Our Team

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS

Executive Director, Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine
Associate Dean for Clinical Services
Medical Director, Tulane University Medical Group
Associate Chief of General Internal Medicine
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine

Email: tharlan@tulane.edu
“Eating well and eating healthy is the same thing,” says Dr. Tim Harlan, aka Dr. Gourmet, who discovered his love of food long before embarking on a successful career as a physician. By the age of 18, Harlan was managing his first restaurant and had learned cooking techniques from some of the finest chefs. He subsequently opened an intimate French bistro at age 22.

Returning to school to pursue a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Dr. Harlan found his way to medicine. While completing his degree at Emory University School of Medicine, he began writing about the clear link between food and health, blending his extensive knowledge of food and nutrition with his medical expertise.

Chef Leah Sarris, RD, LDN, CCMS

Director of Operations/Executive Chef

Email: lsarris@tulane.edu

Leah Sarris received her B.S. in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University. She is a chef and dietitian that has worked in diverse areas of foodservice and related industries including restaurants, academia, research & development, foodservice consulting, farming and community outreach. As the Director of Operations and Executive Chef for the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, she has helped develop and implement the United States’ premier interdisciplinary program between culinary arts, science, nutrition and medicine, based out of New Orleans. Leah’s passion lies in teaching everyone how to make delicious food that just happens to be good for them, arming people with the knowledge and skills to bring that vision into their kitchens.


Chef Kerri Dotson, RDN, LDN

Assistant Program Director

Email: kdotson@tulane.edu

Chef/Registered Dietitian Kerri Dotson received her B.S. in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University and completed her Dietetic Internship at Tulane University. She has worked in diverse areas of nutrition and foodservice industries including restaurants, hospitals and critical care, maternal and child health, and community nutrition. Specializing in diabetes, chronic kidney disease, weight loss, cardiovascular disease, and other nutrition-related diseases, she provides individualized counseling with a food first approach to nutrition to help patients manage their disease. Clients then apply their nutrition knowledge through practical hands-on cooking classes where they gain the skills and confidence to become successful. Chef Kerri also teaches professionals in the healthcare and foodservice sectors as well as the community at large, how to cook food that is affordable, beautiful, healthful, easy to prepare and most of all, delicious.


Chef Emily Schlag, RDN, LDN

Culinary Medicine Educator

Email: eschlag@tulane.edu

Chef and Registered Dietitian Emily Schlag received her B.S. in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University in 2015. Upon graduation, Emily quickly gained experience in the many factions of the foodservice industry. From baking in a wood fired oven, to fine dining, to hospital food service, she has seen it all. In 2017, Emily completed her dietetic internship at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Throughout her internship she was able to explore the various aspects of dietetics and knew she wanted to combine her passion for food with her desire to inspire others to make positive changes regarding their health and well-being. Now, as a Culinary Medicine Educator for the Goldring Center For Culinary Medicine at Tulane University, Emily is fulfilling her dream of providing nutrition education in the form of hands-on cooking classes. Additionally, Emily is working as a research assistant on a population health study that aims to reduce the 30-day readmission rate for patients with Congestive Heart Failure by providing free cooking classes. She hopes to provide all patients with the tools that they need in order to be successful in making lasting lifestyle changes.


Chef Katie Pedroza

Community Programming Educator

Email: kpedroza@tulane.edu

Katie Pedroza, a native of Cincinnati, graduated from University of Akron with her degree in Culinary Arts in 2001. She promptly moved to New Orleans. Katie relocated to New Orleans to continue her culinary education working at renowned restaurants such as Dante’s Kitchen, Emeril’s Delmonico, MiLa and Coquette. Leaving restaurants for culinary education, she worked for Edible Schoolyard New Orleans for 5 years. At Goldring since 2015, she teaches Community and Family classes, where she feels she is making an impact on the health and well-being of New Orleans residents.


Dominique Monlezun

Director of Research & Development

Dominique serves as Director of Research and Development for GCCM (New Orleans, LA), Chief Executive Officer for Global System Analytics & Structures (Rome, Italy), and Director of Global Systems Research for UNESCO’s Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights (Rome, Italy). A close family member’s diagnosis of a near fatal disease, worsened by a weak health system, redirected his passion for genetic engineering and artificial intelligence-based machine learning. He now uses Big Data+Business Strategy+Branding to reduce global health inequities by empowering his collaborators and clients on 5 continents to realize their missions. His research in biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital and bioengineering at Brigham & Women’s Hospital shaped his larger research training in his first PhD in Global Health Management & Policy (Focus: Biomedical Informatics) and his second PhD in Bioethics (Focus: International Law). Dominique is an Ironman 70.3 triathlete and former collegiate rower coached by a 1984 US Olympic silver medalist. He dedicated his latest volume of poetry on poverty and beauty in healthcare, Neuroanatomy of a Lily, to his wife.

Contact him by emailLinkedIn, or ResearchGate(publications).


Ashley Buchholz

Front of House Manager







Amber Dyer

Research Coordinator

Email: qualtrics@tulane.edu


Teaching Kitchen Medical Student Club Leaders

Lily Trinh | President | ltrinh1@tulane.edu

Originally from Southern California, I attended UC Irvine where I ran Division I track and field. Being an athlete, I frequently worked with dietitians who helped maximize my performance on the field. From that, I realized how small changes in my diet could greatly improve my health. My interest in the culinary medicine program stems from my desire to educate my community and future patients how simple changes to food choices can have a significant impact on their well-being.

Adam Kline | Vice President | akline1@tulane.edu

My name is Adam Kline and I grew up in Lexington, KY where deep frying is a way of life. Teaching Kitchen has given me a lot of easy tips to improve my own diet that will be easy to communicate with patients. I hope to work in oncology in my career which will require extensive nutritional counseling and radical diet changes from patients which is why my Teaching Kitchen experience has been so valuable. My favorite food is shepherds pie with ground turkey, veggies and rosemary mashed potatoes.

Grace Meade | Secretary/Media | gmeade@tulane.edu

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, I fell in love with the food and culture of New Orleans as soon as I moved down here 6 years ago. What I love about the Teaching Kitchen is how they teach that ‘great tasting’ and ‘healthy’ are not mutually exclusive. Growing up in a family of foodies, I know all about the great tasting part, but am still learning about the healthy aspect of food and how it can prevent disease! In my opinion, this preventative approach to healthcare is as important as the clinical skills we are learning in medical school. I can’t wait to share the skills TK has taught me with future patients.

Justine Ker | Secretary/Media | jker@tulane.edu

I grew up in Ruston, Louisiana, and began volunteering with Teaching Kitchen due to my love for good food! Being a part of Teaching Kitchen has inspired me to not only try new recipes, but to learn more about nutrition and how it relates to a healthy lifestyle. This way I can educate not only myself, but also my future patients. My interests mainly involve exploring new restaurants, trying fun recipes, and better understanding the benefits of mindful nutrition to mental health. Healthy body, healthy mind!


Kevin Lam | Treasurer | klam3@tulane.edu

Growing up in New Orleans and traveling the world have both influenced me to understand the many different ways food brings joy to each of our lives. It’s this joy that I seek to provide to others and grant others the ability to pass along. The Teaching Kitchen has coincided with my interest by allowing me to be a part of a community of healthcare providers that can promote health while spreading the joy I seek. I believe food and what we put into our diets can contribute to our physical, mental, and spiritual health. By focusing on those aspects of lifestyle, I believe I will be able to connect with more patients and ultimately provide a better service to our patients in the future. My favorite event so far has been the Celebrity Chef Dinners.

Kara Schradle | Service Learning Coordinator | kschradle@tulane.edu

I am from Romeo, Michigan and I am the Service Learning Coordinator at the GCCM Teaching Kitchen. Through Teaching kitchen I have had numerous volunteering and research opportunities. I joined the board because of how much I enjoyed my volunteering experiences, and wanting to further the positive impact I could have on medical students and the community through this program. I hope to take the knowledge I gain from this experience into my practices as a care provider, and into my every day life where the choices we make in the kitchen impact our health.

Alex Sapin | Community Events Coordinator | asapin@tulane.edu

Fiona Chambers| Kids Program Coordinator | fchambers@tulane.edu

The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine is what sparked my interest in TUSOM and a major part of why I chose to attend because I knew it would allow me to turn my hobby into an extra tool when advising patients. Since my goal is to become a pediatrician, I have repeatedly sought out opportunities that allow me to work with children of all age groups and demographics and this was a great opportunity. Camp ReFresh reminded me of my participation in a similar program when I was younger called Junior Chef Academy and I was excited to expose these children to something similar.

Aubrey Swinford | Kids Program Coordinator | aswinfor@tulane.edu

My name is Aubrey Swinford and I am one of the Kid’s Programming Coordinators here at Teaching Kitchen. Growing up I was very active and I noticed at a young age that what I put in my body seriously affected how I felt and performed during various activities. I joined the Teaching Kitchen to help children understand the importance of the food choices they make and the role that these choices play in living a long and healthy life!

Quinn Macdougald | Kids Program Coordinator | qmacdougald@tulane.edu

I’m interested in primary care, specifically pediatrics. The Teaching Kitchen has been an amazing forum for me to practice those Peds skills, and to learn ways to make nutrition practical and accessible. TK has also allowed me to expand and refine my palate for lentils, a love I hope to spread far and wide.



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