If you’re a fan of the Bravo series “Top Chef,” you may have been rooting for Andrea Beaman (above), the lone natural and organic foodie of the 12 culinary contestants. “Top Chef,” for the uninitiated, is a “Survivor”-style weekly series in which competitors cook their way through a slew of Iron Chef-caliber challenges, to be judged by some of America’s leading gourmet gurus.
Beaman often confounded the judges because she didn’t fit the standard haute cuisine stereotype. She’s a natural nutritionist and holistic health counselor whose approach to food is drawn from personal experience. At 28, she was chronically sick, overweight and diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. This propelled her to surrender her junk-food habits and develop a dietary regimen that’s rich in fresh organic food.
Today, Beaman appears to be the picture of health—and while she was eliminated from the competition for her consistently veggie-centric menus, it hasn’t slowed her career. She completed her cookbook, The Whole Truth Eating and Recipe Guide, and continues to counsel clients in her East Coast practice.
I’d like to thank Bravo for giving us permission to reprint one of Beaman’s most popular “Top Chef” recipes: Curried Sweet Potato. On the show, she served it alongside a lovely Quinoa Pilaf—a recipe we’ll feature next week.
Curried Sweet Potato
2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375°. Wash sweet potatoes. Dice into 1-inch cubes.
- Put sweet potato cubes into a bowl, and coat with olive oil, curry powder and sea salt.
- Place into a baking pan. Cover and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
Bravo photo by David Moir