The SMARTEST Cities in America with Chef Jody Denton

Accclaimed Chef Jody Denton stopped by recently to dish on what it means to eat and live SMART, the top SMARTEST cities in the United States, and share some of his favorite recipes for summer!!!


Candace Rose: What does it mean to eat and live SMART?

Chef Jody Denton: “Eating and living smart means making smarter choices, and that can mean riding a bike to work every day or getting some exercise in your daily routine. You can go volunteer at a charity, stock your fridge with fruits and vegetables so that they’re always there for you to snack on, and maybe order your latte with nonfat milk.”


Candace Rose: What are the five criteria that make up the SMART campaign?

Chef Jody Denton: “We redefined SMART to align with our values of eating and living well: S for Savvy, M for Motivated, A for Accomplished, R for Responsible and T for Thoughtful. And now we are looking for the smartest person who embodies those values. And if you go to you can nominate someone you know or even yourself to be that smartest person. The winner will get $10,000 and be featured in SELF magazine.”

Candace Rose: Why did Smartfood come up with a campaign to rank America’s SMARTest cities?

Chef Jody Denton: “Smartfood is all about living and eating well, and we wanted to find the city that most embodied those values so we took a lot of criteria like number of philanthropies, how they treat the environment, likability, access to higher education.

Here in San Francisco (which made number one on the list) and we are announcing the top 10 smartest cities in the country.”


Candace Rose: Which American cities made the SMARTest cities list?

Chef Jody Denton: “You can get the whole list of SMARTest cities on I was excited to see I’ve lived in four of the top 10 cities- San Francisco, Washington D.C., Austin and Portland, Oregon.”


Candace Rose: What trendy flavors or ingredients will be hot this summer?

Chef Jody Denton: “There are a lot of trends out there right now, spicy flavors are definitely trending and buffalo is really hot. Hummus is really hot, I actually used hummus to inspire a dish (please see video above), it’s a Fava bean puree rather than chickpea. It’s got some great tomatoes from your Farmer’s Market with a little basil and garlic and olive oil. It’s very simple, very summery and very fresh.”

Some delicious meal ideas Chef Jody Denton shared with us!

Some delicious meal ideas Chef Jody Denton shared with us!


Candace Rose: What’s the hottest recipe you have to show us today?

Chef Jody Denton: “I’ve got blackberry honey Greek yogurt that goes great with our Brown Sugar Cinnamon chips. I’ve got Fava been puree with these great little cherry tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market and garlic and basil and olive oil.

I love spicy food and one of my favorite products that inspired this dish is Smartfood Buffalo Cheddar popcorn which uses cayenne, paprika and garlic. In this Buffalo King Ranch Chicken I took a classic Texas dish and spiced it up with franks of red hot buffalo sauce and turned it into Buffalo Cheddar Chicken King Ranch Chicken, and then I’ve got Watermelon Feta and Red Onion salad with Mint- wonderful!”





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