Is a Chef a Doctor?

Topics: Obesity and Weight Loss, Presentations, Wellness and Health
Teaching Chef Clinic Roizen La Puma

“…when asked about all the gouty feet and engorged livers he had left behind him, [Bocuse once said]  “A chef is not a doctor.”

So writes Josh Osersky, in “Fine Food and Fat: Are Chefs to Blame for Obesity?” about Paul Bocuse (famous chef, French Cuisine ambassador, and admired teacher).

Au contraire.

Actually, a chef can do more day-to-day good than a doctor.  Because chefs teach people, especially Americans who eat out, more about what and how to eat than any other group…including physicians.

I recently taught cardiologists and ophthomalogists in Illinois how to write (free download) 3 of my recipes (and websites for healthy recipes) on prescription slips. Earlier, I did a cooking demo for 100 hungry eaters, in the Chicago suburbs, for Alexian Health Systems.

When doctors do write recipes on Rx slips, or talk about food, it has a huge impact on our patients and their families.  Almost as much as setting a meal before them, as chefs do.

Some chefs are leading by example. Rocco DiSpirito, Alton Brown and Guy Fieri–all prominent TV chefs–have slimmed down.  Nate Applebaum, now head chef at Chipotle, has lost 90#.

What these chefs have in common is using smaller quantities of high quality ingredients, without calories first, but quality.  They’re eating less highly processed, prepackaged, grab-it food, and more natural food.

Leading by example is the most persuasive way to lead. Doctors could be next.