a chance to challenge himself and invest in important relationships.

Despite the virus, Chef Kenny is moving forward with the opening of his restaurant, Cut & Gather. He talks about the origins of the project, and how his excitement led to an increased role and an upcoming move. Cut & Gather seeks to combine his love for southern food with an international flair.

To close, Chef Kenny shares the connection between his professional development and a renewed desire for personal improvement. Just as he seeks a high standard in the kitchen, the coronavirus has shown him the importance of taking care of his physical and mental health.

Topics Covered

- Challenging yourself in a difficult situation

- The importance of investing in those around you

- Adapting to an ever-changing industry

- Finding a balance and resetting your priorities

- How unexpected events can lead to personal improvement

Key Quotes

“I have to stay fresh. I look at this as an opportunity to get my body back to where it needed to be. My mind where it needed to be. And all that for me was based around food and family.”- Kenny Gilbert

“I always make sure that even with my restaurants, I always want to show that I had a local presence.”- Kenny Gilbert

“I’ve always invested in my family, but I think it’s more important to invest even more. Because I make all these memories for people with food, but how many memories did I really make with my kids, or my grandkids at that time as well?”- Kenny Gilbert

“It’s kind of been like a reboot, like a reset on life, what’s really important.”- Kenny Gilbert

“It just speaks so beautifully to kind of the cycle of life. The fact that you are able to use this period as a way to get stronger in your relationships I think is something that a lot of people really envy and are striving towards.”- Molly Zemek

“There’s a foundation of how we’re supposed to be when we’re in the kitchen as well. It’s like, what is your mindset? What is your philosophy? If you don’t have a philosophy that you can talk about then you’re going nowhere.”- Kenny Gilbert

Links Mentioned

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