One month ago, Washington, D.C. chef and restaurateur and Top Chef All-Stars Runner-Up, Mike Isabella launched his first Fit to Fight regional challenge in Miami.
The 12-week weight loss challenge is led by Miami Challenge captain and regional host, Jamie DeRosa, chef/owner of Tongue & Cheek. 12 Miami chefs have signed on for this weight loss contest to raise funds for Live To Fight, a nonprofit organization that brings together people in the martial arts and mixed martial arts community to raise money and offer additional support for people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
The Miami Fit to Fight chef contestants have committed to a 12-week weight loss challenge which includes work outs with local gyms and trainers who volunteer to help contestants by providing gym access and training sessions to aid in their quests to become more fit and lose big. The winner will be determined by the largest percentage of total weight lost and will be announced at the Fit to Fight closing event at Tongue & Cheek on Monday, September 29.
Fight to Fight Miami Challenge contestants:
Jamie DeRosa, chef/owner, Tongue & Cheek
Jacob Anaya, executive chef, OTC
Tim Andriola, chef/owner, Timó
Julian Baker, executive chef, Toscana Divino
Timon Balloo, executive chef, SUGARCANE raw bar grill
Sean Brasel, chef/owner, Meat Market
Andre Bienvenu, executive chef, Joe's Stone Crab
Aaron Brooks, executive chef, EDGE Steak & Bar
Todd Erickson, executive chef, HaVen South Beach
Brad Kilgore, chef de cuisine, J&G Grill
Dena Marino, chef/partner, MC Kitchen
Ralph Pagano, chef/owner, Alba Seaside Italian
At the 4 week mark, MIAbites had the chance to chat with Chef Timon Balloo of SUGARCANE Raw Bar Grill about his progress, his challenges and current status.
MIAbites: Now that you are in 4 weeks...or one third of the way...what are your biggest challenges on a daily basis?
Chef Timon: Being conscious of eating on time and not letting work get ahead of me. It takes a lot of focus to eat the right things at the right time.
MIAbites: What food(s) are you craving?
Chef Timon: Pizza & ice cream!!!
MIAbites: Have you cheated?
Chef Timon: Yes, but within reason. The first cheat day I over did it and felt terrible the next day. The second weekend that I had a cheat day I made it more like a cheat meal but still within reason. Maybe my cheat became an ingredient on a healthy dish like adding mayo or cheese to a healthy wrap opposed to having a completely disastrous meal!
MIAbites: Workouts - How often and when do you find the time? What’s your favorite workout routine?
Chef Timon: I've been taking this opportunity very seriously to boost a lifestyle change. Doing with a group really motivates you and helps to continue rather than saying I'll take a day off, etc. I've been doing 5 days a week. Tues/Thurs I am at SobeKick and Mon/Wed sometimes Friday at FlyWheel.
MIAbites:Do you have a workout chef buddy?
Chef Timon: The whole team is great but I've really connected with Aaron from Edge & Sean from Meat Market. Aaron bicycles and works out regularly so he's been a great motivation and pushes during classes.
MIAbites: How often do you talk/share/support with the other chefs?
Chef Timon: Almost everyday
MIAbites: What has your progress been in terms of weight loss since you started?
Chef Timon: It's been up & down, first 5 went down quick then a pause, second 5 the same. Then pause pause pause. So far I've lost 15 now it's pausing again!!!!
Fifteen pounds in one month is pretty awesome in our estimation , so congrats go out to Chef Timon…and the whole Miami Fit to Fight team! Well done.. and keep up the great work.
And cheer on Chef Timon by visiting him at Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill and order the Peach and Kale Salad, of which $1- for each one will be donated to Fit to Fight!
Check back on MIAbites next month for another chef update!