Johnny Iuzzini Johnny Iuzzini

What's with the pastry chefs on Top Chef: Just Desserts being so thin?

You'd think — considering all the delicious, high-cal treats getting turned out in a professional kitchen — that weight gain would be an inevitable occupational hazard. And yet, the cheftestants on Bravo's latest cooking competition are a surprisingly svelte bunch. What gives? According to Johnny Iuzzini, the Top Chef: Just Desserts judge and executive pastry chef for Jean Georges and Nougatine in New York City, "Pastry chefs do consume a lot of sweets — we're constantly tasting our food — but we also spend 12 hours a day running around like maniacs." (On top of that, he says that regular meals often get skipped in the scramble to feed others.) But don't rush to try the "dessert diet" for yourself just yet — all the sugar, dairy and chocolaty goodness do take their toll in other ways, warns registered dietitian Marissa Lippert, noting that "thin and healthy aren't the same thing!" Case in point? Says Iuzzini, "I've been on cholesterol medications for the last five years. My doctor is going to kill me!" 

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