If the old adage \u2018you are what you eat\u2019 is true, then the players for the Baltimore Orioles are in excellent hands. Executive Chef Jenny Perez is on a mission to transform the way people see food, focusing on the incredible healing power of eating well. Her passion is rooted in education, long-term sustainability and food as the ultimate way to care for others. We met with her to hear her animated point of view.Executive Chef Jenny Perez photographed by Violetta Markelou.For Chef Perez, learning to cook at a young age was part of the cultural territory of her native Costa Rica. Her early mastery of cooking fresh foods from scratch was a launchpad into corporate kitchens in the US, but it was her conversion to vegetarianism that truly began her journey as a chef. Not being able to find enough \u201cfood that was packed with nutrition,\u201d she began experimenting with food, creating nutritious dishes and exploring the science of better eating.Chef Perez shared the fruits of her research with private clients, starting her own market and working as a private chef. Her earliest introduction to the Orioles\u2019 kitchen wasn\u2019t exactly a home run\u2014the great culinary tradition of hot dogs and pizza was alive and well, and in direct opposition to Perez\u2019s deep commitment to local, organic, fresh-to-table ingredients. Nonetheless, she was invited to cook privately for an Orioles executive, and interest in her approach gradually grew among the players.When Chef Perez came onboard, she set about transforming the kitchen so that dishes were \u201call made from scratch, all organic, well-sourced locally.\u201d Anything that enters her kitchen has her stamp of approval, and has been tested and researched by the Chef herself. Her goal wasn\u2019t just to overhaul the nutritional content of the players\u2019 meals, but to create a home-away-from-home experience through the nurturing power of food. She\u2019s dedicated to giving the players a space \u201cnot like a restaurant, but somewhere where they can nourish.\u201dInitially her health-friendly approach inspired only a healthy dose of skepticism, but Chef Perez slowly incorporated her food-as-fuel mentality throughout the menu. \u201cIf I know that you eat pizza, I\u2019m going to make pizza from scratch using all organic ingredients. I\u2019m going to make a hot dog that\u2019s locally sourced, all meat and dry-aged.\u201d Her methods quickly won over the players, as did her wish to create a space that was welcoming. Players travel, she explains, six months of the year, so she told herself she\u2019d \u201cbetter make this place like it\u2019s home.\u201d That includes serving Latin, Italian, Asian and American dishes, to name a few. And word of her fresh, in-season cooking has spread to visiting teams, so now she nourishes them, too.Her respect for farming is perhaps the most central part of her food philosophy. To Chef Perez, \u201cnutrition and wellness come right from the soil\u2026 it\u2019s important to understand who the doctor is. It\u2019s the farmer.\u201d Her love of the soil extends to Mountain Valley Spring water, which naturally springs from deep within the earth. \u201cYou have all your minerals, and all the good stuff that comes from the land.\u201d She\u2019s referring to the essential minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium found naturally in the water, as well a naturally balanced pH level that hasn\u2019t been manipulated by human hand. But she is perhaps most excited by the unique reusable glass bottles. \u201cEvery time you eat or drink anything,\u201d she emphasizes, \u201cyou have to be mindful of what you are drinking from.\u201dPhotograph by Violetta Markelou.For Chef Perez\u2019s players, the choice of drinking water matters on multiple levels. Having clean, pure water is essential, \u201cbecause they hydrate so much.\u201d And Chef Perez relies on the water\u2019s natural health benefits in teas, stews, broths, smoothies and her signature turmeric* and wheatgrass shots. It\u2019s all part of her concept of what she calls \u201cmedicinal food,\u201d and the role that chefs can play as wellness providers. From her profound regard for farming\u2014\u201cthe most important profession\u201d\u2014to her ongoing engagement in education, with everyone from elite athletes to orphaned children in Costa Rica, Perez is more healer than chef. \u201cBut I want to be a different kind of healer. It\u2019s healing through food. It\u2019s healing through information.\u201d*Into a juicer, add \u00bc cup of turmeric juice and a little green apple to help the root juice better. Then squeeze a little bit of lemon, pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. To avoid wasting produce, the Chef uses a Slow Star Juicer by Tribest to avoid wasting produce.