What Do Chefs Give Up for Lent?

Meat? Chocolate? Booze? Surrounded by food and drink all day, these food folk need extra fortitude to deprive themselves

Daniel Boulud

Deciding to give up something for Lent — the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, observed by a number of Christian denominations, Catholics most of all — is like making a New Year's resolution: It seems like something you should do (if your religious background suggests it, at any rate) and you start off with the best of intentions, but are your vows to yourself (and in this case The Man Upstairs) really going to last?

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Of course, the good thing about Lent is that it only goes on for 40 days, whereas a New Year's resolution is theoretically in force all year, if not for the rest of your life.


A lot of our best-known chefs, in any case, come out of Catholic or other Lent-conscious backgrounds (look for all those Italian, Spanish, and French surnames, for instance — not an infallible indicator, but a good place to start), and we thought it would be fun to ask some of them what, if anything, they planned to give up for Lent this year. Here's what they told us.