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Meet the Chef! PFC Executive Wellness Chef, Jason C. Kieffer

If you’ve seen our latest teaser video, the word is out that PFC Fitness Camp has a new man on campus—renowned Wellness Chef, Jason C. Kieffer!

From his prestigious degree from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Chef Kieffer has redefined the kitchen as a place of true healing from the tables of New York’s most esteemed restaurants to the world headquarter of Google and Microsoft, and even into the intimate dining room of Forbes mega moguls.

As we count down to our first meal with the Chef, we thought we’d give you an up-close and personal look with the man behind all the mouthwatering meals you are about to experience at PFC!

Who was your greatest cooking influence?
Jacques Pépin for his French techniques and timeless yet inspiring creations. He is a legend in the culinary world. My other greatest influence would be my Grandmother Falzarrano. I started cooking in the kitchen with her when I was 10 years old. Everything she made was with so much love and purpose.

When did healthy cooking become a priority to you as a chef?
I’ve been in the kitchen since I was a little boy and it was instilled in me from a very young age, the delicate relationship between nutrition and health. Beyond childhood, I’d say education and an insatiable curiosity of the healing powers of food led me all around the globe to study various culinary cultures. This helped develop my craft and calling to share healthy cooking with the world.

What is Your Go-To Comfort Food?
Anything Asian inspired!
Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai… crunchy textures, vibrant colors, spicy aromatics, curries… Annnnd now I’m craving it, so thank you.

Go-to workout
Yoga. I love all practices, but i’d say Ashtanga and Bikram are my favorites.

Any kids?
Yes! 2 beautiful daughters. An 18 and 20 year-old

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?
Saffron. The aromatics, the color, the endless possibilities to create a memorable meal with a single ingredient is pretty special.

Alright, we all have our vice, what is yours?
Pizza and Apple Pie!

You are given one last meal on earth. What would it be?
Pizza and Pie!

What was the worst meal you ever made and for whom?
My grandfather—a very strict Italian man when it comes to food adhering to traditional flavors. It was my first meal and I was probably 15 years old. I presented my grandfather with homemade raviolis in white cream sauce. He gave it one look, pushed it aside and said something fierce in Italian to grandmother … apparently in Southern Italy (where he was raised), raviolis were to be served in a tomato sauce. Devastating experience:)

Favorite tunes to cook with
Bob Marley, Chet Faker, EDM

How do you meal plan for PFC Fitness Camp?
The seasonal availability of produce, dietary restrictions, farmers market, fish market, the meat market… I’m a fan of buying straight from the source. I’ll be educating our clients on the importance of the source of what they put in their bodies. Not all ingredients are created equal.

When you spend time at home, do you cook for yourself?
One would think, but I don’t! I’m more of a nosher. Cured olives, pickled vegetables, hummus, shrimp cocktail, a nice glass of wine. I’m a simple man and usually exhausted from cooking all day!

Where do you get inspiration for your meals?
The farmer, or whoever is providing the food in front of me that i’m buying. I’ll have a recipe, but when I get to wherever I’m purchasing the ingredients, that is where I get inspired and create a meal.

Where is your favorite place to shop for ingredients?
There are a couple places online (gourmetfoodstore.com) where I find more exotic ingredients. Locally, I love Jimbos and the Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market.

Best meal you’ve ever had, who cooked it, where were you and what was it?
Ah I’ve had so many! But the most memorable would probably be a restaurant called Aquavit in New York. It was fancy, impeccably decorated, the presentation of food was spot on and the Norwegian Skrei Cod was to die for. I still dream of it.

Do you have a hidden talent?
I do! It’s not so hidden though. When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m out at yoga festivals spinning tunes. Otherwise known as a DJ. I’ve played at Wanderlust, the Holi Color Festival in Utah, I’ve played in Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong, all over Asia! Music is my second passion.

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