In the March-April issue of Harvard Magazine is a story about a Harvard-trained lawyer, Dawn LaRochelle (Harvard J.D. ’96), who owns a kosher catering business called “Bete’ Avon! Kosher Catering” in western Massachusetts (she also owns Perigee Restaurant and Apogee Catering).
In the video below (email subscribers can see it by clicking here), she explains some aspects of the process and how she started the business, assisted by Rabbi Max Davis (Harvard ’04).
Here is her story and philosophy, from Jewish World News:
I am the daughter of two physicians. My older brother is one of the leading fitness experts in the country. My younger sister is a personal trainer who continues to amass higher degrees in nutrition and holistic medicine.
But for me, it’s all about food, glorious food.
Fortunately, owning a restaurant and two catering companies and living my life in and around kitchens does not make me the black sheep of the world’s most health-conscious family. While triple cream French brie and Chef Jim’s hollandaise and schmaltz will always have a beloved place in my heart, that heart needs to stay healthy for me to run three businesses and raise three school-age sons! And the good news is, it’s easy to avoid the cardiologist’s office…WITHOUT depriving myself in any way.
My food philosophy is a glass-half-full philosophy: I focus on possibilities rather than limitations, and zero on “yes’s” instead of “no’s.” So when creating a heart-healthy dessert, I start with delicious ingredients I can eat, not with those I need to avoid. Pomegranates and pears are both at the top of my list of favorites in this regard.
Pomegranates, with their deep red juice, are not only eye-catching and palate-pleasing, they are naturally high in polyphenol antioxidants, which help the body’s cells resist damage from free radicals. Studies also indicate that drinking one-and-a-half ounces of pomegranate juice daily may lower cholesterol and reduce plaque on blood vessel walls. Pears, meanwhile, contain phytochemicals that may work synergistically to fight cardiovascular disease, and are sodium-, fat-, and cholesterol-free (important factors in a heart-healthy diet).
Pomegranate poached pears, despite their dramatic company-worthy appeal, are simple to put together and can be prepared a day or two in advance, making them ideal for entertaining. Serve them sprinkled with toasted pistachios (loaded with heart-healthy potassium and magnesium) and dark chocolate shavings (dark chocolate has been shown to reduce LDL – the “bad” cholesterol – levels by up to ten percent). Vanilla ice cream (which is now available low-fat and fat-free in most chain supermarkets) is also a delicious addition.
Moral of the story: dine extravagantly, and in good health. And tell those who think the one excludes the other to eat their hearts out!