Cooking with Chef Sam Lippman
AirBnB's Head Chef Sam Lippman Shares a Healthy Dish!
By Alexander Winter
Published Jul 2014
Chef Sam is on a mission to "reinvent the instructional food landscape" by proving that healthful and sustainable eating is delicious and cost effective. His culinary journey started with the realization that he needed to improve his own health through food. In the same breath he understood that there was a great need for busy people to access thoughtfully considered healthy foods, so he began working as a private raw vegan chef. During this time he created a lot of recipes he still uses today. After serving his food in Google's food program he found himself at Airbnb in 2011 where he started serving about 60 people each day from a small cart and a hot plate, which has grown into a full scale healthy and sustainable food program, serving around 1,000 meals each day. "Because of our pragmatic food choices and practices, we have a positive social, nutritional, and environmental impact in the simple act of making lunch." This Hawaiian style dish was inspired when Chef Sam was on a raw vegan diet yearning for a slice of Hawaiian pizza. "It makes for a great appetizer and is a tasty and creative introduction for people just getting into raw vegan cuisine." To make the right decisions when starting a program as Chef Sam did at Airbnb, holds a lot of potential. Supporting local businesses with sustainable and healthy practices helps them grow, giving rise to a culture you whole heartedly support, especially as a quickly growing company; "[...] our program expands and becomes a model to other organizations." Chef Sam frequents farmers' markets and local San Francisco Co-op Rainbow Grocery. His first choices for meats are Avedano's and butcher shop 4505 Meats, and a favorite stop in his own neighborhood is La Palma Mexicatessen on 24th Street in the Mission District “Friends, family, travel, music, and culture [...]” are the key ingredients to a well lived life for Chef Sam, and when it comes to food, he enjoys avocados, fresh seasonal fruits, leafy greens, local wine, black beans, brown rice, popcorn with nutritional yeast, and - his one junk food vice - Sour Patch Kids. Ingredients 1 ripe pineapple - peeled and sliced into 1/4” rounds 4 pitted olives - roughly chopped 1/2 red bell pepper - small diced 4 basil leaves - chiffenade 1 cup sundried tomato 2 medjool dates balsamic vinegar extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic “Italian” herbs or seasoning mix 1 small shallot - small diced 2 cups cashew 1 TBS nutritional yeast 1 lemon “Real Salt” [Real Salt is an unprocessed, pink mineral salt, available in most health food stores. I like it because it’s from Utah, and not imported - and most importantly, good for you and delicious] Sundried Tomato Pizza Sauce Combine sun dried tomato (soaked overnight in water), medjool dates, splash of vinegar, olive oil and peeled garlic. Add a pinch of dry fresh italian herbs and half of your chopped shallot. Blend in a food processor or blender until smooth ( a few small chunks are OK) Cashew “Cheese” Sauce Combine cashews, nutritional yeast, juice of 1 lemon, 1.5 cups of water with 1 clove of peeled garlic, a teaspoon of real salt and blend until smooth. Pizza Assembly Instructions Twist the top off of the pineapple. The easier it is to pull off, the riper and sweeter the pineapple will be. Cut the bottom and top off the pineapple so it sits flat. From top to bottom, cut off the outside skin of the pineapple, leaving no visible skin or thorns. Cut pineapple into 1/4” rounds. Lay each slice flat. Evenly spread tomato sauce onto the top of each pineapple slice. Ideally using a squeeze/squirt bottle, drizzle the cashew cheese onto each slice in a zig zag pattern (or get creative and draw smiley faces or spirals) Sprinkle pizzas with chopped olive, red pepper, shallot, and finish with a few sprigs of your basil chiffenade. Pizza slices can be served whole (like a mini personal pizza), or quartered into bite-sized pieces, resembling a cut, round pie. Feel free to improvise on just about any ingredients in this recipe. Toppings can really be anything. The important thing is the combination of pineapple, pizza sauce, and the creamy/cheesy flavor of the cashew “cheese.” Avocado, sprouts, heirloom tomato, jalapeno, mushrooms, etc, would all be delicious atop this pineapple pizza.