Joseph Bastianich is one of the most successful culinary entrepreneurs in New York City. In addition to co-creating top Manhattan restaurants like Babbo Ristorante, Lupa Osteria Romana, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria and Del Posto, this son of Lydia Bastianich and business partner of Mario Batali has launched restaurants across the country, co-authored the award-winning " Vino Italiano Buying Guide" and produces his own wine.

Bastianich lost 37 pounds last year while training for the New York City Marathon. Since it is a weight-loss time of year, we caught up with this former Wall Streeter to find out how he did it, and what he's planning to do next.

You began your career on Wall Street. What did you do on Street?

I used to trade corporate bonds and govvies.

How long did you stay?

Three years. I did the MBA training at Merrill, and was in corporate markets.

You've recently lost some weight. What inspired you?

I wanted to run the New York City Marathon. The weight came off as I trained. Of course, I was eating less, having more vegetables. I knew I had to lose weight, and the marathon was an ambition.

How much weight did you lose?

Depending on the day, around 37 pounds.

Were you able to keep eating and drinking while losing weight?


What kind of compromises did you have to make?

Stop eating late. Eat and drink less.

Any words of advice to others who'd like to lose weight, but don't want to give up the "finer things"?

Moderation. Just sensible stuff. Less refined things and processed foods, more natural food. Vegetables, beans, a little protein. In that order.

Why beans?

Beans are a great source of protein, delicious and good for you. They are one of the undiscovered great foods. Any legumes -- like lentils or fava beans. It's the cheapest thing -- you boil them up in salty water like pasta, leave them in the fridge, then dress them like pasta. Use them like a starch.

Bankers and restaurateurs often talk of long hours. How do you get balance in your life?

The running thing was a real commitment. I took time away from other things. I sleep eight hours, and I don't waste time. I get up early. The logical things. How to avoid wasting time is a big thing I've been thinking about a lot lately.

Are there any new professional passions that you'd like to pursue in the future?

Yes, I want to be a singer-songwriter. I want to move to Nashville.

Are you joking?

No, I do performing, write songs. I'd like to try and make a living at it.

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