Zest: The Health meets Food Newsletter – March 2022

Welcome to the March 2022 edition of Zest.

Zest. It says a lot about what the folks who are involved with Culinary Medicine are about. People connected with the Culinary Medicine movement have 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.

Register at the Not-So-Early-Bird rate to save $25.00 off of Health meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference

This year’s meeting will take place June 9 through June 12, 2022 and offer a hybrid experience.

The Not-So-Early-Bird rate is automatically applied at check out and is a discount of $25.00 off the the standard rate.

The conference will be held in Orlando, Florida in collaboration with the University of Central Florida Rosen College of Hospitality Management. There will be an online streaming option, similar to the 2021 conference, that will allow for the full conference experience, including lectures, expert panels, culinary skills-building programming, and small group interactions with your colleagues.  The overarching theme of this year’s conference is using Culinary Medicine and teaching kitchens as a practice transformation tool — how do we restructure clinical practice and healthcare foodservice with a focus on food and health amongst our patients, colleagues and policy makers.

View the List of Speakers » | View the Agenda » | Register Here »

Featured Culinary Medicine Conference Speaker: Chef Cary Neff  

Conscious Food Solutions

Chef Cary Neff is devoted to cuisine that is both satisfying and healthful. Chef Neff revolutionized healthy cooking with the introduction of Conscious Cuisine®. A quest to utilize food as medicine to demonstrate wellness thru conscious efforts to select, prepare and enjoy nutrient dense foods that excite the senses with satisfying flavors and immune boosting goodness. Chef Neff is a fierce advocate in combating food insecurity, engagement with local and national food banks by creating delicious recipes of most readily available plant-based ingredients. Re-inventing Americas dinner plate by using properly portioned animal proteins as a tasty compliment to provide unparalleled flavor and balanced nutrition.  His New York Times best-selling cookbook, Conscious Cuisine, reflects this “savoring the moment” philosophy with recipes that are delicious, elegant, and easy to prepare.

As an independent culinary consultant and president of Culinary Innovations and Neff Group consultant services as well as Conscious Food Solutions, Chef Neff heads a think tank of talented food scientist, dietitians, chefs and physicians dedicated to re-invent food industries servicing healthcare, education, senior care, and hospitality food service. Demonstrating how to purchase foods, consciously, how to develop menus and recipes mindfully by focusing on the power of food to deliciously satisfy, nourish

Trained in classical French cooking at Chicago’s venerable Washburne Trade School while apprenticing under the tutelage of renowned chefs and award-winning restaurants and hotels. Chef Neff has enjoyed a fascinating culinary career. Formally, serving as the Vice President of Morrison Healthcare/Compass One. In addition, Chef Neff held positions as executive chef at the 8700 Restaurant, in Scottsdale, AZ, and has served as both the general manager and executive chef of the historic Wrigley Mansion Club in Phoenix. He was also the first chef for the Scottsdale Princess Resort, playing an instrumental role in obtaining the coveted AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Four Star awards; he also held prestigious positions at such respected Chicago establishments as the Ritz Carlton-Four Seasons Hotel and the Park Hyatt Hotel.

Culinary Medicine Conference Tuition and Discounts

Full conference tuition is $425.00.

There is a $25.00 Not-So-Early-Bird discount for the conference registration that expires on April 15, 2022. The early bird discount is automatically applied.

In addition, there are discounts for certain groups:

$50.00 off for those in academia using their institution email address during registration, RDs, nurses, pharmacists, certified diabetic educators, chefs, and those working in foodservice. This discount is applied in addition to the Early Bird Discount. Use coupon code “welovelegumes”.

$150.00 tuition for medical students, nursing students, and undergraduates attending Health meets Food. Student discount does not apply to post-undergraduate students, residents, or fellows. (No Early Bird Discount is available for student tuition). Use coupon code “studentoflegumes”.

2022 Culinary Medicine Conference Host Hotel

This year’s host hotel will be the Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld, and we have negotiated a nightly rate of $159.00.

Shuttles will be running daily between the hotel and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

Book your hotel room now! »

2022 Poster Session at Health meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference

For 2022 we are delighted to be able to gather for The Culinary Medicine Conference Poster Session. Posters can be submitted now, and will be reviewed by the Research Committee with final decisions made in April with notification by May 1.

Find the Submission Form here:


You can find previous posters and abstracts at this link:


Register for the Conference Here »
Book your hotel room for the conference now! » 

Monthly Zest Food Lovers Questionnaire: Academic Medicine

Carrie A. Gordon, MD

Pediatric Nephrology

Dr. Gordon leads Culinary Medicine programming at Maine Health.

Dr. Gordon works with children who have obesity to support their families in making health changes. She says “Obesity is a complex process that can lead to many concerning, but treatable and reversible health problems and Maine is a beautiful place for this work.”  This is facilitated by the vast outdoor recreational opportunities, farming communities and the ability to partner with organizations like the Good Shepard Food Bank. Dr. Gordon has a particular interest in how the food we eat can support our health, and working with patients and their families to help them cook more of their own delicious, healthy foods at home.

What is your favorite ingredient? 

Cumin. I use it all the time and I love how cumin is used in the cuisine of so many cultures. I find it fascinating when spices taste different than you would think from how they smell. Cumin is a great example of that.

What is your least favorite ingredient? 

Crisco/vegetable shortening. Whenever I have a recipe that calls for it, I always use a substitute. Just the look of it turns my stomach.

What turns you on creatively? 

When I am at my camp and don’t want to have to get out to the grocery store (which involves a 20 minute boat ride and a further 30 minute trip to get groceries), and have to make do with what we have on hand. Some of my best cooking is done out on the island.

What turns you off? 

Repeating recipes that I have made before without changing things up. I always want to try new ingredients, put different twists on a meal. My husband always jokes around with me about it, “That’s delicious, I will probably never eat it again, will I?”

What is your favorite recipe or meal? 

Tacos, especially with some kind of seafood in it. I love making my own tortillas, mixing up different kinds of flour and flavorings.

What culinary flavor or aroma do you love? 

Tomato sauce cooking on the stove

What culinary flavor or aroma do you hate? 

When something is burning, what a bummer!

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


What profession would you not like to do? 

Any job where I would have to do repetitive work, inside, with no windows

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

Nothing fancy that I would have to worry about messing up! I would probably want to bring something with all really fresh ingredients from my garden, something colorful. If it was this time of year, something like slices of watermelon radishes on mixed salad greens with pesto dressing.

Culinary Medicine in the News

Try these healthy smoothie recipes for National Nutrition Month

Dr. Anne Dudley with Spectrum Health’s Culinary Medicine Program talks more about the benefits of fruit and why people should always keep a stash of them in the fridge, along with a recipe or two!  Read More>>>

The Wellness Kitchenista simplifies ‘eating your way to wellness’ on social media

She is known as “The Wellness Kitchenista” on her social media platforms where she shares tips and tricks to use in the kitchen as well as healthy recipes for her followers to make and enjoy at home. Jessica says that food can be the body’s “best medicine or worst poison” and she is dedicated to teaching others how to incorporate healthier foods on their plates seamlessly. Read More>>>

UAMS Accepting Applications For Student Health Care Summer Programs 

The Summer Research Internship is geared toward rising high school juniors and seniors, and college students. Students who are interested in pursuing careers in research and health care will have the opportunity to conduct science-based research. Students will have an in-person experience conducting research with an assigned mentor. Stipends will be distributed to students who participate. The application deadline is March 18, and the internship runs from May 23 to July 29. Read More>>>

The Kitchenistas,’ produced by La Jolla resident, will get screen time at San Diego Latino Film Festival

Dr. Sabrina Falquier Montgrain, an internal medicine and culinary medicine physician, is considered an “honorary Kitchenista” for her volunteerism. She speaks to the classes about the importance of food as medicine.

Falquier Montgrain was interviewed for the film, which she said is about “empowering people, including Latina women, to find themselves. Food and nutrition are the cornerstones, but it is about learning about oneself. I came in as a physician wanting to bring this aspect of teaching to the program … and I found where my road was meant to go. I am a different woman having been part of this.” Read More>>>

the idea for the meal kits grew out of the UAMS Culinary Medicine program, and the program’s nutritionist tested and approved the recipes.

Culinary medicine is a new evidence-based field in medicine that blends the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine. Culinary medicine’s goal is to help people make good personal medical decisions about accessing and eating high-quality meals that help prevent and manage chronic disease and restore well-being. Read More>>>

Free Food Security Continuing Medical Education

Continuing Medical Education Online

The Health meets Food team now offers free continuing medical education programming focused on food security issues. The first two modules are available and can be accessed free online. One module covers food security in older adults, and the second covers the SNAP and WIC programs.

This is a significant issue for many in our society and the courseware covers background as well as actionable information for healthcare professionals.

Register Here »

Upcoming Culinary Medicine 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.

For registration issues, questions, or for more event information, please contact Cecilia Hatfield at cecilia@culinarymedicine.org.

Register now!

March 13, 2022 – CME Module 04 – Food Allergy & Intolerance

April 8, 2022 – CME Module 07 – Carbohydrates

April 10, 2022 – CME Module 01 – Introduction to Culinary Medicine

May 6, 2022 – CME Module 02 – Weight Management & Portion Control

May 7, 2022 – CME Module 05 – Protein, Amino Acids, Vegetarian Diets, and Eating Disorders

Curriculum Committee Meetings Every Second Thursday of the Month

Health meets Food Curriculum Committee meetings are 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 the carbohydrates module.

You can find Zoom information for participation in the monthly meeting in the Instructor Resources inside Moodle.

Research Committee Meetings Every Third Thursday of the Month

The Health meets Food Research Committee 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

The Certified Culinary Medicine Specialist (CCMS) Program

The Certified Culinary Medicine Specialist (CCMS) designation identifies clinicians who have a unique foundation for incorporating healthy eating into patients’ diets: comprehensive knowledge of nutrition and the culinary techniques to prepare food that is consistent with real-world budgets, time constraints, and nutritional ideals. Physicians, Physicians Assistants, Pharmacists, Registered Dietitians and Nurse Practitioners are eligible for certification.

The hybrid 60-credit curriculum includes a distinctive combination of online nutrition education courses, live conferences, and in-person attendance at hands-on teaching kitchen modules.By completing the program, clinicians will enhance their confidence and quality of care by learning how to:

  • Integrate nutritional counseling to supplement pharmacological treatment
  • Educate patients about weight loss and weight management
  • Develop practical examination-room dialogues that inspire behavioral change
  • Implement new strategies in even the busiest primary care offices