Kendall College and the University of Chicagos Pritzker School of Medicine Launch a Culinary Medicine Educational Program

Chi ago, Illinois (PRWEB) May 14, 2015

Kendall College School of Culinary Arts and the University of Chicagos Pritzker School of Medicine launched a new extra-curricular activity to provide first-year students the chance to learn practical knowledge about how food plays a role in health and how to effectively discuss nutrition-related issues with patients. The intensive program will be imparted jointly by physicians from Pritzker and Chef Renee Zonka from Kendall College, using Kendalls kitchens and facilities. The program is currently being funded through a grant from the Womens Board of the University of Chicago.

We are proud to launch this program with the University of Chicago and expand the reach of culinary arts education into the medical field, which covers some of the most relevant issues in our society today, said Emily W. Knight, president of Kendall College. Food is at the center of the debates related to obesity and healthy habits. This collaboration will leverage Kendalls strong curricula on nutrition and sustainability, allowing future medical doctors to understand food not just from a medical perspective but also from the perspective of patients practical, cultural and emotional relationships to eating.

The curriculum for the program has been adapted from the Culinary Medicine program at Tulane University and brought to Pritzker by Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark, a Clinical Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Integrative Medical Education, and Dr. Sonia Oyola, Family Medicine Clerkship Director. Kendalls Chef Zonka will teach students how to prepare meals incorporating healthy ingredients and how to present this information to patients through hands-on cooking classes at Kendall. At the end of the extra-curricular activity, a final workshop will allow students to teach cooking classes in Englewood community in collaboration with the Sweet Water Foundation.

This curriculum is being used by medical schools across the country and Dr. Maker-Clark says that there is already a consortium of other local medical schools interested in integrating the course. Most medical students have not had much exposure to food or cooking at this point in their lives and when they talk to patients about nutrition, it needs to be a two-way street. She references the hectic lifestyle many doctors lead, especially medical students, and how this can be detrimental to their ability to relate to patients who want advice about how to improve their diets or prepare healthier meals.

Pritzker chose Kendalls Culinary Arts program based on its reputation, incorporation of nutrition into the culinary arts program curricula and world-class kitchens in the heart of Chicago. The medical school hopes that the program will expand in the next year to become available to all of its students and offer more community instruction through additional workshops, which will include community-based cooking classes and nutrition advice from students taking the program. We want our students to become teachers and to go out and work in a collaborative way with the community, Dr. Maker-Clark said.

About the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts:

Kendall College, founded in 1934, is located in Chicago and is a member of the Laureate International Universities network. Kendall offers undergraduate degrees in business, culinary arts, early childhood education and hospitality management to a diverse and passionate community of more than 1,650 students. The curriculum combines strong academics with practical experience and international educational opportunities that help give students in business, hospitality and culinary arts programs the skills and expertise to be leaders in their professions. Kendall College was ranked the number one program in Chicago for preparing students for careers in hospitality management and culinary arts in a survey of hiring managers at Chicago’s leading hotels and Michelin Guide restaurants (TNS Global 2013 Survey). The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission has accredited the Culinary Arts associate program since 1988 and the Baking and Pastry associate program since 2008. Kendall College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC.) For more information, visit

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