Chef Inspired Healthy with Diane Henderiks ~ Franklin Becker
Chef Franklin Becker makes a healthy salad using ingredients from the market
Franklin Becker has made preparing wholesome and healthy food a focal point in his life. At the age of 27, Becker was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes. Rather than despair he transformed his cooking style. Becker learned to use simple ingredients to create dazzling dishes that are healthy and flavorful. He is the author of two cookbooks, Eat & Beat Diabetes and The Diabetic Chef. Both aim to share Becker's recipes for better living.
Previously, Becker served as the corporate chef of EMM group overseeing menus for Abe & Arthurs, CATCH, and Lexington Brass, in addition to serving as executive chef at restaurants such as Capitale, Brasserie, and Trinity at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. Becker’s latest project, The Little Beet, is a super healthy fast-casual joint that opened last December and has a line out the door during peak lunch hours. At The Little Beet, Franklin is taking his wholesome cooking style and bringing it to a larger scale in the hope that he’ll turn healthy eating into a way of life. Chef Becker is also opening Cast Iron in the winter of 2015.
Diane: Do you see a trend with diners seeking better-for-you options on the menu?
Franklin: Absolutely! I think people frequent the Little Beet because that’s what they are looking for. Our restaurant offers that and so much more. We are 100 percent gluten-free and we concentrate on wholesome cooking.
Diane: What’s your definition of “healthy eating”?
Franklin: Balanced eating: healthy fats, protein, and carbs from vegetables, fish, meat, and legumes.
Diane: What is your secret to cooking healthier without sacrificing flavor?
Franklin: Fresh herbs, healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, and nuts. Fresh ingredients.
Diane: What is your favorite dish on your own menu and why?
Franklin: I love our cauliflower with vadouvan and lemon. Vadouvan (Indonesian curry) is so floral and pairs perfectly with cauliflower. But I really like everything.
Diane: How about an update on what’s new and exciting in your world?
Franklin: I have a new book, Good Fat Cooking coming out in October, a café opening in September, and a fine dining restaurant Cast Iron, opening in March. That, coupled with expansion of the Little Beet brand, is keeping me very busy.