Food and Wine Professionals' Favorite Cleanses

The Dirty Secret of Food and Wine Pros


Imagine an unending feast loaded with delicious food and wine, which is available for your delectation at any given time. Okay, now imagine that it’s your job to consume it. How would you feel after a few years? And your appetite—do you think you’d ever be hungry?

For some workers in the food and beverage industry, the endless feast is problematic; sensory overload is a hazard of the job. A growing number of food and wine professionals seek solace in cleanses, periods of self-imposed abstinence. Here are three stories from the bowels of the business.

Baron Ambrosia, filmmaker and star of the Cooking Channel’s The Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia
Cleanse: Monthly, five-day regimens on the Master Cleanse (lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water); plus daily doses of psyllium husks in water, and, in the morning, tea made from turmeric, matcha, and ground black pepper.
Why: “To give my body a rest and to erase all the confusion from my palate.”

Darren Palace, assistant winemaker and general manager of Red Hook Winery
Cleanse: A twice-yearly, three-week regimen that’s based on raw and cooked vegetables, supplements, and animal-based proteins. Palace’s cleansing regimen is gluten-, dairy-, alcohol-, caffeine-, and sugar-free.
Why: “I drink about half to three-quarters of a bottle of wine every day, even though I also spit. Some guys in the business can go all night, year after year, but I’m not one of them.
What I do is a liver-based cleanse—it includes minerals, herbs, and enzymes to repair my liver. With all the eating and drinking that I do, I need to look at the inherent risks: diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure. I happened to have had blood work just before I started a cleanse, and, then again, after. The results showed that my cholesterol and blood sugar dropped and my liver numbers improved.”

Chef David DiBari of The Cookery and The Cookery’s DoughNation pizza truck
Cleanse: 3 weeks per year on Clean Program’s ( shakes and supplements
Why: “I’m tasting food all day long, every day. It’s important after a while to give my body a break.
The first week is kinda tough, but then I’m fine. And after the cleanse, I’m just bursting with mental, physical, and creative energy—like bouncing off the walls. And the effects last for a while. Plus, I juice for breakfast every day—lemon, kale, cucumber, green apple, flax powder. I use sea salt. It helps that I can make it taste good, because I’m not going to suffer through food. And Matt over at Good-Life Gourmet in Irvington does a good job—they do juice cleanses and they’ll deliver.”



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