The last time we checked with Kevin Curry, the Dallas-based chef and a social media superstar in the health and nutrition realm, he had just launched a meal prep cookbook. We had also officially entered the post-holiday period of the year, with intentions set on “Sober January” and ambitious resolutions.
But Curry’s insight is just as helpful (if not more so) pre-holidays, so we caught up with @FitMenCook himself to hear his thoughts on navigating a season that favors indulging.
What’s your game plan for navigating holiday party season?
One thing I always do before I got to any holiday party is eat at home first. That takes some of the guesswork out. It’s a good thing just to have a small, quick meal about an hour before you go, so you can have just a little bit of something at the party.
Also there’s the alcohol piece. So I’ll limit myself to how much alcohol I’ll have. I mean, I’m Texan, so I carry a flask anyway, but oftentimes I just want whiskey or vodka straight. A lot of times at parties they’ll mix alcohol with something sugary. If I have my flask, I can make sure I’m drinking something straight, neat, and I’m not drinking a bunch of added calories. Oftentimes it’s really not the food, it’s the drinking. At least for me it is.
What does your flask look like?
Oh just something small and curved that fits in my back pocket. It’s the same one I use for tailgating.
What dish do you bring to parties?
People often forget about spreads. So many times people are making their grandmother’s recipe for sweet potato casserole or something else, and they forget about the basic stuff. When you bring a fruit or veggie spread, you can fill up your plate with a whole bunch of the good stuff. It’s thoughtful, but you’re also just like, I’m doing this for me.
Anything else we should think about if we’re trying to be health-conscious?
If I’m going to a holiday party, I’ll make sure that I make exercise a priority that day. The holidays should be enjoyed. It’s okay to indulge a little bit. But going down the path of starving yourself all day so that all of your calories are at that party—that’s a bad day. Instead, put together a plan, part of which should involve revving up your metabolism ahead of that party. So that could be a walk around the block, or going on to ClassPass and trying something new.
Holidays aside, what are some of your favorite Dallas restaurants right now?
Rapscallion is still a big hitter. Meddlesome Moth is really dope. I also really love Malibu Poke. I love that it’s fresh, has quality protein, and you can build your own bowl. Every time I’ve ordered it on Uber Eats it’s fantastic. The other place I absolutely love is a smaller place off of Oak Lawn called Open Sesame. It’s a Lebanese Mediterranean grill and it’s… oh my gosh. I feel like I’m putting somebody’s kids through college with how much money I’m spending over there. The food is incredible. Hummus is prepared fresh every single day.
This one is more of a treat meal, but another place I love right now is Vegan Food House in Bishop Arts, off of Davis Street. You’re welcome. The food is just southern, fried and plant-based. It’s delicious.
You also just launched a line of spices. What’s your favorite spice?
My favorite—actually I have two favorites—are the Sriracha one and the Green Chile Lime. I’m a big boy at heart, and the Green Chile Lime tastes just like Doritos. I love that I can eat anything and it tastes like cheat food. I’m so excited about all of them though, so thank you for asking.
Honestly, I was thinking about the person I was when I first started out and trying to cook. I would go to the store and buy all of these spices, and they just ended up just collecting dust because I didn’t know how to use them. So this is like a spicing system. Each one has its own flavor profile, so you can use them separately or together. Also, as a Southerner, I like to pack in the flavor. But when you look at packaged spices now, they are loaded with tons of sodium, so you can only afford to put in like a tablespoon—if that. With these, because they’re low sodium, we can really pack in the flavor. We’re really jazzed about them.