So happy to be going to Chicago next month to sign books, have fantastic meals, and speak to clinician colleagues and leaders about comfort food, culinary medicine and choices near the end of life.
First, Chef Art Smith (of Oprah fame) and Chef Rey of Table 52 in downtown Chicago have put together a glorious REFUEL menu with paired wines (not including my own 2012 Dolcetto, which I understand will make a guest appearance!) that I can’t wait to sample, share and exult over. It’s Thursday, November 13 at 6pm CST, and I’ll be waiting all day until the doors open! Books will be available, and I’m looking forward to signing them all.
Chef Art has lost over 100# and controlled his diabetes, by the way…and is setting a REFUEL example for men everywhere.
Invitation and menu here: http://chicagourmets.org/CGevents141113.pdf
More information and tickets to this special event here: http://chicagourmets.org/comingevents.html
And for the second part of my trip, I’m thrilled to have been invited to speak on Comfort Food and Culinary Medicine Can Cure at the University of Chicago MacLean Center Annual Conference; my first work in medicine is in clinical ethics, and I’m proud to have been the first physician fellow in clinical medical ethics.
Since then hundreds of graduates, mentored by Dr Mark Siegler as I have been, now lead departments, have established fellowships and sit in named chairs themselves, having created the field of clinical ethics, with POLST, Global Grand Challenges, Transplantation Ethics, and Palliative Care arising from the work my friends and colleagues have done.
It’s fantastic that Comfort Food and Culinary Medicine can fit: part of the inspiration for this talk is Atul Gawande’s brilliant new book Being Mortal, in which he demonstrates clearly that well-being as a goal of medicine is not only underappreciated, but incorrectly situated. That’s especially true for food, and especially true near the end of life.
Although it’s very clear that what you eat determines how your genes work, and can help prevent and treat common, chronic illness (especially diabetes, heart disease, chronic back pain and at least eight cancers), food is also an essential source of pleasure, community, identity, culture and memory. It’s not important that prescribed comfort food is “healthful” in the prescriptive or nutritive sense: it’s important that it is well-prepared, attractive and comforting. And delicious.