Features 1 minute 26 February 2024

How Major Food Group's Chef Rich Torrisi Keeps in Fighting Shape

The Chef of One MICHELIN Star Torrisi shares his healthy habits

It’s hardly a revelation to say that restaurant chefs count eating as their main profession - a job where indulgences and food abound. Partaking in legendary meals, picking throughout the day and late-night feasts post-shift with colleagues are all part of their domain.

At the same time, many chefs are diligent about their workouts and keep a healthy diet on top of mind. In fact, they’re as dedicated to their fitness routines as much as they are to being in the kitchen. Rich Torrisi, cofounder of Major Food Group and chef, is 44, clocks in around 180 pounds, and commands a height of 6’1’. He recently let us in on how he stays in shape and what he eats on a typical day.

How do you stay in shape?

“Working out is important to me, but my idea around it is the same idea as my passion for cooking: I have to be passionate about it. I made a change about six years ago when I decided that I didn’t just want to work out just for the sake of working out. I want to learn something or do things that are fun or interesting while getting the benefit of exercise. And I always exercise first thing in the morning at 6 or 7 before I start the day.

I practice both jiu-jitsu and boxing. Each is a sophisticated martial art, and I love the discipline they bring. For boxing, I go Work Train Fight downtown. Boxing is about how to create and deliver energy through your fist. You do that from the floor starting from your feet and through your calves and then your hips and torso until you punch. It’s a clean technique like cooking. I box three days a week for an hour each time. At home, I also do mini workouts to keep my skills up.

I train jiu-jitsu at Henzo Gracie on West 30th Street and do private sessions with Rayron - he is the nephew of the founder so it’s like drinking from the well. This is a practice about understanding the body well - how to manipulate your weight and control a person without a lot of energy. Jiu-jitsu is also about the RNC- rear naked choke- the most common choke and a classic submission. I go to Henzo Gracie twice a week.

In the summer, I may vary it and surf in Ditch Plains in Montauk with my girlfriend or play tennis. Mario Carbone actually got me into tennis. He plays all the time, and we play together in Montauk.”

Courtesy of Rich Torrisi
Courtesy of Rich Torrisi

Tell us about your eating habits.

“When it comes to diet, I eat the most delicious foods on a daily basis. They’re not always healthy, but they are good. I pride myself on eating delicious food which is why I think I’m able to create such delicious food. I eat in extremes. At the beginning of the week, I intermittent fast and drink broth and other liquids. This helps me maintain my weight. The rest of the week, I eat whatever I want, and I mean whatever. But I don’t eat until later in the day. I don’t count calories. I just eat.”

Courtesy of Rich Torrisi
Courtesy of Rich Torrisi

Hero image: Courtesy of Rich Torrisi

Keep Exploring - Stories we think you will enjoy reading