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My Favorite Room: Boxer Andre Berto serves knockout meals in his kitchen

My Favorite Room: Boxer Andre Berto serves knockout meals in his kitchen

Andre Berto is perhaps best known for his speed and power in the ring, but few may know that this boxer also packs a punch in the kitchen.

“I gotta have a nice kitchen,” said the two-time welterweight champion of the world. “That’s always been a big selling point for me.” Located in the center of Berto’s 4,900-square-foot Beverly Hills home, this modern, open-concept kitchen looks fit for a five-star chef.

He enjoys pulling together pasta dishes or steaks for friends and family, and goes to the trouble of ordering goat’s milk, butter and organic ingredients straight from the farm.

For the Haitian American fighter, whose current record is 32-5 with 24 knockouts, cooking has always been about more than just food — it’s about bringing family together. Berto’s family just got a little bigger this February when the 35-year-old and his fiancee, Porsha Nicole, welcomed a baby girl, Legaci, to the world.

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Why is this your favorite room?

Athletes’ prime real estate is our bodies, so I appreciate this kitchen because it allows me to really dial into cooking and my health and what’s going into my body.

Also, I love cooking. We grew up eating big dinners as a family. We always had busy schedules; everyone did — my mom, my dad, us kids playing tons of sports, always being outside of the house. But dinnertime was really our time to come together as a family, just show love, and enjoy each other and enjoy the food.

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What aesthetic elements are a must in a kitchen for you?

I like a big, open kitchen with lots of natural light.

What do you enjoy about cooking?

Cooking brings my family together. If it’s my fiancee, or if it’s my brother and sisters, or even if it’s just a lot of friends here at the house, we can just come together and enjoy a good meal and have great conversation and enjoy each other. For some reason food really brings that together for everybody.

A lot of people might not expect a boxer to also be a talented cook. How do you manage to do both?

Balance. I grew up with a nice balance. Growing up in a boxing household, we had to go out and work. We had to be the strongest we could be in our sports and always take it to another level, but at the same time we had to take care of our family. If it’s cooking, if it’s cleaning, my father taught us to be all-around individuals.

Is there an appliance or utensil you couldn’t imagine cooking without?

Tongs! For some reason I love to cook with my tongs. I gotta be able to grab something, I gotta be able to move the food around. If I’m making burgers, if I’m making pasta, if I’m making rice, whatever, I gotta use my tongs.

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You just had a baby. Are you going to teach her to cook?

The way my mind works is, I don’t want to lack in any area. I want to be able to take care of her and be able to teach her how to survive, to teach to cook and to take care of herself.

Do you have a favorite memory in this kitchen?

I would say while Porsha was pregnant. All these memories, all the time we spent in the kitchen, all the meals I cooked for her, making sure she’s getting to eat great things — me getting to watch her grow, getting to watch her belly get big.

hotproperty@latimes.com


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