Aran Goldstein is a chef, teacher and entrepreneur dedicated towards building skill and intuition around food and cooking to help people live the life they want. A graduate of Northeastern University and the New England Culinary Institute, Aran’s experiences have spanned boutique hotels, to stints in Michelin Stars in Italy, to opening a restaurant in China. He’s taught hundreds of lessons along the way, from an organic farm cooking school, to medical students learning food as medicine. He has now launched his new project, Cook and Live, where Aran is building online programs to guide people through their journeys in food, cooking, and thriving as humans.
Aran talks about his journey from New England chef to traveling, cooking and living all around the globe. He says that his experience working on a farm, taking care of animals and growing food deepened his appreciation and love of nature. It was transformative and changed everything about how he cooks and lives.
Aran explains his philosophy in the kitchen: “So much of my work is not just to build cooking skills, but to build a connection with our food.” Humans evolved with a “sacred relationship” to their food sources and Nature. However, nowadays so many people are disconnected from where their food is coming from, what they are supposed to be eating and how they should be preparing it. Aran’s mission is to bring back that connection and deepen our intuition about food.
For Aran, food is both what sustains us and helps us to thrive. It can set us up for a life of vibrant health. It’s critically important to reestablish our intuitive connection with food so that we are tuned into our bodies and know exactly what foods we need to thrive!
Often times, people will say that they don’t have enough time to cook. Aran says that it’s not so much a time issue as it is a value shift. We don’t see the value in cooking nourishing foods in the kitchen. To Aran, we can plan and be deliberate about our food choices as opposed to just letting meals happen. The key is to put food first and make it a priority to nourish ourselves and our families.
Later, Aran talks about his vision of creating quality nourishing video programs, such as his wonderful Instagram cooking show with his young son. Since his son wasn’t in school due to the lockdown, he wanted to spend quality time and also impact other families around the world. Aran wants to make cooking at home with kids our “normal.”
Much of our current food systems are broken and toxic. Aran says people need to start asking questions about where their food is coming from and demand quality food. He says every day we are voting with our money by what foods we choose to buy. For instance, do we vote in favor of the cheap feed lot factory farm meat or the local small farm, grass fed and humanely raised meat? Ultimately, it comes down to whether we have a connection with our food.
Aran talks about some of the daily practices that keep him grounded, such as: time alone to breathe and be quiet; time outside in the sun and feet on the earth; and time to move his body and get in a good sweat.
The path to healthy living is not always straight and easy. Aran talks about his journey from overweight teenager in middle school and his conflicted relationship with his own body. He says it’s been a life long journey. However, Aran offers this empowering message: “one thing that has become crystal clear through this process is that we are only one meal, we are only one breath from changing course entirely.” He says it’s so easy to get caught up in all of the big sweeping changes that we want to make. So instead, he says just slow down, be present and focus on one meal at a time.
You can learn more about Aran and his work here: https://www.cookandlive.co/
You can also find him on Instagram: @chefarangoldstein as well as YouTube here: Cook and Live