Chef Sam Talbot may be most famous for his participation on Top Chef season 2 but since then has been focusing on his "Integrated Kitchen" movement which is based on the notion that people must nourish the mind, body, and soul. Talbot is dedicated to bridging the gap between the way we eat and the way we live. He explains, "I immerse myself in facets of food- in labels, school lunch programs, farmer's markets etc...to me, food is a vehicle for other parts of society." Talbot was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 12 years old. As he got more involved with food and eventually became a chef, Talbot used food as a platform to teach kids and adults alike about what they are putting into their bodies. Talbot understands the power food has within local communities and urges all food lovers to "do what you can in their neighbor- make time for the fuel, which is food."
Talbot's philosophy about food is simple: use the best ingredients you can get your hands on and stay true to them. He believes in the purity of the products, "I like the natural flavor of ingredients. When they are overcooked, sauced, basted, I lose my ingredients." When he is cooking, he makes one or two dishes the star of the meal while the other sides play a supporting role.
In his new book, The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries, he outlines a different way of living and eating that is not just for diabetics. Talbot's approach to cooking with diabetes is an uncomplicated one, "cook nice." He utilizes ingredients low on the glycemic index and combines them with high-carb ingredients like whole wheat linguine, udon noodles, and even flour tortillas. He comments, "I try to make ingredients accessible and provide substitutions. In this book, I walk people through the switch out." Talbot knows he only has one shot at this life and is determined to live it sweetly.