Chef to Chef Conference attendees learned subtle ways to make their menus more healthful as part of a special supplemental “Culinary Medicine” class.
Just before the 2015 Chef to Chef Conference at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa officially kicked off on Sunday, March 1, a select group of participants attended a class conducted by Leah Sarris, Program Director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University’s School of Medicine in New Orleans, and Walter Zuromski, CEC, CCE, President of the Chef Services Group in Lincoln, R.I. and founding member of the Research Chefs Association.
The information-packed session compared energy-dense versus nutrient-dense foods, ways for chefs to shape up their budgets while making healthier choices (such as using olive oil instead of butter), and easy ways to incorporate vegetables. Sarris emphasized the importance of making small changes that have a big impact, highlighting the finer points of the Mediterranean diet, sharing a list of reading recommendations, and offering a brief discussion on fad diets.
“Leah Sarris and Walter Zuromski put on a fabulous show,” says Jerry Schreck, National Chef to Chef Conference Program Coordinator and Executive Chef of Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa. “I found it interesting when they talked about obesity in America and the direct impact that chefs can have on the health of our nation.
“They said that 93% of chefs surveyed believe they can reduce caloric intake 10-25% without customers noticing,” Schreck notes. “Small adaptations, like slightly smaller portion sizes, can have a huge effect. They also stressed quality, not quantity, as a key in reducing unsaturated fats.”
Another attendee of the class, Hunter Allen Blair, Executive Chef of Shadow Glen Golf Club, Olathe, Kan., adds that “Their ideas for low-fat foods were very good, and the simple ways to extend meat sauces with a vegetable to lower the fat content was interesting.”
After the session, class attendees were treated to an upscale lunch, prepared under the direction of Zuromski and Sarris by The Westin Savannah Harbor’s culinary team, that provided tangible (and tasty) proof of many points emphasized in the class. The lunch menu included:
• Soup and Salad Appetizer—White Bean and Pumpkin Cappuccino with Arugula, Endive and Crispy Chickpeas (the soup was thickened with a heat-treated starch, and was GMO-free and gluten-free. It was topped with a ginger/maple foam. The salad dressing was ruby red grapefruit with toasted pumpkin seeds and crumbled gorgonzola)
• Main Course—Savory Chicken Breast Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Vegetables with Celeriac Sauce (included roasted heirloom beets with a citrus honey glaze, broccoli slaw tossed in a yogurt dressing, and warm Yukon Gold and sweet potato salad)
• Dessert—Peanut Butter & Jelly Pannacotta (using goatmilk pannacotta,
red wine and muscadine grape jelly, homemade granola and peanut dust)
“The lunch was exceptional,” notes Blair. “The food alone inspired many
For a full report on the 2015 Chef to Chef Conference, see the April issue of Club & Resort Business.