The Importance of Seasonal Eating – An Interview with Private Chef Mayari

April 9, 2024

I was recently introduced to Mayari a private chef through a friend who thought we shared similar values and outlooks on health and food – they were right! It was so awesome to chat with Mayari and learn from how to eat more seasonally and how she uses principles of eating seasonally and locally into her meals as a private chef and meal delivery service. She understands how food affects our bodies and health, which is something I resonate with as well. I am always amazed by the different ways we can use food to feel better.

Here’s my interview with Mayari!

Question: Can you share how you became a private chef and started a meal delivery service?

Mayari: I began private chef work in 2017 after working in the restaurant industry and not enjoying how the food was being used and treated.

Question: How do you think your views on health have influenced you as a chef?

Mayari: Greatly! My views on health have allowed me to be flexible with my craft. Embracing different cuisines, and ingredients along with a deep interest for nutrition allows me to meet people at their flavor profile while still being intentional.

Question: What does Seasonal Eating mean to you?

Mayari: Seasonal eating for me is being in harmony with nature and my body. It is also deeply intuitive.

Question: How do you incorporate the principles of seasonal eating into your cooking?

Mayari: I love using seasonal eating to inform my menu and ingredient choices. I also use the season to inform best cooking techniques ( for example when is it better to poach or grill).

Question: What does the sourcing of your meals look like? And how does this differ from other chefs, restaurants or even going to the grocery store?

Mayari: During available months I do my best to shop exclusively at farms for meats and produce. It is part of my efforts to encourage the farmer-chef connection. I believe many chefs and restaurants would embrace this if they realized all the benefits. Locally grown food, which is inherently seasonal, is better for you in many ways. The 2 biggest are less pesticides and more nutrient-dense products.

Question: Are there specific ingredients or types of foods that you believe are particularly beneficial for health and well-being?

Mayari: I don’t believe in the concept of superfoods at all BUT, I do think that variety and slow cooking ( soups and braising) are some of the most beneficial ways to eat and retain as many nutrients as possible. I also think a lot of people are not eating enough fats like literally not using enough oil or butter in their recipes and this is the major reason why food doesn’t taste good!

Question: Can you share any tips or advice for individuals who want to start incorporating more seasonal and nutritious foods into their diets?

Mayari: YES! Pick one ingredient from your favorite recipe and make a seasonal switch. Let’s say you love garlic shrimp and broccoli- make the broccoli your switch so in the fall swap it for squash. In the Winter- try out parsnip or carrot, in the spring-asparagus, and in summer to early oct- broccoli again.

Question: Are there any common misconceptions about seasonal eating or using food as medicine that you’d like to address?

Mayari: Yes two major misconceptions I run into. The first is cost. Utilizing a CSA may seem costly but that’s just because you are paying for about 8 weeks worth of groceries at once. 

 Second is that using food as medicine is nuanced and starts at the cellular level. Meaning it takes time and is also deeply tied to your environment. So my favorite example is the raw vegan diet. It is amazing if you live in a tropical environment that has a low-stress lifestyle. The diet should only be extremely temporary if you are living in Boston. Maybe if you are in Boston you are raw vegan from June to September but from October to April you move to pescatarian so that you can have enough minerals to survive the winter avoiding hair breakage, dry skin, dry eyes, feeble nails, etc.

Question: How do you stay inspired and creative in the kitchen, especially when working with seasonal ingredients?

Mayari: I love taking inspiration from travel vlogs on Youtube and by reading cookbooks from other cultures!

Question: What is one thing people can start doing right away for their health?

Mayari: Eating more hot foods! Sitting for 20 minutes and enjoying at least 2 hot meals a day will do wonders for most people’s bodies and emotional states.

Question: how can people find you?

Mayari: you can catch me on my website or on Instagram  @mealsbymayari OR my second Instagram @cookingwithmayari

Thank you so much Mayari! You can read my interview with Mayari on her blog here!

And if you enjoyed learning about seasonal eating, love (or want to love) cooking, stay tuned for an awesome event Mayari and I are planning together!

~ Tamara

Who do we work with?

We work with clients who are dedicated to changing their health. Making dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and taking supplements are part of the healing journey.