Zest: The Health meets Food Newsletter – December 2020

Welcome to the December edition of Zest.

Zest. It says a lot about what the folks who are involved with Culinary Medicine are about.  Most everyone I have met across the last ten years has just that: a zest for life, learning, and teaching.

Zest evokes the excitement and passion that is happening at the intersection of food and health.

Health meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference 2021

June 4 – June 6, 2021  •  Virtual Event

Register here » Health meets Food Conference

The Conference Details

The Culinary Medicine Specialist Board is pleased to announce the 7th annual Health meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference.

Take advantage of the early bird discount and discounts for those in academic medicine and students by registering now.  

In addition to the exciting Keynote Speaker, Dr. Marion Nestle, the conference will offer a combination of hands-on cooking modules focused on helping transform the clinical experience, culinary skills-building sessions, evidence-based presentations and panel discussions.

The conference will take place June 4 through June 6, 2020 online using a virtual conference platform that will allow for the full conference experience.  The overarching theme of this year’s conference is culture change: how do we help change attitudes about food and health amongst our patients, colleagues and policy makers.

Health meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference T-Shirt Competition

Health meets FoodThe Health meets Food team is holding a design contest for this year’s annual, collectable T-shirt and Apron design!  We want to see YOUR submissions for the annual T-shirt design.  For those of you who have attended our conference you know that we have a different legume on the back of the shirt with our motto “We love legumes!”

This year’s T-shirt front will have Health meets Food logo on the pocket and the back will have winner’s design!

Submit your design and include the legume of your choice.  Include a drawing (even a rough sketch is OK).  If your design is selected, you will receive a free T-shirt or apron.

Submit a hand sketch or jpeg to [email protected] by March 1, 2021.

Curriculum Committee Meetings Restart in January

Health meets Food Curriculum Committee meetings will restart in January.  The meetings will be held the second Thursday of  each month at 5:00 PM Eastern time.  All partner-sites are invited to join the Zoom meeting.  The goal for the remainder of this academic year is to review two new modules related to food security — one covering food security in the elderly and the other a combined WIC & SNAP overview.  We will also work on revisions to Module 1 and Module 7.

You can find Zoom information for registration at this link: culinarymedicine.org/moodle/course/view.php?id=414&section=39

Monthly Profile: Academic Medicine

Susan Warner, MD, CCMS

Certified on July 8,2016.

Dr. Warner was certified as a Culinary Medicine Specialist July 2016 and graduated from a 13-month professional culinary arts program to become a chef MD in 2018. In 2016, she helped to create the Culinary Medicine Program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and was instrumental in bringing the program to Church Health Wellness in Memphis where she has volunteered to teach culinary medicine to medical residents.  Currently, she has an Assistant Clinical Professor appointment with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Medicine and serves as the Program Director for Culinary Medicine teaching second- and fourth-year medical students and residents. More info »

Susan answers the Zest Newsletter Escoffier Interview. This was shamelessly robbed from the Actors Studio Bernard Pivot questionnaire.

What is your favorite ingredient?

Double Vanilla extract – makes the ordinary extraordinary.

What is your least favorite ingredient?

Vegetable shortening – Hydrogenation and ultra-processed, so sad!

What turns you on creatively?

The passion, creativity, and dedication of others – it’s contagious!

What turns you off?

Stress and too much multitasking – stifles creativity.

What is your favorite recipe or meal?

Thanksgiving dinner – I love planning, shopping, decorating, cooking, eating with family, and yes even cleaning up – the whole package!!

What culinary flavor or aroma do you love?

Cinnamon – in all different flavor profiles and the added health benefit of Ceylon cinnamon.

What culinary flavor or aroma do you hate?

Mustard greens while braising – I would not enter my grandmother’s home as a child if she was cooking them.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Architect – the perfect blend of art, science, and creativity.

What profession would you not like to do?

Dentist – stems from my own fears.

Julia Child invites you to a pot luck dinner with James Beard and Aguste Escoffier. What dish would you take?

Lucy’s pound cake (my mother’s recipe) with homemade chocolate sauce and if in season, strawberries from my hometown’s family farm – so simple, but the best.  The secret – Double Vanilla!

Monthly Profile: Certified Culinary Medicine Specialist

Terry Simpson, MD, CCMS

Certified on April 17, 2017.

Weight loss surgeon in North LA/ Ventura California.  Culinary Medicine is my passion. I found that I had better results with my weight loss surgery when I started teaching patients to cook. Then we started looking at our successful patients and found they scored 5 or greater on the Mediterranean Diet scale.

Before the plague, we would travel the world with our good friends and find great places to eat and dine, and we even did a show Pilot with Simon Majumdar (food network judge) called Fork U – . It was never picked up, but we had so much fun making it that we keep thinking of new places and filming as we go and one day will release it on some media that no one will find.

My other passions are healthcare for Alaska Native peoples – and currently I sit on the board of a primary care center that has won two Baldridge awards and serve as the treasurer for the Alaska Native Hospital (I am 1/4 Athabascan).

In a previous life I did basic science research (molecular virology) and who knew that would become a thing – will be glad when the plague is over and I don’t have to talk about it anymore.  I changed the name of my podcast from Culinary Medicine to Your Doctors Orders to bring information about the virus – but have two more episodes about the virus then back to Culinary Medicine where I will have features about olive oil, turmeric, and make fun of the nutty people who are in our field.

Undergraduate, graduate, and medical school at The University of Chicago – and the Chicago pizza is still the finest – NY is ok, but it really is a flatbread and they don’t know it.  Affiliated Surgical Associates

What is your favorite ingredient?

Za’atar or sumac and next week it will be something else.

What is your least favorite ingredient?

Boneless skinless chicken  breast.  All of the flavor removed – it’s like an accordion without a polka.

What turns you on creatively?

I’m like a bee that goes from flower to flower but spends hours there or years. Food and healthcare and new discoveries and the ability to share complex things.

What turns you off?


What is your favorite recipe or meal?

This week it’s rack of lamb – with a Dijon mustard base, garlic, freshly cut rosemary from my yard – leaving it as a rack but removing fascia – quick sear and bake — medium rare.

What culinary flavor or aroma do you love?

Roasted chicken – the smell is home.

What culinary flavor or aroma do you hate?

Salmon that is old – I grew up in Ketchikan Alaska – the salmon capital of the world and fresh salmon is amazing. In restaurants I’ve physically stopped waiters from serving smelly salmon.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Writing – fiction where good triumphs evil and the world won’t make sense or a travel and food writer – eating my way through a non plague infested world (wait I do that ).

What profession would you not like to do?

Engineering – I’m good at math I just don’t like it.

Julia Child invites you to a pot luck dinner with James Beard and Aguste Escoffier. What dish would you take?

Menudo – a hot bowl of menudo.  They would need it after all the wine I’d have them drink while we chat.

2020 Virtual Poster Session

We were delighted to be able to gather this year for The Culinary Medicine Conference Poster Sesson.  Fourteen teams presented their posters and as the good Dr. Rosemarie Cannarella Lorenzetti said, “we all learned a lot that we now want to try in our Culinary Medicine programs.”

You can find all of the posters and abstracts at this link:


The event was recorded and you can see each of the team’s presentations here:


A big thank you to Dr. Canneralla Lorenzetti and her team of reviewers: Madison Humerick at West Virginia University, Adrienne Zavala at West Virginia University, Anne Vanbeber at Texas Christian University, Milette Siler at Moncrief  Cancer Institute, Kelly Fisher at Texas Christian University, and Timothy S. Harlan at George Washington University.

Culinary Medicine Colleagues in the Media

Health meets Food Partner Sites

Spectrum Health expanding culinary medicine at Downtown Market, launching specialty practice  Spectrum Health is leasing space in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market to expand its culinary medicine programming and launch a lifestyle medicine specialty practice.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken the UTHSC College Medicine’s Culinary Medicine course out of the kitchen on campus where it is traditionally taught, but the cooking and nutrition instruction has continued.  Susan Warner, MD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medical Education in the UTHSC College of Medicine, continued the course remotely with the help of technology.  More >>>

My Culinary Voice: Dr. Jonathan Waitman  Two years ago I began to think about ways to marry my love of cooking with medical education. I partnered with another attending physician at Cornell, Dr. Swana de Gijsel, and created an elective called Culinary Medicine.

My Culinary Voice: Dr. Swana de Gijsel  Over the last three years we have been teaching students from Cornell and Columbia. Without hesitation I would rank those sessions among the most fulfilling teaching moments in my career. Not only do students leave each session with a big smile on their faces, they are reenergized by the knowledge they gained in this innovative way of experiential learning inside a kitchen, cutting, cooking, smelling, tasting, eating and lastly communicating how this food can fit in diets for them and their patients.

Certified Culinary Medicine Specialists

Healthy Eating Series by Chefs De Cuisine San Diego. Dr. Sabrina Falquier Montgrain has helped create this fantastic culinary educational program for 6 through 9th graders through a foundation that she is involved with. Check out the teaser trailer here: More info »

Doctor’s orders: Culinary medicine approach can help during coronavirus pandemic  “It is a new, evidence-based field in medicine that blends the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine,” she said of the study of culinary medicine. “It is the practice of helping patients use nutrition and good cooking habits to restore and maintain health. It offers a simple approach to understand how food and cooking relate to personal health, habits and health care goals.”

Upcoming Events

Continuing Medical Education via Zoom

The Health meets Food team began offering online hands-on cooking classes for CME credit May 2nd. The classes have been very successful and our first round sold out, so we are adding more classes! Participants will use Zoom to gather, collaborate, cook together, and discuss case studies. Each module will follow the workflow of in-person programming and will take about 3 1/2 hours to complete.

A shopping and equipment list is available for each module to guide you in preparation. We also recommend using an iPad for the Zoom meeting and purchasing Gooseneck Tablet Holder to make participation easier.

For registration issues, questions, or for more event information, please contact Cecilia Hatfield at [email protected].

Anti Inflammatory Diet: Saturday January 9, 2021, 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm EDT

Protein and Vegetarian Diet: Sunday January 24, 2021, 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm EDT

Celiac Disease: Friday February 5, 2021, 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm EDT

Fats: Saturday February 20, 2021,  12:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Introduction to Culinary Medicine: Sunday March 7, 2021, 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm EDT

Sodium, Potassium, and Renal Homeostasis : Friday March 19, 2021, 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm EDT

Register at this link: More info »

Research Initiatives


Nicole Farmer and her team published the protocol for an NIH community research project. 

Discussion: This study seeks to demonstrate feasibility of a community-based cooking intervention and to provide necessary information to plan future interventions that identify cooking behavior as an outcome of participation in cooking interventions among African-American adults, especially in relation to dietary and biomarker outcomes.  

A community feasibility study of a cooking behavior intervention in African-American adults at risk for cardiovascular disease: DC COOKS (DC Community Organizing for Optimal culinary Knowledge Study) with Heart

Alex Razavi and colleagues published a paper on opportunities for culinary medicine to help improve both individual- and population-level sodium-reduction outcomes through five main areas: increasing adherence to a plant-forward dietary pattern, food literacy, the enhancement of complementary flavors, disease-specific teaching-kitchen modules, and the delivery of culturally specific nutrition education.

Achieving Dietary Sodium Recommendations and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Prevention through Culinary Medicine Education

You can find up-to-date research publications from Health meets Food partners at:


Monthly Research Meetings

The Health meets Food team meets on the third Thursday of each month at 5:00 PM Eastern time.

Information on how to join the meeting via Zoom can be found in the Research Information for Health meets Food section of the Instructor Resources.

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