Culinary Programs for Optimal Health

Culinary Programs for Optimal Health

Culinary arts is an ever growing field, as food and foodie culture has recently seen an increase in popularity. Network and cable television programs like Top Chef and the appeal of watching Anthony Bourdain as he eats around the world on the Travel Channel, have brought a new attention about what’s possible for cuisine.

Potential students of food have a diverse selection of schools to choose from when looking to take their first steps in a face-paced cooking career. Increasingly, those seeking a place in the field of culinary arts realize an importance in attending to those with special dietary needs or concerns.

With an increased awareness of food and food culture, we are seeing an increased awareness of its impact on the body and the environment. Discerning consumers demand more whole foods, locally grown and minimally processed.

Consumers today are not just looking for optimal flavor, but eat for optimal health.

They are making choices based on the understanding of their chef's knowledge of food origins and his or her thoughtful cooking techniques to create balanced and healthful meals. Possessing the knowledge and skills to provide healthful and sustainable meals is higher in demand than ever before.

For a student in the culinary arts, being aware of nutrition and being able to cook for a variety of dietary concerns, expands not only knowledge and repertoire, but career options, opening up the field to provide jobs in not only restaurants, but as private chefs, caterers or nutrition experts for nutrition-focused grocery stores.

Most often, studying nutrition is only possible through separate degree programs, with little to no emphasis on culinary arts. For students who want both, one can find a program like the bachelor’s degree offered at Kendall College, one of the nation's highest ranked programs. There, you will not only learn fundamental and advanced cooking techniques, related business skills and internships and hands on experience in food handling, but there is an elective emphasis on the science of nutrition.

This concentrated nutrition course gives students the skills to design beauty on a plate and for the palette. A nutrition “minor” also gives the chef the tools to implement meals that take into account nutritional concerns; from dietary restrictions, teen health, the aging, food allergies, vegetarians, athletes and those simply looking to improve general health.

Because this is an accredited degree program, students gain the knowledge, experience and credentials to secure a position in the ever-growing field where the “too many cooks spoil the broth” maxim is fought every day. With the extra added emphasis on cooking for optimal health, future chefs and food entrepreneurs have the extra edge and advantage in supplying an increasingly health conscious population of consumers.  

For more information, please visit for an example of a culinary programs experience.