Photographer Jane Beiles’ New Book


Home CoverNew Canaan resident and renowned photographer Jane Beiles has been preparing for her career since childhood, when she would regularly visit museums with her mother. She went on to get a degree in art history at the University of Michigan, and worked as a fashion photographer, before eventually focusing on capturing gorgeous homes for the HOME section in the New York Times. Now, some of her most striking images appear in a new book, HOME: The Best of The New York Times Home Section: The Way We Live Now, with text by Noel Millea, former editor of the Home section. In this exclusive interview, the artist and mother of three talks about the work she says “fills my cup.”

How would you describe this book?
The HOME section was a beloved part of the Thursday newspaper from its debut on March 17, 1977 until its last issue on March 5, 2015. This book, edited by Noel Millea, is a collection of favorite features in “On Location”, which provided a glimpse in to residences and the people who inhabited them across the country and around the world.

Jane Beiles Front of HomeWhat is your perspective on photographing homes?
When I enter a space that I’m shooting, I absolutely look before I listen. I’m taking note of the light in the space, compelling potential frames, the way the architecture showcases the interiors and any beautiful moments large or small. My area of passion in college was art history and I was particularly drawn to still life paintings and interiors.

Jane Beiles KitchenFor this assignment in particular, what was your goal?
For an assignment like “On Location” I hope to provide a sense of the space to the end viewer. To do so, I make sure to vary the long views and close up details of the space. I love to think of the whole sensory experience of the space and transport the viewer so much so that they may even get a sense of the smells and sounds of the place via my photographs. And I love to use nature to give a sense of the scale of a place.

Jane Beiles accessoriesWhat is the most challenging part of photographing homes?
I suppose I’m drawn to shooting still life (rather than portraits or events) in part because of the relative ability to control the subject matter. Case in point: a sofa will stay still much better than a three-year-old. However, there are elements of home photography that fall out of control including available light and the size of rooms and door openings. Just ask any interiors photographer how they like shooting powder rooms! They often have poor natural light, no space to move back, a doorway blocking the view and oh, yes, the issue of the toilet!

Jane Beiles BedroomWhat drew you to this area?
I love the vitality of the New York metropolitan area. I moved to New York at age twenty-one, drawn by the vibrant arts scene. I lived in Manhattan for a decade, during which time I met my husband and we decided to start a family in an area more conducive to bike rides and back yards, similar to how we each grew up. I had been out to New Canaan for weekends with friends and was charmed by the quaint downtown and also the area’s rich history of art and architecture. Between Philip Johnson’s Glass House, the Silvermine Art Guild, Harvard Five homes and, now, the amazing campus of Grace Farms, New Canaan is a terrific place to raise our family.

Jane Beiles KitchenWhat else do you enjoy about this area?
I also love this part of the country for its amazing food scene. My first collaborations with Serendipity were actually food shoots. Shooting food for me is very similar to interiors. I’m drawn to the shapes, colors and textures to form a rich composition. Some recent memorable meals have been dinner at Farmer’s Table in New Canaan with my family, Garden Catering sandwiches delivered to our crew on photo shoot days and special occasions at the Inn at Pound Ridge.

Sitting Room

Photographs by Jane Beiles

Entertaining with Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor

Since the late ’90s, Rebecca Taylor has been a fashion fixture, designing feminine chic pieces, such as her signature romantic florals paired with downtown details. Today she has eight boutique storefronts, an e-commerce website, and her designs are sold at department stores from Bloomingdale’s to Barneys. Her new capsule collection features nine limited-edition pieces just in time for the holidays.

Rebecca TaylorThese days, the native New Zealander calls the beautiful Brooklyn brownstone pictured here home, where she lives with her husband, artist Wayne Pate, and her three children. Taylor let us into her world and shared how she effortlessly sets the stage for a perfect party.

How do you approach designing a dinner party?
I think when decorating your table it’s important to trust your taste and the things you love. A lot of the flowers I’m drawn to remind me of the palettes and botanicals of my home in New Zealand—roses and anemones and dahlias that are very feminine, but not at all fussy. I like my arrangements to feel very natural and not overstyled. To me, imperfection is beautiful. It sets the tone for a party, too—that you don’t take yourself too seriously!

What do you love most about entertaining?
Being able to spend time with my family and friends.

Rebecca Taylor Taylor Patterson
Rebecca with Taylor Patterson of Fox Fodder Farm, a NYC-based floral design studio

Do you have any tricks for simplifying things?
Taylor Patterson of [floral design studio] Fox Fodder Farm [in NYC] taught me this floral trick I love: To give your roses that lush, almost in full-bloom look, you flip down the outside edges of the petals. It creates a very pretty look, like they were just plucked from an English garden.

Rebecca Taylor Candles
Candles set the mood; sparklers leave an impression.

How do you set the tone?
With music, florals and lighting. I love shine always, but especially around the holidays. Candlelight is also such a wonderful way to set the mood. I always have lots of candles scattered around the table.

Are there certain entertaining rules you follow?
No, I don’t really have any rules except making sure we have a good cocktail on the menu. I love a champagne cocktail. It has lovely festive fizz that’s perfect for parties. I use a good cremánt sparkling wine, a little cognac, a sugar cube, a touch of bitters and a twist of lemon.

What makes a party magical?
I’ll never host a party without sparklers. There’s that little moment of surprise when I bring them out at the end of a dinner—you can’t help but have fun.

Who are the best dinner guests?
I just love funny people. Anyone that makes me laugh is always welcome at my house.

Do you make your own playlists?
Yes, my husband used to be a DJ a long time ago and so music is very important to us.

Do you have a signature dish?
Pavlova [a traditional New Zealand dessert]. Growing up I remember my mum making it on Christmas morning and I have now adopted that tradition. The girls love helping me make it and it’s something that reminds me of home.

Rebecca Taylor Festive Tablescape
For this fresh, festive tablescape, Rebecca layered unexpected details, including clever New Yorker cartoons.

Do you design a table similarly to your fashion aesthetic?
Yes, it is a bit similar I suppose. I love mixing patterns, and adding texture is very much in my DNA. When creating a tablescape, though, I do like to keep it a bit rustic.

How would you describe your holiday capsule collection?
The collection celebrates the evolution of the brand, drawing inspiration from archived collections while infusing the brand’s core design elements and holiday signatures. I wanted to bring back some of my favorite pieces from over the years with a fresh and modern take. I love the mix of dressier pieces with more casual ones, and I feel each piece in this collection can take you through the holiday season.

What is this season’s go-to party look?
The long chiffon Victorian-esque floral dress [pictured]. It’s the must-have holiday piece!

Long chiffon floral dress (left), $695 and embellished tulle skirt (right), $450, from Rebecca’s holiday capsule collection.

Considering a 2018 trip to New Zealand? Rebecca Taylor shares her must-see locales for when you visit her home country.

Glow Worm Caves
Tour grottos by boat or by foot to see thousands
of tiny glow worms radiate luminescent light
and twinkle like stars. “It’s a geological wonder with fantastic creatures to explore,” says Taylor. While there are several places to see glow worms in New Zealand, Waitomo is one of the most well-known.

Fox Glacier
“It’s a 13-kilometer-long glacier with the most breathtaking views.” Located in the foothills
of New Zealand’s southern alps, you can walk,
ice climb, or fly above the stunning glacier and
visit the township of the same name.

Bay of Islands
This subtropical region encompasses 144 islands, including many beautiful beaches. “The water is spectacular and there are so many fun excursions
to participate in,” says Taylor. The possibilities seem endless: You can scuba dive, swim with dolphins, kayak, surf, sail, mountain bike, golf, ride horses, sky dive, take a scenic flight, and more.

Waiheke Island
Accessible from Auckland in just 35 minutes, Waiheke boasts picturesque beaches,
gorgeous vineyards and olive groves, and it’s been called “the Hamptons of New Zealand.”
“[It’s] one of my personal favorite places to go
when I go home,” she says.

Photos by Katie Thompson


Expandable Wire Bangle


Alex and Ani Pardon My Frenchie expandable wire bangle, $38,

Carrie Bodner and Ben Rankin: A Briarcliff Manor Wedding

Briarcliff Manor

July 16, 2016, Briarcliff Manor, NY
When Carrie and Ben, who met at Columbia Law School in 2009, were deciding where to get married, a water view was a top priority—and they found a fantastic one at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, NY. There, the couple, along with their 120 guests, enjoyed a four-course meal. “The food was absolutely spectacular-—it’s the first thing our guests say about the wedding,” says Carrie. The meal consisted of jumbo lump crab cakes, miso glazed Chatham cod, seared filet mignon and a trio of mango, raspberry and coconut sorbets, along with the wedding cake. The first dance to a Wonderful World, by Sam Cooke, was another highlight for Carrie. “It’s an older song that seemed so perfect for us.” The live band, Tribeca Rhythm, played all of the couple’s favorites well into the night.

Photos by Fabrice Tranzer

Sarah Jessica Parker On Work, Family and More

Sarah Jessica Parker

Nineteen years after her debut as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker is still one of the Big Apple’s favorite “It Girls.” The blockbuster show was a love letter to New York City and as it’s star, Parker became a—fashionable—symbol of the city. Since then, she’s built a successful shoe line and continued to shine on screens big and small. In her latest show, relationships are once again front and center. Parker stars in Divorce as Frances, a woman in the midst of a complicated and painful separation from her husband.

SJP Divorce
Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of Divorce

Tell us about your current role.
Frances is very different from any role that I’ve ever played. I find her as interesting as Carrie Bradshaw, but they are striking in their differences. What is challenging in playing the role to me is not so much about the part, but the process of getting the show right. We’ve had a big change in writing staff for Season Two so a new language had to be learned. On Sex and the City, Darren Star was there for the first season and then he handed it over to Michael Patrick King who was there for the entire time. Because of that there was such a strong, consistent point of view so I could step back a little bit. So the challenging part is the storytelling, and in some ways, the producing. Playing the part of Frances, I love.

The first season of the show focused on Frances and her husband making the difficult decision to separate and divorce. What direction are you going in for Season Two?
We wanted Season Two to feel more like the season of hope. We wanted to maintain the tone, but lighten the mood. It definitely feels very different than Season One. I knew what Frances imagined as a new life was more theoretical than real—especially when she became a single mother with financial issues. They are in debt and she’s taken on a new business. I knew that this imagined freedom was not entirely going to be what she had hoped for.

Are you similar to the character you play?
I don’t feel more similar to Frances than I do to, say, Carrie Bradshaw, but I relate to her as a mother. I understand a lot of the worry and concern and screw-ups and shortcomings of being a mother and how we interact as parents and children. The personal stuff is very different, but that’s what I like. I would not want to play me!

You film Divorce in Westchester. Had you spent time there before?
When I first moved to NYC with my family we were supposed to move to subsidized housing on Roosevelt Island, but it wasn’t ready. My dad found a rental in Dobbs Ferry and the rental became our most favorite house in our lives. It’s a total coincidence that we film there. Last year, when Divorce premiered I did a piece in the New York Times and we went and knocked on the door of that house. I remembered the address and everything. The owners were so nice and the house was as beautiful as I remembered. I don’t have a lot of free time when I’m shooting up there, but I did find some incredible little jewelry shops, great vintage shops and nice restaurants in Tarrytown and Hastings. And more than anything, very nice people. I know our production caused [an] inconvenience and everybody was always so kind.

Tell us about your new literary imprint SJP for Hogarth, and how it came about.
I wasn’t looking to have an imprint but I met Molly Stern [the publisher of Crown] at a lunch and we started talking about books. We eventually started a book club where we read soon-to-be-published books and discussed ways of getting them into people’s hands—just the way in which book lovers want to support books. At one point Molly asked if I would consider an imprint. Thus began the process of reading manuscripts, which I love, and meeting with literary agents. We recently announced our first acquisition—a debut novel by Fatima Farheen Mirza tentatively named A Place for Us—and the book is extraordinary.

Which of your careers—actor, shoe designer and now book publisher—do you find most satisfying? How do you do it all?
The same way you do. The way a lot of busy people do. First of all, I have child care and that changes everything. Because of that I am able to make choices, and it really isn’t that impressive. What is impressive to me are the women working two or three jobs and they’re not being rewarded for it, financially or otherwise.

I love being an actor. Figuring out what to do every single time the camera rolls and feeling good about that work is hard—meaning it’s internally hard. Days are long on sets—14, 16, 18 hours —I still don’t understand why, but that’s just the way it is. It’s thrilling when it feels good and the camera is rolling and you’re playing opposite great people and you’re just simply reacting. It is the thing I love the most when I’m proud of the work and the project.

Reading, to me, is a joy. It connects me to all of the things I can’t do because of choices I’ve made. I’m a mother so I can’t travel the world whenever I want; I am a working person so I have obligations that don’t let me disappear. For some reason, reading a book feels the closest to being indulgent and selfish and reckless and transported.

I love working in the shoe industry because I love a shoe so much and I love the process of building it. The retail business also gives me a chance to connect with women. I really like meeting people and I like working—a lot.

What role does fashion play in your life as opposed to your career?
There is a practical part of living that dictates fashion. If I’m walking the kids to school or running errands it is not realistic to be in heels. And I love heels! I had meetings all day yesterday and I cared a great deal about how
I looked. My life calls for occasions to get dressed up and it’s really nice. I still love getting fitted for a beautiful dress and borrowing beautiful clothes. I like thinking about what I’m going to wear, but I also want to be comfortable.

Unlike many Hollywood actors, you and your husband, Matthew Broderick, have always stayed in NYC and you’re a symbol of the city. Have you ever thought of moving?
Of course! We thought of moving a lot more when the girls were young, but now it’s kind of passed. We spend time in Long Island and there is a feeling of safe independence for the kids to run and play. We flirted with the question of, “Would it be better for our kids to leave the city?” but ultimately we couldn’t and we didn’t. I always tell people that have left the city and I see that they miss it, that it’s not going anywhere. It’s just waiting for you to come back.

What do you consider the keys to a happy marriage?
Probably that it’s private. I think it is so devastating for anybody who is remotely public to have talked a lot about how wonderful their marriage is and then to have it not work out. For us, we’ve managed somehow to be out in the world, but to be private.

What is your ideal New York City day?
Walking to as many places as possible. I also love being on the subway.
I think I would walk around, go to the Museum of Modern Art, go to the Whitney, and have lunch or dinner with friends.

Do you like to cook?
We cook a lot. Matthew is a great, great cook and I’ve learned a lot from him. We cook every night when we’re home. If we have friends over in the winter I like to make a lamb stew or a roast chicken with salad.

What is next for you?
I just finished filming a movie. Divorce starts its second season in
January. And then the books, the shoes and the kids!



SJP FavoritesA Very Warm Parka
“I’m a massive fan of Fleischer Couture out of Norway, run by two women. The Norwegians know how to show respect to frigid temperatures.”

Long Johns
“Always. I buy mine used from different vendors on Etsy—vintage, classic waffle long johns. I never leave the house on a winter day without wearing them under my jeans, pants or trousers. Always affordable and always all cotton.”

Winter Boots
“My version of a presentable ‘winter boot’ is our SJP Collection RAYNA. When I need to be warm and safe but out of my snow boots, this is my most favorite choice. And we work hard to assure it’s comfortable all day long—handmade in Italy is the trick.”

“I have a few ole’ reliables that can handle the glare of snow and fit under my winter hat.”

Lip Products
“Lip balm, gloss or whatever soothes.” One that SPJ recommends is Bigelow Chemists Mentha lip tint.

A Fragrance
“My favorite fragrance is [SPJ] Stash. Always. Winter, Summer, Spring or Fall.”

A book
“My Fleischer Couture parka has pockets that can accommodate one.”

A MetroCard
“The subway is, for me, always the best option. Far better than standing on a street corner in the bitter months of winter trying to hail a cab.”


Coffee Shop
Hector’s on Washington Street in the
West Village (“Go on Fridays for the corn beef and cabbage!”)

Place to Take the Kids
The MoMA, The Whitney or a walk around
any neighborhood in NYC.

Place to Hear Live Music
The Village Vanguard in the West Village

Three Lives & Company in Greenwich Village

Madame Vo in the East Village

Text by Holly Parmelee
Photos by (opener) Jennifer Livingston / Trunk Archive; (SJP) Ryan Pfluger / AUGUST; (SJP on set) Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

5 Places to Reset For the New Year


If your New Year’s resolutions include taking more time out to relax, we’ve found luxe spots to help you do just that. From a Caribbean hideaway to a cozy mountain inn, these resorts will help you start 2018 rested and rejuvenated.

Marigot Bay
Marigot Bay Resort in St. Lucia

Marigot Bay Resort and Marina by Capella
Marigot Bay, St. Lucia
Soak up the sun at this recently renovated retreat on St. Lucia’s Marigot Bay—one of the island’s most beautiful resorts. Suites include private balconies and, in most, private hot tubs, and each guest enjoys the services of their own personal assistant, who can arrange for private activities like couples massage lessons or cocktail-making classes. Unwind with Auriga Spa’s signature treatments inspired by the four phases of the moon, then head to the Rum Cave to savor regional spirits and cigars while watching mega yachts dock in the marina.
From $295/night

Lake Placid
Lake Placid Lodge is situated right on the massive lake.

Lake Placid Lodge
Lake Placid, New York
The only hotel located directly on Lake Placid, rooms at this rustic resort are filled with art and antiques. Start your day with the buttermilk pancakes at Artisans, one of the area’s best restaurants, before exploring the Adirondacks with activities arranged by the hotel, including snowshoeing, tobogganing and ice fishing. Be sure to visit the town’s Olympic complex where the 1980 games were held (and where you can try your hand at bobsledding) then return to the lodge for the nightly bonfire lakeside, where hot chocolate and s’mores are served. Guest rooms include deep soaking tubs and wood-burning fireplaces, and beds handcrafted by local artisans.
From $399/night

Sau Lourenco
The cottage terrace

São Lourenço do Barrocal
Monsaraz, Portugal
Housed in a recently-restored 19th century farmhouse in Portugal’s wild Alentejo region, this hotel, winery and spa offers the ultimate country vacation.  A thriving wine-making business is at the heart of the estate. Tour the facilities and then enjoy a private tasting or a picnic among the vines. Activities like horseback riding and hot air balloon rides provide plenty of ways to take in the scenery, while the hotel’s restaurant makes the most of the region’s produce with a seasonal, farm-to-table menu. Guest rooms inspired by local farm villages feature vaulted ceilings, crafted wood furnishings and terracotta brick floors. In the warmer months, book a cottage with a private outdoor terrace, ideal for sipping the estate’s wines as you gaze out at the star-filled night sky.
From about $200/night

Set in the heart of Woodstock, Vermont, the inn feels intimate.

Woodstock Inn & Resort
Woodstock, Vermont
If your idea of perfection is a cozy inn, you’ll find it at this getaway in the Green Mountains that combines the charm of a bed and breakfast with upscale resort details like wood-burning fireplaces and handcrafted bedframes in guest rooms. Nooks and crannies tucked throughout the property provide plenty of spots for curling up with a good book, while the charming town of Woodstock offers a collection of well-curated boutiques, art galleries and country stores. Four restaurants featuring farm-to-table fare and an eco-friendly spa complete the laid-back experience.
From $299/night

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill stayed at this Moroccan palace.

La Mamounia
Marrakech, Morocco
Since opening in 1923, this storied Moroccan property has been visited by dignitaries and movie stars alike; toast your arrival with a cocktail in the Churchill Bar, named for one of the hotel’s most famous guests. Guest rooms are decorated with the Arabesque tiling and traditional textiles one associates with Morocco, and many overlook the palm-laden gardens and Italian marble pool, where a decadent seafood-focused brunch (with oysters, lobster, salmon and more) is served on Sundays. Set aside an afternoon to enjoy the spa, and sample treatments like the Onguent d’Argan massage with a nourishing balm of argan oil and monoï butter, then take a  dip in the indoor pool.
From $750/night

Text by Leigh Crandall

Our 50 Fave Photos in 2017


This past year has been filled with some truly wonderful moments captured in the pages of Serendipity, from interviews with interesting people like Maggie Q, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jimmy Buffet, gorgeous tablescapes and florals, recipes that taste as good as they look, and inspiring travel near and far. Cheers to 2017, and here’s to 2018!


How to Get Fit After the Holidays

Take it Off Keep it Off Lesley Rotchford

Between the holiday parties and ever-present treats, December can be a tough month to make healthy choices. We talked to Lesley Rotchford, author of Women’s Health Take It Off! Keep It Off! ($22, Rodale, on sale December 26, 2017), for easy-to-follow-tips for the holiday season and beyond.

“Most people gain an average of one pound over the holiday season (overweight people gain five or more pounds), and despite virtuous resolutions and new gym memberships, most people don’t take the weight off in the new year,” says Rotchford. Setting up the groundwork for a diet and exercise plan now will prevent holiday weight gain, so you have less damage to undo in January. Here’s how:

 Keep temptation at bay
“The key is avoidance,” says Rotchford. If your coworker has peppermint bark sitting out on her desk, take a different route to the bathroom so you aren’t tempted to pop a piece in your mouth every time you walk by. And bring your own pre-portioned snacks to work (like a low-sugar nutrition bar, a Greek yogurt, or a Ziploc bag containing cut-up veggies or 1-ounce portion of almonds) so you aren’t starving and ravaging the office for treats.

“At parties, stand as far away from the food table as possible to prevent temptation,” says Rotchford. Want proof? A study by researchers at Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab showed that people with higher BMIs were more likely to seat themselves facing the buffet at a restaurant.

Avoid common holiday mistakes
First, skip the pre-party snack. Rotchford says this favorite advice from nutritionists doesn’t work in practice: “I have always found that to be unrealistic advice. If there’s guacamole in front of me, I’m going it eat whether I’m hungry or not—especially if I’m drinking.” Second, try to be mindful of small apps like meatballs and pigs-in-blankets, which are easy to inhale without realizing it. Instead, take time to make a balanced plate of food; include a treat or two, but fill up on mostly healthy options.

Use the holiday time to ease into a New Year’s program
Key word here is plan—not start. “The holiday season is not the time to suddenly adopt a strict exercise program,” says Rotchford. “Between parties, shopping, cooking, tree trimming, and other holiday festivities, none of us have a spare moment—not to mention a spare hour—to hit the gym everyday.” Same goes for intense dieting. There’s just too much temptation. Instead, use this month as an ease-in period. Rotchford notes that research shows it takes 66 days to develop a new habit. So get a jump on the process by establishing a few manageable healthy habits now—like going to the gym three times a week and only drinking on the weekends. “When I say manageable, I mean something you can realistically stick to—vowing to work out every single day and not drink at all are not habits most of us can swing this time of year,” says Rotchford. By mid-to-late January, these new behaviors will start to have become ingrained and you’ll feel healthier—which will make you want to keep them up!

Cheers to National Hot Tea Month!

Hot Tea

January is National Hot Tea Month and according to Cindi Bigelow, CEO of Bigelow Tea in Fairfield, CT, brewing the best mug requires only a few simple steps. First, Bigelow says to start with clean water.  “The vehicle in which you’re going to boil water, as well as the mug itself, should also be clean,” says Bigelow. The water should also be the right temperature: for black and herbal tea, go for a true boil; for green tea, the water should just begin to boil. Finally, black and herbal teas should be brewed for a minimum of four minutes, while green tea should be brewed from two to three.

Bobby Flay: How He Stays Fit

Bobby Flay

The Iron Chef used to skip breakfast, taste dishes all day long and eat a huge dinner. Then he turned 40 and his body gave him a reality check. Now he’s sharing his life lessons—and favorite healthy recipes—in his newest cookbook.

Bobby Flay is one of the most recognizable faces on the Food Network, and chef-owner of critically-acclaimed restaurants like Mesa Grill, Gato, Bar Americain, Bobby Flay Steak and Bobby’s Burger Palace. Not to mention the more than one dozen cookbooks that bear his name. Safe to say, he cooks—and tries—a lot of food while keeping a packed schedule. So does he really eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants, while staying fit and camera ready?

Until about 10 years ago, the answer was yes. That’s when Flay turned 40. “The ‘a-ha moment’ came in the form of getting older and realizing that I needed to make some lifestyle changes so I can stay healthy and maintain my at-times hectic pace,” says Flay. So he recommitted to running daily—and completely reevaluating how he ate.

“The biggest change was that before, I was eating out late every night, testing every bite of food at my restaurants, and wiping my plate clean. Now, I focus on eating real, unprocessed food with natural ingredients. I try never to eat past 8 p.m., and I try to avoid totally cleaning my plate clean. I also drink alcohol in moderation and hydrate consistently,” say Flay. In his newest book, Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle, he offers recipes that he created after changing the way he ate, as well as advice on how he sticks to his new lifestyle.

Boredom is the enemy for any diet. How can people avoid it?
I can appreciate that a lot of healthy food doesn’t appear as though it tastes good, but I aim to upend that trend here by teaching people flavor-building techniques. Personally, I use lots of these flavor boosters—garlic, other aromatics, fresh and dried chiles, a variety of vinaigrettes, glazes and rubs, and fresh herbs—in my cooking, and my pantry is filled with an assortment of condiments like mustard, harissa, and chipotles to add flavors without the guilt.

Are “cheat meals” a part of your plan?
Well, part of the reason why I practice everything in moderation is so there is no need for a “cheat” meal. I don’t deny myself a steak or a burger if I feel inclined, but I do plan around it if I know that’s where I’m headed. That said, a “cheat” meal to me is probably eating a whole pint of pistachio ice cream instead of a few spoonfuls. And, yes, there are days that I just need to do that and I don’t beat myself up. I just wake up the next day and get right back on track.

You’ve been a runner for years, and have run the NYC Marathon three times. How do you fit in your miles?
Very easy—I wake up early and get it out of the way first thing. I know the longer that I wait during the day to exercise the greater chance that I will blow it off. I try to stay only in hotels with gyms so that I have access to a treadmill and weights, and if I am traveling to a great city with a great climate and with running trails, I ask the front desk for a running map (most hotels have them) and I run outside (which I prefer). Running outside is a great way to get in your exercise and explore a new city at the same time.

What’s the biggest mistake you see people making when trying to be healthier?
Don’t try to accomplish it all in one day or week. Think of it as lifestyle change: a marathon and not a sprint. The first thing that you can do is start to cut out certain high fat/calorie foods, drink more water, and walk places that you would normally drive or take the subway. Hire a trainer to set up a program for you at the gym that is realistic. If that seems to work, then you can get creative, but I think it’s essential to establish a routine of discipline and commitment before going full-tilt.

Bobby Flay BurgerVEGGIE BURGER
Serves 4
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and drained again on paper towels for at least 15 minutes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (loosely packed) quinoa
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus ½ cup for frying
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced about ¼ inch thick
Scant ¼ cup barbecue sauce
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 large eggs
1½ cups quinoa flour

3 tablespoons
Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup sliced green onion, dark and pale green parts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Make the burgers: Line a rimmed baking sheet with absorbent kitchen towels or paper towels. In a food processor, coarsely puree the drained chickpeas. You need ½ cup.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, let sit for 10 minutes, and then fluff with a fork. Spread the quinoa evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and let cool completely. The quinoa can be cooked a day ahead and stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat the 2 tablespoons oil over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes without touching. Stir and then cook until the mushrooms are golden brown and dry, 10 minutes.
  4. Add the barbecue sauce and a splash of water to the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are glazed, about 2 minutes; transfer to a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  5. Mix the quinoa, chickpea puree, and cilantro into the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper if needed. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  6. Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the mustards, vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  7. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and a tablespoon of water and season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Put the quinoa .our on a small plate and whisk in 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  8. Form the mushroom mixture into 4 burgers (I like to use a 4-inch ring mold). Set a burger on a slotted metal spatula and gently dip it into the egg bath. Remove and let excess drip off. Dredge in the quinoa flour and tap off the excess. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining 3 burgers.
  9. In a large nonstick sauté pan, heat ½ cup oil over high heat until it begins to simmer. Fry the burgers in the hot oil until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels before serving with the mustard–green onion sauce.

Per serving: Calories 555; Protein 23g;
Carbohydrates 79g; Dietary Fiber 13g;
Sugar 6g; Total Fat 17g; Saturated Fat 2g

“Full disclosure: I had never met a veggie burger that I liked—until now, that is. A few months ago, I had to create a veggie burger on the fly for a battle on my show Beat Bobby Flay. Don’t ask me what made me grab mushrooms, quinoa and chickpeas off the pantry shelves, but I am glad I did. The trio makes a perfect combination of flavors and textures. The star ingredient is the quinoa flour, found just about everywhere these days; it provides the crunch that regular all-purpose flour doesn’t. While this burger is not a hamburger, I still think it is pretty delicious, and it’s now featured at all the Bobby’s Burger Palaces. Top it as you like and serve it on your favorite bun.”

Serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, sliced paper thin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 (20-ounce) bag frozen edamame in pods, thawed

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small sauté pan, heat the oil over low heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove the garlic chips with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels and season with salt. Reserve the oil.
  3. Put the edamame in a bowl, add the garlic oil, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat. Spread the edamame in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the pods are charred and the beans are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, transfer to a platter, and top with the garlic chips and additional salt, if needed.

Per serving: Calories 123; Protein 5g; Carbohydrates 5g; Dietary Fiber 2g;
Sugar 1g; Total Fat 9g; Saturated Fat 1g

“I have to give my respects to Nobu in Los Angeles for this recipe—it’s one of my favorite appetizers there. Japanese restaurants typically serve edamame steamed and salted in the pod, and those are great, too, but this preparation is so much more noteworthy. Charring the soybeans inside their shell adds a great depth of flavor, and sweet and toasty garlic makes this virtuous snack irresistible.”

Bobby Flay Vanilla bean and granolaVANILLA BEAN AND ESPRESSO GRANOLA
Serves 8 (4 ½ cup servings)

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons hot coffee
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1½ cups almonds, chopped
1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup dark chocolate–covered espresso beans, coarsely chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, espresso powder, coffee, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla extract until combined. In another small bowl, mix together the almonds and oats. Add the almond mixture to the coffee mixture and toss to combine.
  3. Transfer to the baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 15 minutes. Stir and then bake for another 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove and let cool completely.
  4. Break into small pieces, put in a bowl, and stir in the espresso beans.

Per serving: Calories 123; Protein 5g; Carbohydrates 5g; Dietary Fiber 2g;
Sugar 1g; Total Fat 9g; Saturated Fat 1g

“Before I changed my ways, I used to stop by a popular coffee shop on my way to the office for a medium double-vanilla latte to start off my day. A few hours and one sugar crash later, I would follow it up with another. That is more than 500 empty calories and 12 grams of fat, all before noon! I love the flavor of coffee paired with anything, but I particularly like it with vanilla and chocolate. Having sworn off the vanilla lattes, I now just do a skim-milk latte and eat a handful of this more nutritious latte-inspired granola instead. It is also great stirred into yogurt or sprinkled on oatmeal.”

Recipe information Reprinted from Bobby Flay Fit. Copyright © 2017 by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Ed Anderson. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.