My Body

Josh Sharkey Ate Chocolate Every Day for Four Years

Our week of chefs continues. The late hours, the endless rich food... Is there such a thing as a healthy chef? We investigate. Today, Josh Sharkey of Bark Hot Dogs gives us the low down on not being a vegan and eating chocolate every day. 

  • Do you know any healthy chefs? I have sort of a skewed answer because I started a cleanse about a month ago that's turned into more of a lifestyle. I cut out gluten, sugar, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol. I felt so amazing after that that it’s kind of changed my whole perception. I’ll still eat those foods on a special occasional, but on a day to day basis I won’t just have a sandwich. I feel so much better, but the other chefs think I’m crazy. 
  • Are you in touch with your body?  I’ll be honest, up until about a year ago, I just ate whatever I wanted. I just wanted great food, that’s all that mattered to me. No matter what the repercussions were health-wise. Now that I don't do that, I actually appreciate food even more. 
  • Do you eat dessert?  About how many a week?  I love dessert. I’m kind of a chocolate fanatic. I didn’t go a day without eating chocolate for probably the last four years. I eat a lot more dried fruit now. 
  • What takes the biggest toll: the hours, the food, stress, or the standing up?  I think in general, the hardest thing about being a chef is keeping consistency. It’s a lot of little details to watch. There’s a lot that needs to be perfect. In terms of physically, as a chef you just have to expect there are long hours and it’s going to be very hot. Other than that, I think it’s more mentally draining than physically. 
  • Do you consider yourself an athlete?  To be a great chef and a great cook, you have to be quick on your feet, part of that is being agile. There are a lot of large chefs, but in general, you need to be quick. It’s fairly rigorous. 
  • What do you think of vegans?  Well, the ideal behind it is honorable. I know a lot of vegans, and I’ve known ones who have the right mentality, and ones I feel don’t. I think vegans who don’t believe you should eat anything that feels fear, I understand where they’re coming from. But being a vegan just because they think it’s healthier, I don’t necessarily think that’s the thing to do.
  • Do you ever exercise outside of the kitchen, if so what do you do and how often?  I go to the gym about five days a week, and I run when I can. I usually do elliptical. That’s the main thing I do. 
  • Is being fit and healthy and well rested incompatible with being a successful chef? Part of being a chef is being a little bit gluttonous. It’s just kind of accepted that you can eat poorly, and that you’re on this constant quest to find amazing food — ooh what has more fat? What can you find that’s really really rich? But you don't have to eat like that all the time. 
  • Having cooked for so many people, what lessons have you learned about eating healthy?  I think the main thing I’ve learned, even in the last month, you need to set yourself up to eat well. Especially as a chef, you’re surrounded by so much butter and pork. If you buy a lot of fruit and greens and grains and cook them so you already have them prepared for the week, it's much easier.  


Joshua Sharkey


I love this place, highly recommended and really delish. Shame he cut out alcohol, their custom brews are awesome.

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