The Cheat Sheet: Mitch Prensky from Supper
Chef Mitch Prensky is well known for his farm-to-table fare and unique use of ingredients at his South Street restaurant, Supper, so we stopped by to ask him a few questions about his day to day life and how healthy eating fits into the mix.
What is your typical breakfast?
I go for a healthy option every morning. I prefer black coffee, a toasted English muffin with jelly, and then I make a bowl of low-fat vanilla yogurt with blueberries and granola.
How many cookbooks do you own? What’s your favorite healthy cookbook?
I own over 300, but I have two favorite healthy cookbooks. One is the classic Moosewood Cookbook. It was impossible to escape this book when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. I also really like the French Culinary Institute’s Salute to Healthy Cooking featuring all of my former chef-bosses cooking lighter versions of their French classics.
What’s the best healthy recipe you have ever created?
At our catering company, The Global Dish, we pride ourselves on creating custom menus for each client’s event. As a result, I’ve been tasked with creating many low-fat/spa/vegan/all-vegetable menus. One of my favorites was an all-vegetable tasting that featured an awesome corn dish with radish, cilantro, tofu and lime. Great flavors!
Favorite farmers’ market in the city?
Head House Market is my go-to.
Favorite “healthy” kitchen tool?
A bamboo steamer. (Katie says: See my advice below on how to use these!)
Best healthy cooking tip?
You can get a lot of flavor without a lot of salt and fat by substituting citrus juices and zest for salt and good quality extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter.
Favorite healthy menu item at Supper?
Our “back porch crudités,” featuring our own Blue Elephant Farm vegetables with our signature pimento cheese and crispy biscuits. Take out the biscuits and the cheese and you have a great healthy meal!
Katie says: Supper’s a great choice for a healthy night on the town. I love the summer vegetable potage and the market fish of the day, which is served with a beet-ginger slaw, kohlrabi puree, braised greens and lemon jam. Yum!
I second chef’s bamboo steamer pick—it’s a great tool to have in your kitchen. Steaming is a gentle, healthy cooking process that preserves nutrients and locks in flavor, texture, color and moisture. This traditional cooking technique is the perfect way to make dumplings, flavorful veggies and more.
If you’ve ever considered buying a bamboo steamer, here’s some basic info to get your started. A bamboo steamer is circular with a slatted bottom. The bamboo and the design help it retain heat for evenly cooked food while absorbing excess moisture to prevent sogginess. They are designed to be used with a wok, but you can easily place the steamer over a pot with two to three inches of boiling water. You can stack several steamers to cook several foods at once, which is super convenient. Always place the ingredients with the longest cook times, such as fish, in the bottom steamer and the ingredients with shorter cook time (i.e. veggies) on the top layers.
Ranging from $15 to $30, bamboo steamers are available at Kitchen Kapers on Walnut Street.
Have a restaurant you’d like us to Cheat Sheet? Let us know in the comments!
Restaurant menus are reviewed by Phillies dietitian and owner of Healthy Bites Katie Cavuto Boyle. In most cases, the individual restaurants were contacted for specific ingredient and recipe information. Note: Many restaurants have seasonal menus and some items may not be available.