I’ve spent the past year thinking a lot about “wellth” — the idea that success is found in a lifestyle devoted to mental, physical, and emotional health. (I even wrote a book about it.) In this new series, we’re celebrating visionaries who embody what it means to be wellthy.
Tom Colicchio is a powerhouse in the world of food: celebrity chef and TV personality, restaurateur, bestselling author, and food activist. His newest restaurant Beachcraft in the new 1 Hotel is my favorite restaurant in Miami.
mbg: Talk to me about school lunch.
TC: We still have a way to go but we’ve made a lot of progress in the past five years. We’ve got a bill on the Hill. We expected a lot of push back from big companies but it wasn’t that bad. I think things are moving in the right direction. There needs to be an education component added. We definitely need to teach kids where their food comes from, why it’s important to eat healthy — about the basics of nutrition. We need to set up kids for success here and if implemented, we’ve seen kids go back and even educate their parents.
What about GMO labeling?
It’s a very polarizing debate. I actually think there’s a lot of grey area though. I think there are a few issues. One is about how these technologies are applied and overused. Consumers have a right to know if their food is genetically modified or not. There should be transparency. Label the stuff GMO and let the science community explain the science behind GMOs and let consumers decide what they want.
Favorite way to break a sweat?
I just sparred six rounds so boxing is definitely one! I also love SoulCycle.
I started gardening a few years ago. Last season I had great melons and this season I had great blackberries — they where huge, the size of my thumb!
How do you de-stress?
I play guitar and I fish.
What’s your favorite way to get some nature?
The ocean! If I’m 70 miles offshore when the sun is coming up, that's a great day!
If you could go back in time and give advice to your 20-something self, what would it be?
Buy Gramercy Tavern from Danny Meyer when the opportunity was presented or figure out a way to make our partnership work out.
What does wellth mean to you?
I’m finding more and more that success is about allowing myself time to decompress, whether it’s meditation for 20 minutes or just finding a few minutes in the day recognize the joy of life. It’s sometimes hard to find that time between raising kids, the ebbs and flows of business, and working 80 hours a week, but finding those moments to just take a step back and enjoy it is huge. I know it’s cliché to say find what you love and the money will come, but I think it’s true. I know many wealthy people who are miserable. I’ve been working 80 hours a week since I was 17 and I still love what I do.