Feature

Mike Isabella Leads Chefs in Fitness Challenge

By Olga Boikess  |  August 20, 2013
Credit: Elizabeth Parker

Given that chefs are exposed to food all day and have hectic schedules that leave them little time to hit the gym, becoming overweight is often an occupational hazard. This summer, determined to change all that, Mike Isabella and a baker’s dozen of other heavy-hitter toques (including Scott Drewno, Todd Thrasher and Bryan Voltaggio) have been competing in a 12-week weight loss and fitness challenge called Fit For Hope. Their goal is to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society, while winning bragging rights, prizes and buffer bodies for themselves.

The chefs have been assigned personal trainers for their workouts, and they weigh in bi-weekly (with plenty of smack talk). Each has committed to raising at least $2,500 through restaurant specials, online donations and events (go here to contribute). The top “loser” will be announced at “Taste of Hope," a gala benefit for the Society on September 24 in the Carnegie Library (get tickets here). So far, Isabella is in the lead.

Restaurant-goers are getting health benefits too. Nutritionally inspired, the chefs have added new heart-smart dishes to their menus. Here’s how some of the chefs are meeting the challenge and what they are doing to raise money for the cause.