This month we’ve asked America’s favorite sister in the South, Robin Shea from Southern Fried Fitness, to be our featured chef.
What is Southern Fried Fitness? Southern Fried Fitness is a great new program that introduces the 80/20 lifestyle; that is... making “Clean” healthy lifestyle choices 80% of the time while saving 20% for a guilt free Southern indulgence. Robin somehow manages to juggle her 4 sons, her husband Greg, a television program, radio talk show, and website. She managed to squeeze in a little time to answer some questions for us, and create some amazing surf ‘n’ turf recipes. Check it out!
Q: How did you get involved in cooking to begin with? Was it something you learned to love early on or did you come to it later?
I literally grew up in the kitchen, I am a fourth generation culinary entrepreneur; my Grandmother and Great Grandmother were restaurateurs and my Mother’s culinary creativity heavily influenced my love for cooking and creating in the kitchen.
Q: Why is eating grass-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish different? How does it affect your cooking?
Grass-fed meat and Sustainably-caught fish are what I refer to as, First Generation Foods.
What are first generation foods...Well generational food is a term that I use to express how far food is from being, well... food. First Generation Foods are the most optimal food choice; they haven’t been treated or altered in any way. The soil is free of pesticides for the production of fruits and vegetables, the fish and animals are free of growth hormones, antibiotics, and they are fed an organic diet and not supplemented in any way. First Generation Foods take care of you, just like first generation family members.
Q: Is it just about health? Or is there more to it than that?
The Southern Fried Fitness lifestyle is about reinventing your relationship with food and fitness; it centers on empowerment, contentedness, confidence and growth. Southern Fried Fitness focuses on living 80% Healthy, 20% indulgent and 100% SOUTHERN. Through my journey of learning new and un-learning old habits, I have created a lifestyle that serves my commitment to healthy living but also allows me the freedom to enjoy my passion for amazing Southern food.
Q: How did you learn about grass-fed meat?
I host a weekly radio program, The Robin Shea Show on Southern Fried Fitness Radio. My producer booked Mr. John Wood of US Wellness Meats on my program, his knowledge and ability to articulate the subject so clearly was overwhelming. Although I had always been incredibly selective regarding my beef choices my conviction and dedication to grass-fed beef grew ten-fold after our interview with Mr. Wood.
Q: Why is it so important to have the right ingredients?
I am an advocate for quality versus quantity when it comes to selecting ingredients for any recipe. The benefits of quality range from depth and richness of flavor to the overwhelming health benefits found in “First Generation Foods”. I never compromise quality when selecting my ingredients.
Q: What are the most important keys to success for the home chef?
“Find Joy in the Journey”! Cooking is an expression of creativity, personal style, and clever flavor combinations all coming together to express your unique culinary masterpiece. Have fun creating, experimenting, tasting, exploring and defining your unique culinary style. It’s your art... Paint it with style!
Q: What are your best tips for home cooking?
- Recipes are not gospel... do not be afraid to improvise, it’s how you learn.
- Invest in good quality cookware. It is worth the trouble and expense to get guidance (based on your most frequently prepared dishes) from a cookware professional and invest in a custom set of cookware designed for your cooking style—you won’t regret the investment.
- Invest in quality knives and prep pieces and try to find a local class that teaches techniques to make the most of these pieces.
Q: What is your favorite recipe using grass-fed meat?
Easy answer... Wood Fired Ribeye Steaks on my Big Green Egg.