Today I have the pleasure of interviewing and introducing Chef Frank Giglio from Three Lily Farm. Frank and his family live on a farm in Maine and offer traditional cooking classes as well as local events that inspire people to cook more and eat a more nutrient dense diet.
His adventurous culinary offerings have been showcased throughout the health community and Frank is the featured chef for NY Times Best-Selling Dr. Alejandro Junger’s Clean Eats cookbook.
HD: What inspired you to become a chef?
I got my first job as a dishwasher when I was 15. From the start I was intrigued by life in the kitchen and dove right into the trade. A few years later, after graduating highschool, I decided it was best to keep going with it and pursued culinary school. I felt connected to life in the kitchen and took great joy in making food for people. Maybe it’s because I am Italian and a Cancer, but I feel a sense of responsiblity to feed and nourish my friends and family.
HD: You did nutrition training. How did this impact your cooking and your life?
I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2007 while the program was still live and held in NYC. IIN directly impacted my work and it was after attending this school that I began to reach out to the public and offer my services. Having made a complete dietary overhaul before enrolling, IIN provided me with a wealth of nutritional knowledge and for the first time ever, I really understood how food effected my body. It also helped me better understand that health doesn’t only come from the foods I eat, but the community I live with, the joy I find in my daily life, work, and friendships.
HD: What’s it like living on a farm?
Chores, lots of chores 🙂 I love being connected to the land and feel great joy when I am able to spend time in nature foraging for wild foods, growing food, and raising animals. This means there is always lots of work to be done. When not weeding, digging, feeding, or watering, I am preparing for another project on the land, or repairing old structures that have begun to degrade over time. Having land and living out in the country gives many freedoms and a sense of solitude which I enjoy deeply.
HD: I know many of my readers eat a mostly plant based diet. Should vegetarians consider doing your Traditional Cookery Training as well as other low meat diets?
My goal with this course is not to tell you what you should or should not be eating, but to empower you to make the best choices for your body. I will however, teach you how to best utilize the ingredients you do choose to put in your body.
While I feel there is great value in the consumption of animal foods I realize it is not for everybody. Although there is a week devoted to preparing meat and fish, there is plenty of info and inspiration for the vegetarians and vegans throughout. Whether one chooses to eat meat or not, there is no harm in learning how to prepare such foods, especially if they are creating meals for other family members who may consume animal foods.
HD: What is the one thing you wish more people would cook?
Personally, I think everybody should be making fresh stock, whether that be fish or meat based. Stocks or bone broth not only impart a delicious, earthy flavor, their medicinal properties make them worthy of daily use.
Second to that, I wish people would start working with more wild plants and seeing them as superior to their domestic counterparts. While kale, collard greens, and lettuce are fantastic, there is an abundance of wild plants that nutritionally dominate cultivated varieties.
You can find out more about Chef Frank and Three Lily Farm, as well as their courses here