Celine Beitchman is ICE’s New Director of Culinary Nutrition.

Meet ICE’s New Director of Nutrition

Celine Beitchman brings food, wine and nutrition expertise to the new Natural Gourmet Center.

Celine Beitchman grew up learning about natural foods from travel with her hippie parents and time living in Brooklyn and the South of France. She made her first meal at age 7 and began cooking family dinners at age 10 out of an affinity for food. And even at a young age, Celine recognized a connection between how she felt and how she ate.

In her last year of high school, Celine had the opportunity to apprentice at the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI), which sparked her studies with Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., who founded the school and the better food movement.

“She was a profound part of my life, education and mindset,” Chef Celine says. “Some of her work is arguably personal to her and not necessarily universal, but the bulk of it is a roadmap for not just how to eat but how to approach food in general. It’s connected to all the systems in the world — body, agriculture, cultural… That kind of holistic understanding is a big part of my worldview. She reminds me in spirit to find the threads between them all.”

Chef Celine apprenticed in Paris and gained 15 years of high-end catering experience in New York City while finishing her undergraduate degree in film. She went from working and traveling at restaurants around the world to catering to food styling to becoming a high-end private chef.

In 2005, Chef Celine realized she was managing people in each role and had become a reliable, credible and trustworthy teacher. She wanted to impart her knowledge and stay connected to young people, so she returned to NGI as an instructor, where she’s continued to teach since. Chef Celine was writing curriculum and developing programming in her various positions at the school when she saw an opportunity to educate science and medical professionals who needed nutrition knowledge without the complete skill set of a professional chef.

“The more I got involved at the Natural Gourmet Institute, the more I was questioning the evidence behind the statements that were made, and I needed to find out for myself where I stood on the information and get more knowledge,” she says of her decision to pursue a master’s degree in nutrition and integrative health. “Annemarie said, ‘Don’t believe the dogma; test it for yourself.’”

Chef Celine Beitchman developed curriculum at the Natural Gourmet Institute.
Photo by Christian Zubidi, 2018.

So Chef Celine studied at Maryland University of Integrative Health, ultimately developing the long-form curriculum for NGI’s Culinary Nutrition and Food Therapy certificate programs. The professional development programs help doctors “put the prescription on the plate,” she says.

“We have to give ourselves the room to experiment, taste and find delicious healthy food,” Chef Celine adds. The curriculum for the two-part, 10-session programs covered health, wellness, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal systems, cancer prevention, cardiovascular health and the like, with hands-on cooking for Celiac disease, anti-inflammation, cancer treatment support and more health scenarios.

“The population [of the classes] is a varied group of folks that are interested in their personal health — some health coaches, doctors, registered dieticians (RDs) or individuals exploring associated fields,” Chef Celine says. “Each of their interests open up a bit and there's a lot of transformation on a personal level.”

While Chef Celine is busy instructing career culinary classes day and night at ICE, she plans to develop third and fourth parts for each certificate program and may even pursue board certification. In the meantime, she’s excited to bring her nutritional background to our New York campus to help people, support existing programs and merge her interests.

“I watch my students bloom, from skittish, nervous and uncomfortable on the first day,” Chef Celine says. “It’s amazing to watch their uniforms fit better and their movements become more graceful. Everything starts to level up.”

Now at ICE, Health-Supportive Culinary Arts students can be “part of something bigger than their own personal health or entrepreneurial business,” Chef Celine says. “I hope the influence is felt on the Culinary Arts side and that we make a little bridge.”

Chef Celine is bound to be an integral part in building it.

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Submitted by Andrea Beaman on March 27, 2019 10:53am

The students at ICE are going to be blessed to have Chef Celine guiding them to better understand food and health.

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