A Conversation with Simon Lusky of Athlete Eats
As if working as a chef for professional athletes in town and running Cherokee Street’s Athlete Eats wasn’t enough, Simon Lusky continues to move in the city. Athlete Eats owners Simon and Angela Lusky will showcase more of their restaurant’s healthy, delicious foods and more as they plan for two more locations plus a food truck.
We caught up with Simon Lusky to get his thoughts on new business and more.
ALIVE: What inspired you to become a chef?
Simon Lusky: My father and grandmother inspired me. My dad ran a Middle Eastern catering company out of our basement growing up and I am convinced Julia Child is related to my grandmother.
ALIVE: How did you learn to succeed in creating delicious, healthy meals?
SL: I think being overweight at one point in my life really helped me understand what I am trying to conquer. It could be a flavor combination, a texture contrast or even a certain eye appeal that could make food special and finding ways to replicate that with healthy ingredients is something I learned at Johnson and Wales University in my Culinary Nutrition program.
ALIVE: Many of the professional athletes you work with have really transformed their eating habits due to your direction and look better than ever. Was that a difficult challenge?
SL: I feel like overall it hasn’t been too bad. You always have some bumps in the road but I have found that gaining trust with them is the most important thing. Individualization has been a great key to success because what may have worked for one athlete may not work for another.
ALIVE: Baseball season is now over and you have big plans for your business. In the spirit of Thanksgiving coming up, what are you most thankful for reflecting on the past year?
SL: Absolutely , I think reflection is something that should be done a regular basis. Its important to assess your performances even if it was just one event or even a quarterly numbers, so you constantly push yourself and others around you to be their best. This past year I am so thankful for all the support I have received from St.Louis, my friends, my family, our staff and most importantly, Sauce Magazine.
ALIVE: What is your favorite meal to make for yourself?
SL: A family recipe called matbucha, I like to call it Moroccan marinara. You can have it hot or cold, it can be the star of the dish or just a condiment and I put it on everything—even our new fall & winter menu!
ALIVE: What are you most looking forward to with the new restaurants you’re planning?
SL: We have a great team at Athlete Eats that makes everything possible and I am excited to watch them grow as professionals as we take the next step forward together.
As for the new business plans coming up Lusky says the food truck is coming first—hopefully in early spring with possibly testing it out earlier—and is leaning toward calling it Athlete Eats Mobile. The second Athlete Eats location will hopefully pop up in Brentwood in late March. Finally, the newer concept would be about a year away. “We are crossing our fingers to get the chance to lease out the space for the potential new concept,” Lusky says.