Chef Mimi Bean’s Latest Venture: Meals That Heal You
Chef Mimi Bean—former owner and operator of Atlanta’s infamous Coach & Six, the publisher who launched and sold Jezebel magazine, and who once served as personal chef to Costa Rica’s former president and Nobel laureate Oscar Arias—is back with a new concept: Meals That Heal You, post-surgery wellness catering for the Atlanta area.
So whether you’ve just delivered a baby by C-section, had a hip replacement, or undergone some cosmetic procedure, starting October 1, for about $150 a day, Mimi will prepare delicious healthy meals in her Vinings kitchen and deliver them to your home. Eating the right foods after surgery can decrease the risk of infection, Mimi contends, as well as speed healing and give you more strength and energy. Her meal plans focus on anti-inflammatory and antioxidant foods, including healthy fiber, amino acids, carbs, fat, and vitamins and minerals.
And while I’m keenly aware that most people can’t afford to have food catered after any kind of surgery, the point that Mimi makes with her new venture is a very good one—nutrition is an important part of the recovery process that’s often ignored when patients are at their most vulnerable.
“Here in the United States, they put people right back in their own home after surgery without proper diet instructions and things that help you heal from inside,” Mimi said. She picked up the idea of post-surgery catering in the 1980s when she lived in Costa Rica. There, she learned from personal experience about a more holistic approach to medicine, including in-home care after surgery. “People focus on nursing care—transportation to or from the procedure—and then they drop the ball when you’re in your worst condition, when you can’t cook for yourself or drive.” (Hello inflammatory Chinese takeout, welcome Papa John.)
Last year, Mimi had a chance to put her Costa Rican experience to a test, offering to take care of a girlfriend who was having a procedure. The friend also happened to work for Atlanta plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Codner, Mimi said, and was so pleased with her recovery that she began taking pictures to document it and shared them with her boss. The doctor was so impressed that he asked Mimi when she could start providing the service to all of his patients, and he conferred with her about the needs of post-surgery meal plans.
Mimi’s wellness meals have diuretic and hydration fruits such as papaya, tamarind, watermelon juice, waters, amino acids, TSCs, high-end legumes, fish, omega-3 foods, salt-free, dairy-free, light beef, and other things that help you heal internally, she said.
Apart from this new venture, Mimi said she’s been indulging in one of her favorite hobbies—renovation and design. The French-trained chef recently sold her Savannah home, which she renovated while acting as culinary director for Kessler Hotel Group (she created menus for Kessler’s new Grand Bohemian Hotels in Charleston, South Carolina, and Mountain Brook, Alabama). And she just completed a renovation on a 1963 home she bought in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
What I learned? Well, after getting off the phone I immediately made a run to Arden’s Garden for a shot of wheatgrass, and I made a commitment to curb my late night runs for cans of vienna sausages, which actually look pretty fancy perched atop orange (that means cheese flavor) Ruffle potato chips.