Meet the Edina chef who whips up healthy delights while giving back.
Edina Chef Daniel Green has lots of spoons in his bowl. A native of London, England, he creates menus for restaurants that are small and not so small, big and really big (one airline, for example, serves 250,000 meals per day). He’s penned 13 cookbooks, highlighting some 1,300 recipes. He’s logged home shopping hosting duties, totaling more than 13,000 hours of live TV, viewed by nearly 100 million homes. As the front man for Gotham Steel, his infomercials have resulted in sales of 50 million pieces of cookware.
Green was selling air fryers before anyone knew about air fryers. His paleo diet cookbook came out before paleo diets were popular.
Green’s healthy philosophy is to eliminate sugars and carbohydrates whenever possible. “Processed food is the worst,” he says. “And bigger portions are part of the problem.”
The solution, in part, is simplicity.
“Recipes have to be easy,” he says. “They have to be quick. They have to be efficient, and they have to be tasty. If you start with something people don’t know, it’s not going to happen. That’s how wasabi-crusted tuna turns into mac and cheese.”
When Green is not immersed in the culinary world, he lends a hand to those in need. He became involved with the Ronald McDonald House, an organization offering comfort, care and support for families with sick children, when his family was staying there.
“We went through a very tough time losing our little boy, Harry,” Green says. “Sadly, we all have a story, some harder than others. It feels good to tell our story if we can help others. We have to carry on. Support is everything. We are blessed with our two daughters, who keep us positive and strong.”
He carries on by channeling that positivity and strength into doing everything he can to give back. “He just started cooking while his family was there,” says Liz Norton, foundation and community relations director for Ronald McDonald Charities, Upper Midwest.
Green has co-emceed the Ronald McDonald House Gala for the last eight years. He also leads corporate cooking classes and donates high-end pots and pans to the charity. Private parties, where the food has been supplied and prepared by Green, are wildly popular auction items.
“He’s gracious and charming and just knows that families with sick kids need lots of support,” Norton says.
Green is just as supportive of the American Heart Association, serving as emcee for its annual gala and auctions two dinners.
“The American Heart Association is important for so many reasons. [Heart disease] affects so many people. We all have had someone in our lives in need,” he says.
The Cannabinoid Cookbook: Transform Your Health Using Herbs and Spices From Your Kitchen is a collaboration between Green and Joseph Feuerstein, MD, director of Integrative Medicine at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut.
Green’s latest cookbook explores how foods like turmeric, basil, rosemary, flax and others affect the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates various functions including sleep, mood, memory, appetite and pain.