Carrie Nahabedian is a 2008 James Beard winner and has set herself apart in a city overflowing with culinary talent. Her Armenian heritage influences her cooking, but her cuisine can best be described as new American. Carrie demands excellence, using what she calls “tremendous ingredients,” the freshest and most globally diverse ingredients available. At home, she makes smart healthy choices, recently shedding over 150 pounds.
Q & A
Which Mariano’s do you shop?
West Loop is my store because I live downtown.
Where is the first place you go in Mariano’s?
Produce. It’s the most visual, and you get a sense for what the rest of the meal is going to look like.
Do you write a menu before shopping?
Never. I always come here first and see what’s available.
What’s a good sugar alternative?
Bee pollen is nature’s sugar. I sprinkle just a couple granules on my yogurt every morning.
Unexpected produce love?
Eggplant. Being Armenian, I have to have eggplant.
What’s the simplest way to eat healthy?
The prepared foods. I saw that Mariano’s had Alaskan Halibut ready to cook.
Any herbs you can recommend for salad?
I would use organic thyme. And for my big Greek salad I would use the mint.
What kind of pears do you love?
I love Bosc and Anjou pears. They’re great shaved onto salads or grilled fish.
How much of your menu is inspired by your heritage?
My father loves food that tastes like when he was a child. So I try to make it reminiscent of that. A beautiful leg of lamb, whole roasted chicken, and carrots with the stems on.