5 Questions: Jerry Rothstein

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Earnest, engaged, and wise slow-goer, in the kitchen and in life: meet Jerry Rothstein. Longtime news and copy editor and Gestalt therapist, Jerry shares his mindful approach to food shopping, home cooking, and to the slow savoring of the food we eat. 

What does eating well look like for you?

Eating well is a process that includes getting the ingredients, cooking them, the eating
itself, clean up and digestion. I like to be able to devote enough time to this process so
that I can experience it fully. At the heart of it, the decision on what to cook and serve,
involves me in looking for balance of flavors, textures, nutrition and aesthetics.

What is a favorite and reliable everyday dish for you?

We love salmon, having lived for many years on the West Coast of Canada. A simple
broiled fillet packs nourishment, flavor, texture and nutrients in a very easy cooking
cycle. Sides of green vegetable and, perhaps, steamed little red or yellow potatoes with
butter and rosemary complete the main course.

Can you share a defining food memory?

There are many, as our Jewish household did attend to food above all. Ironically, two of
my most pleasant food memories involve eating out and not kosher (though I did not
know it at the time). On our train trips to visit mother’s sister, the sandwich man would
come through and I would always ask for a chicken sandwich, thinly sliced white meat,
fresh white bread, mayo. Perfect. And one year when I had to be taken to an allergist for
shots, my mother would buy us lunch at a diner nearby that had the best hamburgers I
had ever tasted. Juicy! (Kosher burgers tend toward dryness.)

What topics around food are you most interested in, and why?

As a psychotherapist, I am always coming back to the deep need for chewing, both
literally and metaphorically. Food should include elements that really need to be chewed
up, a way to appropriately use our aggressive energy. Digestion, absorption of nutrients
and equally important, elimination of wastes, serves as a model applicable to a lot in our

I have to ask. What would you hope for as a last meal on this earth?

A tasting menu of the freshest, ripest fruits, and some chocolate wafer biscuits.