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When Celebrity Chef Meets Nutrition Science: The New Midtown Lunch Spot

What happens when nutrition science and fast food come together? That’s what ReViVer, a new midtown lunch (they also do dinner!) spot is taking on. When its four founders realized that the best option for healthy eating on the go was a grocery store buffet, they decided something needed to change. At surprisingly affordable prices, this team of health conscious experts has developed a healthy food approach that packs the punch when it comes to nutrition density and taste. We had dinner with Scott Leibfried, ReViVer founder and former Hell’s Kitchen star to get his perspective and ask a few questions.

ReViVer- Nutrition Science

UWC: Who came up with the scoring system? People want to know how to eat, what is healthy, what does it mean? You put it into a model you can measure. How did you land there?

ReViVer: We were tired of seeing calorie counts on menus. That information doesn’t really mean anything, because not every calorie is equal. The ReViVer Score is about making every calorie count. We focus on four principles for every dish, making sure that each is balanced, nutritious, clean and pure. When we give a dish a score, it means that we’ve measured vitamins A, C and E, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, omega-3 fats and fiber. We base our measurements on a standard 2,000 calorie per day diet.

We make sure that carbs account for between 30 and 50% of each dish, fats for 25 to 40% and protein for 20 to 30%. We never use refined flours or sugars, and sweeteners are never more than 5% of a dish’s total calories. Our meat and fish is 100% free of antibiotics and hormones.

UWC: That’s quite the calculated approach! Scott, you’re the culinary force behind the dream. Can you talk about what sparked your motivation?

ReViVer: For a long time, I was traveling four weeks
out of the month. It’s not exactly easy to eat right when that happens. You end up living on protein shakes and power bars, or you find that the only on-the-go option is the grocery store buffet. I’ve skied and biked with these guys [the other ReViVer founders] for years, and we wanted to have our diets match our active lifestyles. When we kept asking ourselves the same question – why doesn’t it exist – we decided to change the game.

ReViVer Chicken

UWC: So you’ve done a great job in creating a healthy alternative, and yet your prices are so approachable! Where do you source your ingredients?

ReViVer: Yeah, affordability was essential. We really wanted healthy options to be available to everyone. As for our food sources, we’ve worked very closely with our buyers, who we know have the leverage, to get the products that we have personally and individually tried out ourselves. It got to the point where we would go to the store, buy a bunch of tofu, try every single one in our recipes, and settle on the one that packed the most flavor and nutrition – then we went back to our buyers and told them, ok, this is the one you need to make happen.

UWC: Smart! So what’s next for ReViVer?

ReViVer: Expansion! We do pop ups here and there, and we’ve had some great catering successes  – most recently we did a seminar on nutrition and health and served lunch for a group of doctors at Columbia University. We want to share with the public that our meals are backed by vetted nutrition without sacrificing taste. We aren’t about low-fat, gluten-free, etc. – we are simply and purely about nutrition.

UWC: Looking forward to seeing you guys expand in NYC! So for dinner, what do you recommend? Which dishes are most popular?

ReViVer: You can’t go wrong here. That’s the best part – coming into a place where anything you order off the menu is healthy. People love the steak salad, BBQ chicken, lemon chicken, and loco moco.

ReViVer Chicken Healthy Eating

UWC: And when you’re not cooking, how do you take care of yourself?

ReViVer: Runs on the west side highway, swimming, the gym, and skiing; Park City is my favorite spot. West Coast for sure on the skiing!

There you have it! We were curious about ReViVer because of its unique nutritional science formula. What we found was a team of motivated founders who oversee everything in the kitchen from start to finish, and lead a healthy lifestyle in their off hours. How’s that for walking your talk? Just the kind of inspiration we needed to eat smart and stay active this Thanksgiving!

Photos by David Dupuy Photography.