Just because Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen eat healthier than most people imagined was possible doesn’t mean they avoid desserts completely.
“Gisele loves my desserts,’’ said Joanne Gerrard Young, who cooks for the couple when they visit their home in Costa Rica. “She said I make the best desserts in the world since the beginning of desserts.’’
Young first met Bundchen and Brady in 2009. She began cooking for them the following year.
“Tom is down here once or twice a year, and Gisele is down here pretty regularly,’’ Young said. “So when they’re in town, I work pretty full-time [for them].’’
Young has a lot in common with Allen Campbell, the chef who cooks for Brady and Bundchen at their Brookline residence. Both focus on organic produce, very little — if any — meat, and both recommend avoiding everything from white sugar to caffeine.
A typical day’s worth of meals with Young in the kitchen might include two glasses of room temperature water (or a lemon and cayenne water), a super food green smoothie, fresh almond milk (Young germinates all her own nuts), chlorophyll tea with burdock root, green salad with pizza crackers and probiotic nut cheese, fresh fish, black rice – and a coconut strawberry parfait.
Young doesn’t believe in skipping dessert, though she does encourage her clients to have dessert at lunch rather than dinner.
When Young’s not whipping up healthy meals for Brady and Bundchen, the 43-year-old mother of two offers cleanse programs as well as retreats. Bundchen does an annual cleanse with Young, as do models Julia Stegner, Diana Moldovan, and Dree Hemingway.
Young is also currently developing and testing recipes for her first cookbook, which will focus on kid-friendly recipes.
“It was Gisele’s idea. She said, ‘You know, parents are in need of healthy recipes for their kids that their kids will eat,’’’ Young said. “Gisele said, ‘I think we should call it ‘Delicious and Nutritious,’ so that’s what it’s going to be called.’’
The recipe for Young’s coconut strawberry parfait – which she says is “one of Gisele’s faves’’ – is below.
COCONUT STRAWBERRY PARFAITMakes four 1 cup servings
Ingredients 4 organic strawberries 1 cup of washed and stemmed organic strawberries 1 tablespoon of cacao butter 1/4 cup of maple syrup 1/3 cup of cacao powder 1/2 cup of extra virgin coconut oil 4 cups of young coconut meat (about 6-8 young coconuts) 1/2 lemon, juiced 1/4 cup of maple syrup 1/16 teaspoon of fresh vanilla bean
Part I — Chocolate Ganache 1 tablespoon cacao butter 1/4 cup of maple syrup 1/3 cup of cacao powder 1/2 cup of extra virgin coconut oil
Place a plate in the fridge with four strawberries and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the plate and take each strawberry by the stem and dip into the chocolate ganache, then place onto the chilled plate. Place the plate back in the fridge to harden the ganache for serving. Allow the coconut oil to melt and put it into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Melt the cacao butter in a double boiler. Into the coconut oil, whisk maple syrup and melted cacao butter. Add cacao powder and whisk until creamy.
Part II — Vanilla Cream 4 cups of young coconut meat (about 6-8 young coconuts) 1/4 cup of maple syrup 1/16 teaspoon of fresh vanilla bean
Place the coconut meat into a high powered blender; turn it on low and gradually increase the speed to high. Using the tamper (if your blender is fixed with one), push the coconut around until creamy. Add the maple syrup and continue to blend. Once the coconut is combined and creamy, remove half of the coconut cream from the blender and reserve it in a bowl. Add vanilla to the coconut cream that remains in the blender and blend on medium until the vanilla is incorporated. Remove the vanilla cream from the blender and place in a bowl.
Part III — Strawberry Cream 2 cups of the reserved coconut cream 1 cup of washed and stemmed organic strawberries 1/2 lemon, juiced
Add the reserved coconut cream to the blender. Add lime juice and one cup of strawberries to the blender. Blend on low and gradually increase the speed to high. Using the tamper (if your blender is fixed with one), push the coconut around until creamy. Reserve four tablespoons of the strawberry cream for the garnish.
Part IV — Layering Place half of a cup of the vanilla cream into each of the four glasses. Clean up around the outside of the glass with a napkin. Place 1/2 of a cup of the strawberry cream into each of the four glasses. Use a tablespoon to bring the strawberry cream up the edge of the glass to define the strawberry layer. Place the remaining vanilla cream gently on top of the strawberry layer with the tablespoon technique. Place the layered parfaits in the fridge. Ensure that your ganache is still liquid; if it has hardened, use a double boiler to melt it. Remove the parfaits from the fridge and pour the ganache on top and replace in the fridge. After 15 to 20 minutes or before serving, add one tablespoon of strawberry cream to the top of each parfait. Top each with a chocolate-dipped fresh strawberry.