10:29am | January 29, 2014

An interview with Chef Jody Adams, our Bottega Gran Fondo guest Chef & Ride Leader

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I have had the opportunity to both meet and work with an amazing group of talented people in the culinary and wine-making world. Many of them will be participating in my upcoming Bottega Gran Fondo, April 12 & 13th. Not only will these extraordinary people take part in the event’s cooking demos and wine-tastings, but they also will be on the bike – riding a fairly challenging 75 mile course. It’s pretty great: Chefs who ride.

Chef Jody Adams, a James Beard award winning chef from Boston Massachusetts, is the owner of Rialto and Trade Boston. Below is our recent Q&A with Jody:

How and when did your passion for cycling start?  “I’ve cycled my whole life but after I was invited in 2008 to a week-long cooking and cycling trip through Sicily, I got hooked.  Sicily is very hilly and the cycling guide was a great help in instructing me how to handle the hills.”

What kind of bike do you ride? “Shortly after my Sicily trip a friend convinced me to get a Seven bike. It is an amazing, absolutely beautiful custom-made bike.

You’ve biked the 192-mile Pan Mass Challenge over the past three years, raising $250,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute—an incredible accomplishment. Are you planning to do it again this year?  “Absolutely. My sister is a cancer survivor which is how I got involved in doing the Pan Mass Challenge.  It’s a great way to stay focused on training throughout the year.”

How do you stay energized on long rides?  “I like to eat real food. I love to make spring rolls with rice, tofu, veggies, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and cilantro. I’ll also pack small peanut butter sandwiches, hard boiled eggs and dried fruit.”

“How do you stay fit? Do you do any other types of exercise besides cycling?”  “I don’t cycle outside in Boston in the winter. I take three or four spinning classes a week, do some boxing, yoga and Pilates. I also work with a trainer who helps me with strength training and opening up my upper back muscles.”

Where is your favorite ride?  “As long as I’m in the country and the ride is somewhat challenging. I’m happy. On rides through foreign countries I love to see how other people live and what they grow.”

What is your favorite food indulgence?  “That’s tough. Everything tastes good after a 100 mile ride. I love a really good hoppy IPA after a long ride.”

You host culinary bike tours through Italy and France so leading a bike tour through Napa Valley in April should be a breeze for you. What part of the Bottega Gran Fondo are you most looking forward to?   “The whole thing! Riding with people who also love to eat while raising money for a worthy cause makes for a great synergistic whole. Of course I know the wine and the food will be amazing. I share Michael’s philosophy of celebrating beautiful ingredients without too much manipulation.”

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