There’s no reason to compartmentalize or put a cap on your passions or curiosities.
Lentine Alexis is on a roll. She’s an acclaimed chef and baker, and, even after hanging it up as a professional triathlete, still logs plenty of time riding and racing bikes. We caught up with Lentine as she prepared for a busy season of traveling, riding, and cooking to learn more about what bikes mean to her and how every aspect of her life is artfully connected.
What is your attitude towards biking?
My attitude towards biking — I see biking as a true metaphor for life. Whether on the road, or on the trail, riding is all about choosing your route, identifying obstacles, and dealing with them as they come upon you. Be it a paved road to the top of the highest mountain, or a single track trail between the trees in the woods; the obstacles won’t move. It’s how you move around them, over them, beyond them, that define your ride and your time on Earth. Choosing your line, finding your cadence, being brave, following your gut, and acknowledging that the journey will be full of both suffering and joy; these things are elemental to biking. And to merely being.
Your work seems pretty interconnected. How does biking connect with your cooking?
Strangely, and wonderfully, my work is truly interconnected. I trained as a pastry chef several years after I started racing professionally. I was spending some 25 hours a week training for iron-distance triathlon events and was hungry, literally all the time. I was craving things that I knew weren’t super-fuel for my body in their traditional states: croissants, muffins as big as my face, slabs of chocolate cake. So I had started trying to experiment with healthy substitutes in my home kitchen. There’s a lot to know about substitutions and healthy baking and I wanted to know it all; completing my culinary training gave me the understanding of classical technique I needed to understand the science to make educated substitutions in my recipes.
Today, I spend a good bit of time on the bike dreaming up new recipes, and working up an appetite (This was where a good bit of the Skratch Labs Cookie Mix development took place!). Then, I return home to develop in the kitchen and whip up new things. The ultimate test of my success is first whether whatever I’ve created tastes good. But secondly, it’s how my body feels and performs on the bike. So it’s this great little delicious and vicious cycle.