All week on my Facebook page I have been releasing these cool BJJ diet friendly recipe cards put together by the excellent Grappler Gourmet, aka, MacKenzie Arrington from New York.
I first met MacKenzie when he sent me an email in response to a competition prize thing I was running and I was intrigued by one of his emails in which he described what he did for a living. Fast forward to today and I came up with the idea of recipe cards for MacKenzie to show off his culinary expertise within a BJJ athlete friendly context. And here they are!
[At the end of the series of cards is a short interview with MacKenzie]
Q: Hi MacKenzie, please give our readers an introduction to who you are and your BJJ background?
I am a three stripe blue belt training out of Park Slope Academy of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Brooklyn NY. I started training when I was in college on some old dirty mats in an aerobics room with some wrestlers. It grew because at culinary school you get all walls of life so the next thing you know you're training with a big Brazilian body builder who used to be junior dos santos sparring partner. It was essentially all no gi, two people would go until someone tapped or you both were exhausted then rotate out. After having to focus on restaurants for awhile I took some time away but in the past couple years have made BJJ my main focus and train 6 days a week now. My current sponsors are Q5 sports nutrition and Inverted Gear.
Q: What is your culinary training and where do you work now?
My mother is a chef so I kind of grew up following in her footsteps. I am a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and have been working in a handful of New York City's top restaurants. I am currently working as a personal chef, writing recipes and developing seafood products for getmainelobster.com I am soon to be launching a program to be lobster chef for hire essentially. I come into your house, party, etc and cook up some lobster rolls, bisque and bakes. I guess since I am a big guy I'll also say I'll run as chef and security. Haha. Oh and the reason for lobster is because I am the only two time Maine Lobster Chef of the Year.
Q: Grapplers Gourmet is building an awesome following now, tell me where you want to take the brand?
Oh where to begin. Short term I am currently putting together a recipe book, maybe an app to go with it, and a few side projects with a couple BJJ related products. Long term I would like to start offering consultation services for fight camps, gyms or individuals, maybe a Bjj lifestyle cooking seminar? Haha the sky is really the limit and it really depends on what the community would be interested in. So if anyone out there would like to get an early jump on things, now would be the time! Until then I will just be pumping out food reviews, cooking guides and some great interviews on Grapplergourmet.com! Secretly I want to start "competition catering" business and a Bjj related food only good market. Similar to rollmore.com but for all foods and supplements for the Bjj lifestyle.
Thanks so much to MacKenzie for this brilliant and tasty collaboration! You can follow Grappler Gourmet on Facebook, website and Twitter.