Green vegetables

ICE Introduces Culinary Nutrition and Food Therapy

Experts from the food, health and nutrition fields developed the interdisciplinary curricula.

Director of Nutrition Celine Beitchman has adapted the Natural Gourmet Institute's (NGI) Culinary Nutrition and Food Therapy courses for certificate programs at the Institute of Culinary Education's new Natural Gourmet Center.

The Natural Gourmet Center’s interactive and dynamic courses offer exclusive opportunities to gain firsthand experience and expertise in the areas of Food Therapy and Culinary Nutrition. Through collaboration with chefs, dietitians, nutritionists, physicians and health industry experts and partners, the two certificate programs provide new perspectives on exciting and essential components of the better food movement.

Debuting on July 13, Food Therapy covers whole-systems biology, nutritional imbalances, and how to translate a dietary prescription into meal planning and preparation. Instruction includes how specific diets and cooking techniques relate to a range of illnesses. NGI founder Annemarie Colbin Ph.D. developed the original course, which has been redeveloped by ICE Director of Nutrition Celine Beitchman M.S., who studied under Annemarie.

"It originated as a way for Dr. Colbin to teach her philosophy and approach to food systems," Chef Celine says. "I've modernized it. Now we consider her work against the body of evidence and see where we land. People with a severe illness or chronic disease may need to add in foods or take others out and this can change over the course of their lives as their health changes. A big part of the program is learning how to filter information, how to work with diet plans and how to experiment with these ideas so you can come up with what works for you."

In the years Chef Celine taught at NGI, Food Therapy attracted a wide audience that included professionals in food and health, as well as caregivers and individuals with their own health challenges.

Director of Nutrition Celine Beitchman teaches in the hydroponic garden.
Director of Nutrition Celine Beitchman teaches in the hydroponic garden.

The second certificate program, Culinary Nutrition, was originally developed by registered dietitians (RD) with longstanding experience as clinicians and academics teaching nutrition. It was taught primarily to dietitians with little to no culinary experience. Today the course, beginning in June, appeals to anyone with an interest in making sense of nutrition on the plate. Culinary Nutrition provides an in-depth, hands-on exploration of evidence-based nutrition.

"If you’re vegan, a young adult or an older adult, a sports enthusiast or endurance athlete, how do you sustain your health over time?” Chef Celine poses. "In this course, we’re thinking about the average healthy person and putting together a food plan based on their needs and goals. Here too we’re helping people refine their nutrition filters, and we dig deeper into science."

Culinary Nutrition covers food-based macronutrients, nutrients of concern in restricted diets, sustainable food systems, farm-to-table concepts, allergies, alternative diets, and because it’s such a big part of our ethos, how to eat more whole foods with all of their edible parts intact.

"Nowadays cooks need to know more than technique. They need to understand the implications of sourcing and food quality. They need to have an understanding of how those factors affect the future of food – and of course, how to manage their own health over what hopefully is a long and fulfilling career," Chef Celine says. "If you're thinking about delving deeper into nutrition, this is a good place to dip your toe, meet like-minded people, grow your network and see how nutrition is alive and well in a culinary haven like this."

Offered at ICE's New York campus, both courses consist of classroom lectures, kitchen lab assignments and group projects, and students receive a certificate upon completion. Access to the hydroponic garden offers opportunities to bring the concepts alive here.

"It’s not a sterile environment we’re not a medical or science lab, we’re having fun with food even while taking it seriously. We try to show students and by extension other programs that see or taste our work that nutrition has value, can be delicious and merits sharing space with the best culinary experts in the field," Chef Celine says. "The facilities are fabulous with up-to-date equipment and an unbeatable support system."

Explore health-supportive certificate programs.

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