Chef Fernando Darin at LACMA. Photograph by Jeff Skeirik/Rawtographer
Chef Fernando Darin and Yoga Practice
How did you discover yoga and begin your own practice?
I started about a year ago. At first, I was skeptical about it; I never thought it would work. My workouts at the time consisted basically of lifting weights and playing other sports. And the perceptions that I had about yoga were completely wrong.
Then I went in to class and got my ass kicked. I remember thinking, “I’m never coming back to this.” Three days later I was back and I haven’t stopped.
How does your experience and background as a musician connect to your yoga practice?
I feel that yoga helps my creativity and that reflects in the way I play music. The mental clarity and enhanced breathing definitely have an impact on how my brain channels creativity.
Do you have go-to yoga places to practice in LA?
I practice at Modo Yoga, on La Brea.
What are some places in LA where you enjoy spending your time off?
I love Los Angeles; it’s my favorite city in the world. Just by being able to live and work here, I feel grateful. Chefs don’t really have a lot of time off. But when I do, I like going to the beach, dining out and of course, yoga.
Chef Fernando Darin on Yoga and the Kitchen
Has your yoga practice affected what you eat at home?
I consider myself a flexitarian, and I have always liked to have a clean, more plant-based diet. Yoga goes hand-in-hand with what I believe about eating: Your diet must be balanced. It doesn’t matter if you’re vegan or if your choice of protein comes from animals.
Every single bite of food that goes into our mouths is based on choices that we make. That is the most important thing for me. With people’s busy schedules in the modern world, sometimes we forget to think about what we’re putting in our body, or to question where that food comes from.
How has your yoga practice had an impact on your daily life?
Chefs work in a very stressful environment. We stand 98% of the time, sometimes for 14 or 15 hours each day. I find that the yoga postures are amazing to fix any back or leg pains.
A big part of my job is to create balanced flavors and textures in the food. Yoga also fits in with this since a lot of the focus of yoga is about balance.
How has yoga influenced your approach to your professional life?
My yoga practice reaches a very deep level of self-awareness and well-being. If I’m feeling complete and mentally strong, it’s easier to solve problems, to be creative, and to be more approachable to guests.