Contagiously joyful. Incredibly creative. Relentlessly caring. Fierce female. Those are just some of the words to describe Amelia Mouton, and if you've ever had the chance to get to know her you would likely agree! Amelia was the chef and co-owner of Restaurant 415 for the majority of the time that I worked there and what a privilege it was to work for her. She was always so fun to have around, dancing around the kitchen, cracking jokes, while making some delicious concoctions and spreading constant positive vibes to the staff and customers. If we'd have a bad shift, she would be there at the end to encourage us and cheer us up, never bringing us down. I find us to be similar in a lot of ways these days, and I think a lot of that has to do with how much I aspired to be her! I have and continue to be motivated by not only her cooking but her zest for life. I look forward to working with her again in the future, I know our paths will cross again! Please enjoy our Q/A below and follow her Instagram!
Q: Tell me about your experience with food and what you are doing now
A: I grew up a foodie, always interested in testing out new recipes, reading cookbooks front to back for knowledge and inspiration. I loved cooking for friends and family. I also grew up in the restaurant industry, as my father is a restauranteur. I knew at a young age I wanted to own a restaurant that had food that everyone could eat! Growing up, I worked mostly in front-of-house at restaurants, my first back-of-house job was at this fly fishing ranch in Idaho where I would prepare 5-course meals nightly. I then moved onto a job at the flagship whole foods in Austin, Texas. I was still chasing the dream of owning my own restaurant someday! My dad bought a building and got a team together of people wanting to run restaurants and born from that was Restaurant 415, which my team and I ran for 6 years before selling it as the partnership was ready for new beginnings. I then went to school to become a certified Rolfer and created a personal chef business of which I cook and deliver fresh healthy meals to people in my community. I love it because I get to express myself creatively while also nourishing people looking to eat healthier.
Q: What are the most common questions you get when it comes to healthy eating?
A: Common questions I get about eating healthier..." what is the best way to eat?" "why is it so hard to eat healthier?" I have found that what works for some doesn't work for others. Healthy eating can mean something different to every BODY. I think the best way to discover what works best is going to a nutritionist for guidance for what works best for your body.
Q: What are some common myths regarding food?
A: That carbs are bad for you, fat makes you fat, (the right fats can nourish your brain and body), and that fruit is too sugary to eat ( fruit is full of natural sugars that our bodies need to survive as well as vitamins, minerals, fiber, plus they are natures treats).
Q: What are the best and worst foods you can eat?
A: In my opinion, the best foods you can eat are as unprocessed as possible, like shopping mostly in the produce section of the grocery store. I believe balance is important, but also eating foods that make you happy on occasion is equally as important. I don't think it's realistic to cut things out forever unless you have an allergy. I personally avoid super processed foods as much as I can, however, my guilty pleasure is that creamy mac and cheese in a box, which I eat with broccoli to pretend like I am being healthy haha. Ultimately it's about listening to what feels nourishing to your body.
Q: What are your top pieces of advice for those seeking to eat healthier?
A: If it's possible for you to go to a nutritionist, see what they say as to what might work best with your body chemistry. Otherwise, start focusing on what fruits and vegetables you love and eat as many of those as you'd like! Make a Pinterest your best friend and fill it with gorgeous colorful recipes that EXCITE you and make your mouth water! Listen to your body and do research on symptoms you may be having to see if there is already a plan set in place for how to eat healthier for your symptoms. And don't be hard on yourself! If you don't want to eat dairy for a week and then have some in that week forgive yourself and move on.
Q: What is your favorite healthy recipe of yours?
A: One of my healthy and easy recipes is so simple! Set your oven to 400 degrees, chop up a few different vegetables, (onions, peppers, brussles sprouts, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, whatever you like) and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice, and on the same tray, you can put any sort of protein you'd like as well, like fish or poultry. Place in the oven and let them cook for 20-30 mins until everything looks cooked to your liking. Serve over rice or quinoa with a nice herby, chimichurri sauce like this: 1 bunch Italian parsley, one bunch cilantro, one bunch fresh oregano, 1/3/ c red wine vinegar ,1/4 of a red onion, 1/2 c olive oil, j1 jalapeno, juice of one lime, salt and pepper, one clove of garlic. place everything into a blender and drizzle over your veggies, meat/fish/ rice and enjoy!