Haute Dining: Get Healthy with Advice from Renowned New York City Chef Michael Cressotti of Mermaid Inn

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With all the amazing and delicious food around New York City, it can sometimes be tough to keep your fitness resolutions. Never fear, because we have some expert advice for you.

Chef Michael Cressotti’s creativity and expertise as a chef have defined his successful culinary career, which has spanned nearly 20 years. Combining classic techniques with innovative approaches to cuisine, Cressotti has helped open several acclaimed restaurants in New York City, including Patria and The Red Cat. Currently, Cressotti is the Corporate Executive Chef of The Mermaid Holding Company, overseeing the kitchen of Greenwich Village’s The Mermaid Oyster Bar and both Mermaid Inn locations on the Upper West Side and East Village.

We sat down with Chef  Cressotti to discuss how to stay fit while still living your fabulous New York City life.

Michael Cressotti, Corporate Executive Chef, Mermaid Inn

Do you think it’s possible to eat delicious food and stay in shape at the same time?
Absolutely. I think a huge factor today is that many people are more health conscious then ever before. There are more books available, more programming on television and more media outlets reporting on health conscious issues and successfully reaching a wider audience.

Are there certain dishes at your restaurant that are specifically best for health?
The daily ceviche on The Mermaid Inn’s menu is quite healthy. Consuming raw fish is high in protein and low in fat. There are many types of fish that are staples in many parts of the world. Fish is important in every culture. The health properties of fish are really great. Even fish that is higher in natural fat is still healthier and more heart-friendly than many terrestrial meats, which can be high in saturated fats. At The Mermaid Inn, our daily ceviche is always mixed with raw vegetable and citrus. I also recommend the Seared Calamari, which is made with cremini, shiitake and frisee.

What are your favorite healthy dishes?
Sushi is by far is my favorite healthy food to consume, and I love to eat all types of sushi. I am also a huge lover of seasonal salad and hummus. Not only are these vegetarian options healthy, they are also really easy to prepare at home.

Any tips for those looking to cook healthy at home?
My advice would be to buy local, fresh and seasonal vegetables. When foods are at the peak of their season, they also contain the most nutrients and flavor. You are what you eat, and you can’t really go wrong with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Mermaid Inn is located at 96 Second Ave. in East Village, 212.674.5870; and 568 Amsterdam Ave. on the Upper West Side, 212.799.7400.
Mermaid Oyster Bar is located at 79 MacDougal Street, 212.260.0100.

Check out the first part of our the Get Healthy series with Chef Michael Psilakis of Kefi and our second part with Chef Amy Eubanks of BLT Fish.

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