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Wilshire chef Andrew Kirschner opts for 'light, healthy and fresh'

February 23, 2009|Jenny Hontz

Andrew Kirschner

Executive chef at Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica


High cholesterol runs in Kirschner's family, which motivates him to stay fit. "I want to live a long, healthy life," says the 6-foot, 1-inch, 175-pound chef. "Normally, I don't eat junk food or fast food. I stay away from tons of butter, and I don't cook with a lot of butter. I use olive oil."

Nevertheless, Kirschner eats a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast. For lunch, he'll pick something off the Wilshire menu, such as a chicken sandwich, and for dinner, he often enjoys the same meals he serves his staff, whatever they throw together from the extra ingredients on hand.

"My days of being a chef eating heavy meals at the end of the night are over," he says. "I try to eat before service at 5:30 or 6 p.m."

Because Wilshire prides itself on using organic, local and seasonal produce from farmers markets and dishes with Italian and Asian influences, his food is "light, healthy and fresh," he says.

Kirschner is also an avid surfer, snowboarder and yogi, rising at 6 a.m. to catch the waves and practicing anusara yoga three to four days a week. "It's a pretty aggressive class with Chris Chavez in Beverly Hills," he says. "I break a pretty good sweat. I also belong to a gym and one to two days a week go run on the treadmill."

A lifelong athlete, Kirschner played water polo and swam as a kid. He still swims laps a few days a week in his home pool when it's warm.

Staying fit is about finding activities you love, he says. "I've always enjoyed sports and being outdoors, hiking and biking."

You don't have to deprive yourself of delicious food, he says.

"I think it's about being aware of what you put inside. I'll splurge like anybody else, but I'm more aware now that I'm 36."

-- J.H.

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