Christian Green first caught our culinary attention in 2014 on season 5 of Fox’s “MasterChef.” Incredibly, the 29-year-old from New Orleans impressed the judges so much during the series that upon his exit, Gordon Ramsay offered to invest in Green’s future plans for a food truck.
Fast forward to 2022 and the charismatic cook is back in MasterChef’s kitchen, this time as a contestant in the “Back to Win” contest in which former entrants compete for another chance to win. M&F caught up with Green, who also works with athletes like the NFL’s Marcus Davenport and the NBA’s Zion Williamson to find out how he tailors meals for different athletes and how he monitors his macros. He even gave us the merchandise to make his Honey Garlic Cajun Salmon dish.
“To be honest with you, being called back has boosted my confidence tremendously,” says Green, who fell in love with cooking while watching his late grandmother whip up a storm. “My grandmother worked at a high school where she was one of the head ladies in the cafeteria,” Green recalled. “Just seeing my grandmother cooking, and you know me walking into the kitchen with her, is where I found some of my inspiration. I would also go into the garden and pick collards, sweet potatoes, okra and even pears because we also made preserves; pear.
Green attended Dillard University in New Orleans where he studied sociology and psychology, then switched to majoring in business, but his real calling came when he jumped at the chance to enter MasterChef . He became a favorite on the show. Along the way, a mutual friend connected Green with Davenport, the defensive end for the New Orleans Saints. He is also a trusted leader of New Orleans Pelicans star Williamson.
Refueling athletes is something Green takes great pride in, but how does he go about planning different meals for different types of athletes? “It’s different for every individual and every sport,” he said. “The reason it’s so different is because you have an athlete who plays 17 games a year, maybe more, depending on whether he makes it to the playoffs, and on the other hand, you have an athlete who plays some 80 games a year Plus the sports are also entirely different so their diets have to be different as well One thing I always consider when cooking is to make sure I’m cooking meals that allow athletes to stay healthy, while keeping them at the right weight. My top priority is making sure I’m putting the right nutrition and foods into their bodies. Getting the right amount of carbs is key. Another thing that I incorporate a lot is juicing, which I would say plays a huge role in my projects, Marcus Davenport, for example, doesn’t like vegetables too much, so juicing allows me to implement the vitamins and nutrients needed creatively fresh and tasty.
Green says finding the foods that athletes love, but are also healthy, is a great way to keep them on track. “Zion loves seafood, which is good for his diet,” says Green. “In particular, he loves salmon. Therefore, I try to stay closer to seafood.” The chef says he is also aware of the types of carbs he feeds athletes. “I try to put good clean carbs in the diet like quinoa, baked sweet potatoes, lentils, and I also cook with vegan butter. I don’t use heavy cream. To watch his macros, Green uses an app called Loose it! “Whenever I plan meals, I log all meal components into the app,” he shares.
And when it comes to adding flavor, Green knows his stuff. “I have my own range of seasonings which can be found on my website, Fashion Food Taste,” he says. “Currently, I have low sodium all-purpose Cajun seasoning, lavender garlic seasoning, and lemon zest seasoning.” When his current engagements with MasterChef are over, he hopes to present other “dinner with Christian” experiences for the enjoyment of the public, and is very driven in everything he cooks by the idea of creating a legacy his son can be proud of.” Honestly, c It’s great to work with athletes to help them achieve their goals,” says Green. “I mean, I kind of see myself in them because I was an athlete myself. I’ve played football and raced on the track and even though I haven’t succeeded professionally at that level, it feels good to be able to provide a service to keep these athletes where they need to be and also be part of the catalyst that makes them enables them to continually achieve their goals.