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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Chef Profile: Colin Dowden of Wholesome Goodness Market

Nov 11, 2011 12:07AM

Chef Colin Dowden of Wholesome Goodness Market in Yonkers, NY.

Chef Colin Dowden still has a long culinary career ahead of him, but he can already boast a lifetime of experience.

Dowden began cooking at age 14, working for caterers in his Brooklyn neighborhood. After high school, he honed his culinary talents in corporate cafeterias, and then moved on to executive dining rooms, where he was mentored by master chefs. (“That’s where I learned the classic French cooking techniques I use to make savory stocks and sauces at Wholesome Goodness,” he says.) In his late 20s, Dowden attended culinary school, acquiring a broad knowledge of world cuisines. As chef at Wholesome Goodness, he now blends broad knowledge and long experience with a lifetime commitment to health and nutrition. “It’s easy to eat delicious and satisfying food that’s also good for you,” he says.

Having benefited from professional mentors, Dowden hopes to give back in kind—teaching children entrepreneurial skills, using food as the vehicle. Once the store settles into a reliable routine, he says, he will be doing cooking demos in the store, and he’s planning a series of cooking classes for kids.

Dowden’s giving extends to the readers of Natural Awakenings, with whom he shares one of his most popular warm-weather recipes.  

Kiwi and Beets Summer Salad

3 beets
4 kiwi
½ cup celery, diced small
½ red onion, diced small
½ cup red bell pepper, cut julienne
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon smashed garlic
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup agave nectar
¼ cup raspberry wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook beets (skin on) until a knife can slide into them with ease. Let cool in refrigerator, use paper towels to rub off the skin, and then cut the beets into wedges. In a mixing bowl, combine beets, celery, onion, bell pepper, lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon thyme. In another bowl, combine agave nectar, vinegar, ¾ teaspoon thyme, lemon juice and garlic. Whip or blend flavors, slowly adding oil until the dressing thickens, and then add it to the beet mixture. Peel kiwi and cut each one into 8 pieces. Add half the kiwi into the beet mixture and mix with a rubber spatula. Serve garnished with the rest of the kiwi and fresh celery leaves.                                                                               

Wholesome Goodness Market is located at 66 Main St., Yonkers. Contact the market at 914.375.7133; visit the market online at WholesomeGoodnessInc.com.