Health meets Food: the Culinary Medicine Conference Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York UniversityMarion Nestle, PhD, MPH

Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, New York University
Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell

Marion Nestle earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley, and has been awarded honorary degrees from Transylvania University in Kentucky (2012) and from the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College (2016). Previous faculty positions were at Brandeis University and the UCSF School of Medicine. From 1986-88, she was senior nutrition policy advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services and editor of the 1988 Surgeon General’s Report on Nutrition and Health. Her research and writing examine scientific and socioeconomic influences on food choice and its consequences, emphasizing the role of food industry marketing.

She is the author of six prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health(2002); Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003); What to Eat (2006); Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics, with Dr. Malden Nesheim (2012); Eat, Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics (2013); and Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning) in 2015. She also has written two books about pet food, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine (2008) and Feed Your Pet Right in 2010 (also with Dr. Nesheim). Her most recent book, Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat, was published in 2018 (and translated into Portuguese in 2019).

Dr. Robert Lustig

Dr. Lustig is Professor emeritus of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He specializes in the field of neuroendocrinology, with an emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system.

His research and clinical practice has focused on childhood obesity and diabetes. Dr. Lustig has fostered a global discussion of metabolic health and nutrition, exposing some of the leading myths that underlie the current pandemic of diet-related disease. He believes the food business, by pushing processed food loaded with sugar, has hacked our bodies and minds to pursue pleasure instead of happiness, fostering today’s epidemics of addiction and depression. Yet by focusing on real food, we can beat the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity, and disease.

The New York Times bestselling author’s new book, Metabolical, explains the eight pathologies that underlie all chronic disease, documents how processed food has impacted them to ruin our health, economy, and environment over the past 50 years, and proposes an urgent manifesto and strategy to cure both us and the planet.

Saturday Food & Culture 2021 Panel

Sir Mohammad Jaafar

Member World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Chief Executive Officer of KDD.




Leonard WalshLeonard Walsh

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
SBH Health System

Leonard Walsh received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Master of Public Administration from New York University. He served as Assistant Director of Clinical Services at Bellevue Hospital Center from 1979 to 1981. Between 1981 and 1990 Leonard worked at Montefiore Medical Center, first as Administrator for the Montefiore Rikers Island Health Service and then as Administrator for the Montefiore Medical Group. He left Montefiore to accept the position as Executive Vice President for Affiliated Physicians, a Corporate Health and Urgent Care Center at the World Trade Center.

In 1992 Leonard joined Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center as Vice President for Ambulatory Care and Executive Director of the Ambulatory Care Network Corporation. He left Columbia in 1994 to become Vice President of Operations at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers. Leonard remained with St. Vincent’s until 2007. During his 13 years with the hospital he served in various capacities including Sr. Vice President or Operations, President and CEO of St. Vincent’s Midtown and Executive Director of St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan.

Emily M. Broad Leib

Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
Director of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic
Deputy Director of the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation

As founder of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, Broad Leib launched the first law school clinic in the nation devoted to providing clients with legal and policy solutions to address the health, economic, and environmental challenges facing our food system. Broad Leib focuses her scholarship, teaching, and practice on finding solutions to some of today’s biggest food law issues, aiming to increase access to healthy foods, eliminate food waste, and support sustainable food production and local and regional food systems. She has published scholarly articles in the Wisconsin Law Review, the Harvard Law & Policy Review, the Food & Drug Law Journal, and the Journal of Food Law & Policy, among others.

Broad Leib is recognized as a national leader in Food Law and Policy. She was named by Fortune and Food & Wine to their list of 2016’s Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink. The list highlights women who had the most transformative impact in the last year on what the public eats and drinks. Broad Leib was one of the inaugural recipients of Harvard President Drew Faust’s Climate Change Solutions Fund in 2015. Broad Leib’s project, “Reducing Food Waste as a Key to Addressing Climate Change,” was one of seven chosen from around the university to confront the challenge of climate change by leveraging the clinic’s food law and policy expertise to identify systemic solutions that can reduce food waste, which is a major driver of climate change.


Jaclyn Lewis Albin, MDJaclyn Lewis Albin, MD

Director UT Southwestern Culinary Medicine Program
Assistant Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Jaclyn Albin treats patients of all ages and trained in combined internal medicine and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. She joined the Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2014 where she practices primary care in the Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Clinic. Dr. Albin also serves as the Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program.

She is passionate about nutrition, lifestyle, and other environmental influences on health, and she teaches her patients, students, and residents to prioritize these areas. She also studies the impact of childhood adverse experiences, often known as toxic stress, on adult health. Dr. Albin loves blending her love of nutrition and wellness with cooking, growing a garden, traveling, and spending time with her husband and children.

Dr. Albin launched UTSW’s Culinary Medicine Program and serves as the Director, working to teach nutrition through hands-on cooking classes to medical students, residents, healthcare professionals, and the community using the Health meets Food courseware.

Sarah Messiah, PhD, MPHSara Messiah, Ph.D.

Professor of Epidemiology, Genetics and Environmental Sciences
Director, Center for Pediatric Population Health, a Children’s Health and UTSPH collaborative

Dr. Sarah Messiah is trained in advanced life course epidemiology and psychology and has broadly focused her career on the relationship between early life exposures and later life health events. As a tenured Professor bridging both a pediatric hospital system (Children’s Health System of Texas) and a school of public health (Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences) in the University of Texas System, her primary area of research focus is on obesity prevention and treatment across the life course. She has published extensively in (1) the epidemiologic investigation of risk factors for childhood obesity and related cardiometabolic disease biomarkers with particular emphasis on ethnic group disparities; and (2) the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based tools, practices and programs into clinical and community-based settings (preschools, schools, parks) to prevent childhood-onset obesity and its health related consequences.

F. Abby Cabrera, MDF. Abby Cabrera, MPH

Project Manager | Center for Excellence in Primary Care | Family and Community Medicine | University of California San Francisco

Public health professional at UCSF’s Center for Excellence in Primary Care (CEPC) with a passion for improving health equity and decreasing health disparities through public health and primary care research, utilizing community engagement and health coach assisted studies; has experience in developing community health needs assessments, grant-funded project management, program planning, implementation and evaluation, quantitative and qualitative research, and coalition building aimed at improving health and well-being by addressing the social determinants of health.

CEPC identifies, develops, tests, and disseminates promising innovations in primary care to improve the patient experience, enhance population health and health equity, reduce the cost of care, and restore joy and satisfaction in the practice of primary care.

Kristy McCarron, MPH

Association Director of Community Health
YMCA of Metropolitan Washington

Kristy McCarron is the Association Director of Community Health for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. In this position, she oversees community-clinical integration, behavioral health interventions, and food and nutrition initiatives. Additionally, she provides technical assistance to YMCAs across the country with teaching kitchens and anti-hunger programs. Kristy was appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser for Washington DC’s Food Policy Council and the Commission for Healthy Youth and Schools.  She has a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins with a focus on Food Systems and Nutrition for Public Health, and was awarded the Excellence in US Public Health Practice for her Teaching Kitchen Toolkit.

Jennifer Leon, BS, RDN, LN. Dietitian for the GW Cancer Center & GW Culinary MedicineJennifer Leon, BS, RDN, LN

Dietitian for the GW Cancer Center & GW Culinary Medicine

Ms. Leon provides nutrition education and counseling for patients treated at the GW Cancer Center. She works within each patient’s health history and current environment to use nutrition as prevention, treatment, and support. She leads the Nutrition Club support group where nutrition topics are presented and good food is enjoyed. Before becoming a dietitian, Ms. Leon was a management consultant, focusing on higher education institutions and government organizations.

Jodie Balis, RD, Chef-Dietitian of GW Culinary MedicineJodie Balis, RD

Chef-Dietitian – GW Culinary Medicine

Ms. Balis and has worked in public health nutrition as a culinary instructor and dietitian for 18 years. She has worked within the nonprofit sector to develop and manage cooking and nutrition education programs for underserved communities. Ms. Balis developed hundreds of low budget healthy recipes that were distributed throughout Giant Foods in the mid-Atlantic, and she has co-authored a cookbook highlighting healthy-budget friendly meals for the management and prevention of chronic diet-related diseases. She is currently also a wellness consultant, a personal chef, and a writer.

Chef Heather NaceChef Heather Nace

Director of Operations, Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine

Heather Nace is originally from Baltimore, MD and graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a degree in Culinary Nutrition in May 2018. After completing her senior internship at GCCM, she accepted a full-time position in October 2018 and moved to New Orleans. In her role as Director of Operations, she is able to combine her experience of running a small business for twelve years with her knowledge of food and nutrition.

She provides organizational and administrative support for community programming, clinic operations, and special events as well as kitchen assistance. Heather is also continuing to pursue her nutrition education through the completion of a dietetic internship with the goal of becoming a registered dietitian by Fall 2020. She looks forward to continuing to inspire others to achieve better health by sharing her knowledge and passions for food, nutrition education, and cooking.

Allison Graham, MS, RD

Director of Food Policy + Regulatory Affairs
Food Directions

Allie Graham joined Food Directions in 2019 as the Director of Food Policy and Regulatory Affairs. Allie manages client’s policy and regulatory priorities for food, nutrition and food labeling. Until August 2019, she worked as a Science and Regulatory Manager at Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA, now Consumer Brands Association) supporting the development and implementation of domestic/international food labeling standards and nutrition policy positions. Prior to GMA, Allie earned her Master’s degree in Nutrition with a focus on Global Nutrition Education at University of New Haven in Connecticut and trained as a Registered Dietitian at Yale New Haven Hospital. Allie is also a trained chef; completing her Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island in 2015.  Allie lives in DC.

Kathryn Troutman

The Real Food Company

>The Real Food Co. of Bethesda was founded by Kathryn Troutman and Cesar Olivos to provide dining services for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, America’s Medical School, in Bethesda, Maryland. She and her team are passionate about providing high quality, great tasting food to our patrons. While keeping busy by being directly involved in day-to-day operations, they constantly strive to add new offerings, improve upon our service, and adjust to the needs and tastes of valued clientele. USUHS has an important mission and Kathryn and her team take great pride in nourishing its community of scholars, educators, staff and guests.

Karl Guggenmos, MBA, AACKarl Guggenmos, MBA, AAC

Executive Consultant, HMS
Dean Emeritus, Johnson & Wales University

Global Master Chef Karl Guggenmos is the senior culinary advisor at Healthy Meals Supreme. He is also Dean Emeritus at Johnson & Wales University (JWU), where he recently retired as the university dean of the culinary development after a 30 -year tenure at the university where he also served as the university dean of culinary education as well as an instructor, overseeing 4 campuses and more than 6000 students.

During his 50-year career, Dean Guggenmos has consulted on many initiatives including the culinary medical program established at the Goldring Center of Culinary Medicine at Tulane University Medical School. This program was adopted by more than 35 medical schools across the United States. He also served on Advisory Boards with Starbucks and Tyson.

Earlier in his career, Dean Guggenmos served as the executive chef at restaurants worldwide until 1988, when he joined JWU. Global Master Chef Guggenmos is the recipient of a long list of prestigious awards including the Silver Star Medal Chaine des Rotisseurs (2016), Education Ambassador of Rhode Island (2015) and Presidential Medallion, American Culinary Federation (2010).

Global Master Chef Guggenmos is a member of a variety of organizations including the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the Retail Bakers of America, the Golden Toque and the National Association of Catering Executives. He is regularly invited to judge prestigious culinary competitions worldwide and was named a Global Master Chef by the World Association of Chefs Societies in 2008. Global Master Chef Guggenmos also holds an MBA from JWU.

Chef Kerri Dotson, RDN, LDN, Director of Operations and Executive Chef - George Washington University Culinary Medicine ProgramChef Kerri Dotson, RDN, LDN, CCMS

Director of Operations & Executive Chef – George Washington University Culinary Medicine Program

Chef/RD Kerri Dotson has worked in diverse areas of nutrition and foodservice industries including restaurants, critical care, public health, maternal health, outpatient counseling, and community nutrition since receiving her B.S. in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University and completing her Dietetic Internship at Tulane University. As Executive Chef and Director of Operations for the George Washington University Culinary Medicine Program – the premier interdisciplinary program bridging culinary arts, science, nutrition, and medicine – Kerri is fulfilling her dream by combining individualized counseling and nutrition education with hands-on cooking classes. Through this revolutionary program Kerri teaches medical students, healthcare and foodservice professionals, and the community at large, how to cook food that is affordable, healthful, easy to prepare, and most of all, delicious.

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMSTimothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS

Executive Director – George Washington University Culinary Medicine Program
Creative Adviser – Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine
Chairman – Culinary Medicine Specialist Board

“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.