Chef Christian Green is a busy man these days. When he’s not releasing new cooking products on his website, he can be seen every Wednesday night on Fox competing on the “Master Chef: Back to Win” competition. He still finds time to prepare meals for world-class athletes like New Orleans Saints guard Marcus Davenport and New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson. Chef Green recently sat down with us at Pelican Scoop to discuss how competition in the kitchen compares to that on the field, cooking for high-level athletes, and more.
PS: How does it feel to compete on Masterchef again, especially the All-Star edition?
CG: “Honestly, it really is a dream come true. I wouldn’t have thought that in a thousand years my dream would come true. When I left Season 5, I always said to myself if I ever got the chance to cook in the Masterchef kitchen again, that would be great. Just to be able to be called back into the kitchen is a real blessing.”
PS: You had professional football ambitions at one point. Tell us how the intensity and competition on the field compares to the intensity and competition in the kitchen?
CG: “I had the mindset that I had playing football back in the day, I had the Jerry Rice mindset, you look good, you feel good and you’re going to do well. Going into this competition in the Masterchef kitchen, that was on my mind Christian, you look good, you feel good and you do what you have to do. I just kept that mentality and that mindset to go in there and just keep racing. There are a lot of great chefs in this kitchen, but I just have to stay true to myself, stay focused, let’s get it and make it happen.”
PS: You being an athletic background, help our readers understand meal plans or suggestions for people trying to cultivate a fast athletic lifestyle. What advice can you give them?
CG: “The No. 1 thing is to be consistent about your health. Take it seriously because your temple is your temple. You need your temple to do what you need to do. Eat healthy, cut out all the junk food and eat all the healthy food, No fried food and I know as a chef I have a lot of cravings but you have to be obedient. You have to set that goal and obey the goal you’re trying to achieve when it comes to the nutritional side of things. If your nutrition isn’t where it needs to be, then you can’t perform at your best.”
PS: Cooking for the likes of Marcus Davenport and Zion Williamson puts you in celebrity chef status. Give us a little insight into what goes into preparing to cook meals for world-class athletes.
CG: “Honestly just working side-by-side with the nutritionist, working side-by-side with the strength coach and understanding the goal that they’ve achieved. Make sure they have what they need to be at their best. That’s really what’s important.”
PS: As for Zion, is there a favorite dish that he likes that you make?
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CG: “I started with Zion in March. His camp contacted me and I sat down with him. Zion loves seafood. He loves salmon, so every chance I get I can give him seafood, baked fish. Nothing fried, nothing unhealthy. We have a goal to get him where he needs to go. Honestly, being with him for the first few months has come a long way. He looks good.”
PS: Do you have plans to expand and cook for more professional athletes?
CG: “Definitely in the near future. Right now I’m focusing on Zion and getting him in the best shape he’s going to be, as well as Davenport, focusing on getting him where he needs to be. I am always open to new clients if I have time. I’m always ready to take on a new job, but being in the position I’m in right now with Zion is truly a blessing, and for me to be his personal chef on this journey with him is more of a test of myself. Focusing on him and Davenport, I won’t say it’s enough, but there’s a lot of work to do, but I’m getting it done.”
PS: As for Zion, how much team involvement was there with the nutritionist? Where do you allow freestyle and prepare meals that you personally feel can be helpful to him in his progress?
CG: “I work side by side with his strength coach. I do freestyle (eating) and with them giving me the opportunity to do it, it’s all healthy all around. he shouldn’t have. With me, everything is healthy everywhere. Being a famous classical chef, I understand food and being a former athlete myself, I understand health, I understand what to put in the body, I’m very familiar with that.”
PS: After Masterchef, what’s next in your culinary career?
CG: I just want to inspire younger people. Not just younger people, older people and anyone who has dreams. I was one of those people who had dreams, who dreamed of success. I am always open to expanding my business. I have my own line of spices. I am getting ready to release bamboo in August. I am currently working on my cookbook. There are many things that work outside of me when dealing with my athletes. Maybe even do some food experiences and some cooking demonstrations and give cooking lessons. Any way I can teach and guide people to the best life they can have, whether it’s on the field or off the field, in your home just showing you how to eat healthy, I’m all for it.”
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