The idea of a "vegetable butcher" was born during a dinner shared by chef extraordinaire Mario Batali and Jennifer Rubell, a Harvard and Culinary Institute of America graduate, food artist and cookbook author.
On the day it opened, I waited in line for the doors of Eataly to unlock. I was thrilled to be one of the first to enter Batali's 50,000-square-foot, New York City homage to Italian cuisine, the home of the vegetable butcher.
That day I had the chance to meet Rubell and see her in action, expertly prepping veggies that tend to be intimidating. If you've ever picked up a fresh artichoke and thought, "I wish I knew what to do with this," well, that's her job.
On my most recent visit, I had the privilege of spending time with another chef, Joseph Nieves, who holds the title.
While chopping and slicing, Nieves loves teaching his customers, who quickly become regulars, about how to enjoy their veggies. I went home with some delicious sliced celery root and the feeling that this innovative service is sure to catch on at markets from coast to coast.
Cynthia Sass, a dietitian and nutritionist, is an ABC News contributor and "Good Morning America" Health's food coach. Through her New York City-based private practice, Sass specializes in weight management and sports nutrition. She is the nutritionist for the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays, and worked with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2007 to 2009. She's also the weight-loss coach columnist for Shape magazine and a New York Times bestselling author. Her newest book, "Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches," was released by Harper Collins last month.