Zest: The Health meets Food Newsletter – January 2021

Welcome to the January 2021 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 where health meets food.

Health meets Food

The Culinary Medicine Conference 2021

June 4 – June 6, 2021  •  Virtual Event

Register here » Health meets Food Conference

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

Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York UniversityOur Keynote Speaker this year is Dr. Marion Nestle.  Dr. Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor, of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003 and from which she officially retired in September 2017. Her blog Food Politics explores the food, the food industry, politics and policy.

This year’s 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.

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

Upcoming Events

Continuing Medical Education via Zoom

The Health meets Food team began offering online hands-on cooking classes for CME credit in early May 2020. 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 EDT

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 »

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 in the Instructor Resources inside Moodle.

Monthly Profile: Academic Medicine

Jaclyn Lewis Albin, MDJaclyn Albin, MD

Director UT Southwestern Culinary Medicine Program

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 Foodcourseware.

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

What is your favorite ingredient? 

Cinnamon!  Touted for many health benefits, it’s also a culinary powerhouse. I do a lot of baking, and it fits beautifully to enhance flavor in most recipes from muffins to pies to breads.  It can be easily added as a topping – I love it on overnight oats and sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Lastly, it can add flavor depth in unexpected ways in a chili or stew.

What is your least favorite ingredient?

Dill.  I used to think I didn’t enjoy salmon since I had only had it prepared with dill.  But I now know that I love salmon with curry spice, BBQ, and just plain salt and pepper.  Dill, on the other hand, is one of those aversions that may have arisen during pregnancy and never went away!

What turns you on creatively?

Reading and brainstorming with other people.  Whenever I feel stuck in a rut, I pick up a great book or magazine.  Meeting with a small team – even virtually – can reinvigorate tired projects and stimulate new ideas.

What turns you off?

I’ve learned that no one else will own or consistently advocate for my wellness, and I can’t expect them to do so.  I am responsible for setting boundaries that allow me to care for myself, and for me, that includes adequate sleep, regular physical activity, eating nutritious/delicious food, and having healthy relationships that make me laugh. If I’m not doing these things consistently, I get discouraged and weary, and my creativity tanks.

What is your favorite recipe or meal?

This is always evolving and changing – I love scouring the internet for ideas that are seasonal.  Currently, I’m enjoying a pumpkin yellow curry with red bell pepper and broccoli.  I recommend this one: minimalistbaker.com/1-pot-pumpkin-yellow-curry/

What culinary flavor or aroma do you love?

A hearty bean chili with a touch of clove and cinnamon – it adds amazing flavor complexity and smells irresistible!

What culinary flavor or aroma do you hate?

I really dislike the smell of overly ripe bananas, but you can quickly freeze them for smoothies or turn them into a delicious oat & banana bread!

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

Maybe this is a partial influence on my passion for culinary medicine, but my “back-up plan” should the path to medicine not work out was always to own a bakery and chocolate shop, preferably in Paris, France. Even though I made it through medical training and the early years as academic faculty, this plan still doesn’t sound like a bad idea. 🙂 

What profession would you not like to do?

Anything that would keep me from having regular engagement with people.  I’m inspired by the stories and experiences of my students, patients, and colleagues.  I can’t work as effectively without a team!

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

I think I would keep let the true experts take on the main dishes, and I would bring a simple but delightful charcuterie board – some fabulous cheeses, homemade hummus and other dips, sliced veggies, seasonal fruit, toasted pecans, and dark chocolate covered almonds.  Something for everyone! If it were fall, I would include mini pumpkins for decor and a brie with cranberry sauce. There would also need to be wine pairings to go with each cheese.  Now when is this dinner party?  I’m hungry!

Monthly Profile: Certified Culinary Medicine Specialist

Sabrina Falquier Montgrain, MD

Certified on April 17, 2017.

Dr. Falquier (Fall-Key-A) is a multilingual and multicultural board certified Internal Medicine physician and on the brink of completing her Culinary Medicine Board Certification in early 2021. She has a thriving outpatient primary care practice at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group in San Diego, California. Dr. Falquier founded Sensations Salud, LLC which focuses on empowering through nutritional knowledge and culinary literacy.

She is highly involved with Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center in National City, California as well as the Chef de Cuisine Educational Foundation. She promotes culinary medicine throughout the San Diego community in a variety of ways and has been interviewed regarding food and health by media outlets including the Washington Post, The Union Tribune, Edible San Diego, San Diego Magazine, CBS news, TeleMundo and Sharp Health News. Additionally, she is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, and has been recognized, for the last 12 years, as one of San Diego’s Top Doctors, as voted by physician peers. For more information, please visit her website, www.SensationsSalud.com or follow along @SensationsSalud on social media.

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

What is your favorite ingredient?

Parmigiano-Reggiano – I always have a fresh wedge in my fridge which I buy from my local cheese monger. It adds such gorgeous umami and depth of flavor and elevated the deliciousness of so many dishes. I also love the aesthetics of it on the table to pass around to make the dish your own at the vey moment of enjoyment.

What is your least favorite ingredient?  

I can’t stand the smell of cooked buckwheat. When I was exploring whole grains for the first time, I bought many different kinds. When it came to be buckwheats turn, our entire household decided never again. But worry not, there are over 2 dozen other whole grains we cook regularly.

What turns you on creatively?

I love rolling an ingredient around in my head and coming up with a dish and meal to highlight that ingredient.

What turns you off?  

Having negative people around me when I’m cooking. The kitchen is my happy, peaceful, content place and you must be ready to keep it that way if you are in my kitchen!

What is your favorite recipe or meal?  

I have loved perfecting and getting more creative with my bolognese. It was one of the first dishes my daughter would ask for and associated it with comfort in our home. That was true inspiration. I love methodically chopping the carrots, celery and onions for the mire poix, cooking them down patiently and knowing with each patient step, I am adding depth of flavor.

What culinary flavor or aroma do you love?  

I love the smell of freshly made Mexican food. Takes me back to my childhood in Mexico City. Even tonight, I was on a walk in my neighborhood and I could smell fresh baked tortillas and it just smelled so comforting and delicious.

What culinary flavor or aroma do you hate?  

Cheesecake and I don’t get along at all. I don’t like the texture, flavor or ingredients involved in it.

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

It’s funny – culinary medicine is the profession that I didn’t know existed and I am thrilled in am indeed attempting. But if that doesn’t count – I would go with taking people on tours to different parts of the world. Small, in depth tours with culinary component being a highlight. Essentially following your gustatory desires to different destination and getting paid to bring people along.

What profession would you not like to do?  

Customer Service during a pandemic at any retail establishment.

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

I would bring my favorite recipe that I have written to date: roasted red pepper and tomato coulis topped with vegetable tower and pan seared local halibut.

2021 Virtual Poster Session

Traditionally we have held our yearly poster session at the Culinary Medicine Conference.  For 2020 we were delighted to be able to gather for The Culinary Medicine Conference Poster Sesson.

We will hold a poster session again in September via Zoom and our deadline for submission will be in mid-July.  Our Co-Chairs for the poster review will be Dr. Canneralla Lorenzetti and Dr. Carrie Gordon.

Information will be coming in January about submission of posters.   In the meantime you can find past posters and abstracts at this link:


Culinary Medicine Colleagues in the Media

Spectrum Health to open Lifestyle Medicine practice at GR’s Downtown Market  Spectrum Health is launching a lifestyle medicine clinic in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market and expanding their Culinary Medicine offerings.

Jennifer Trilk and the team at University of South Carolina Greenville have launched a great video reviewing the benefits of their lifestyle and Culinary Medicine programming.  This is one of the most extensive offerings at a medical school in the country.

What is culinary medicine and why do we need it?  Dr. Nisha Narang and Dr Nisha Patel have written a great column for KevinMD.com about the importance of Culinary Medicine for our patients.

Heather Nace leads the program at Tulane University and was interviewed on balancing dietary choices during the holidays in this great YouTube video:  Balance of Indulgence and Health During the Holidays

What is Culinary Lifestyle and Medicine? — Chef AJ interviews Dr.Dr. Jennifer Trilk, Chef Scott Roark and Hayn Jackson from the University of South Carolina Greenville.

Research Initiatives

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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