During his 11 years in the NBA, Amar’e Stoudemire, currently of the New York Knicks, has founded a hip hop record label, co-designed a line of “courtside apparel for the fashion forward-female”, and penned a series of children’s books. His latest accomplishment is a cookbook, written with the help of his personal chef, Maxcel Hardy. Only A Game‘s Karen Given spoke with Stoudemire and Chef Max.
KG: Amar’e, last week Derek Fisher was announced as the new coach of the New York Knicks. I’m wondering what you think about that and whether he has any culinary chops you know about?
AS: He may have zero culinary experience, but I’m going to try to introduce him to a little bit of that world. But I do think having Derek Fisher as a coach is going to be helpful to us. He’s going to put together a nice little coaching staff, and we’re going to get ready to gear up for next season. So right now, as far as players are concerned, we’ve just got to make sure that we stay healthy this summer, rest, and recuperate and also train to become better players next season.
KG: When you were in high school and dreaming of becoming a professional basketball player, did you ever think you might also like to write a cookbook?
AS: I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be the author of a cookbook. It just happened organically, but growing up I never thought I would be a chef.
KG: Chef Max, I love the story of the first time you cooked for Amar’e, how did that happen?
MH: It actually kind of happened organically as well. I was doing a party right next to his condo in Miami Beach, and I got a call – when I finished that to come over and do a party for him. So I went there, did an amazing dinner, it was kind of history from there.
KG: And this amazing dinner was not at, say, five in the afternoon?
MH: No, it was a little later than that. It was probably like 11:30, 12. [laughs]
KG: During the season Amar’e needs about 6,000 calories a day, and he often chooses to avoid meat. I can only imagine that, when Amar’e asked you to become his personal chef, you had to develop a few new recipes.
MH: Yeah, it was tough. You know, coming from hotels and country clubs and catering for different guys into now catering for a high-profile athlete that needs so much fueling to keep him polished on the court is a little tough. So it was definitely challenging to figure out, you know, what do I need to give him for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and how much of everything to do. But it took me a few months and then we kinda dialed in, and now we’re hitting a home run with it.
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