Every year at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, celebrity chefs and festival attendees alike participate in a 5K race to raise money for Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit bringing affordable produce to underprivileged communities. At the end of the race this year, Gail Simmons blended up her cantaloupe and kale smoothies with Pure Leaf Iced Tea to quench the thirst of the runners. We love her grilled fish tacos recipe, so when we sat down to talk to Gail, we couldn't help but ask for the smoothie recipe too.
POPSUGAR: If you could swap chef shoes with anybody for a day, who would it be?
Gail Simmons: I'd love to swap shoes with Marcus Samuelsson for a day. He gets so much accomplished, and he's always so happy and willing to help out anyone else. He's always so generous. I just want to know how he does it! I'd love to see the world through his eyes for one day.
PS: When you try something that's really delicious, what's the first word or sound that comes out of your mouth?
GS: "Wow!" or "Yay!" Tasting something new and delicious to me is one of the most exciting things. Often it takes me minutes to speak at all, and then I usually shout with glee.
PS: You work with celebrities all of the time, but are there any that you become a fangirl around?
GS: I'm a fangirl a lot of the time! I feel like that's my professional job. That's what I do for a living. I'm a fangirl of Kate Krader, restaurant editor of Food & Wine magazine. I'm a big fangirl of Hugh Acheson on Top Chef. I've been working with him for years, but his food never gets old. He's got such a great sense of humor. I love his mellow, calm attitude towards cooking and food. I'm blanking, because there are so many great chefs here!
Photo: Anna Monette Roberts
PS: What inspires your recipes?
GS: I travel so much in the world and around the country. I learn from and am inspired by where I'm eating. It has to do a lot with what I'm in the mood for, what I crave, and what I want to cook when I get home and get into the kitchen. Also, of course, the season. In the Spring and Summer, I'm always craving light, fresh, and bright flavors. Lots of acid, crispness, and crunch.
Pure Leaf Iced Tea asked me to come up with a smoothie that was inspired by the farmers market. I wanted it to be seasonal, local, really nutritious, and packed with naturally derived sweetness. I added bananas, dates, ginger, and lemon to balance out the cantaloupe and the kale and to give it a round finish.
1 cup ripe cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons flaxseeds or flaxseed meal
1 ripe banana, peeled
1/2 cup Medjool dates, quartered
1 cup unsweetened black tea, like Pure Leaf
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup ice
- Place all ingredients in a blender and puree on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Serve cold.
- Drinks, Smoothies
- Serves 2
- Cook Time
- 5 minutes