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Does nutrition play a role when you're creating new dishes?

Poll Results: Does nutrition play a role in your cooking and in your creation of new dishes?

  • 25% (1)
    YES, absolutely
  • 25% (1)
    Yes, somewhat
  • 25% (1)
  • 25% (1)
    No, not much
  • 0% (0)
    NO, not at all
4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

As March is "National Nutrition Month," we'd love to understand the role that nutrition plays -- if any -- in chefs' cooking, and especially in the creation of new menu items. 


Do you make an effort to cook with more nutrient-dense ingredients?  Do you typically think about whether a dish is nutritionally balanced?  Have you received adequate nutritional education to feel confident that you're making well-informed decisions? 

Many thanks in advance for weighing in with your thoughts and experiences on nutritionally-oriented topics this month.



Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg


post #2 of 8

Interesting topic and timely too.

Unless you're a fine dining venue where you cook from scratch, it's very difficult to create menus that are healthy and nutritious while using pre-made products.

Many of the items used in fast food, chains, and even many "Mom and Pops" contains high levels of sodium, sugars, and preservatives, simply because these items are used to cut costs and simplify preparation.

I'm not saying that healthy menu items can not be made with convenience products, but it would take a lot of forethought and creativity to pull it off.

post #3 of 8

No, because we don't really have a choice.  We get the best we can and make the most of it.

post #4 of 8

I agree with both @Chefross and @kuan for the most part as nutrition is not a major in any culinary (nor doctor) education. Unless one goes on to specialize in nutrition as a science it is difficult to say that we can make proper menus based on nutritionally dense ingredients. 


Owners of restaurants, whether corporate or mom and pop, have to want to spend the money on the time and ingredients needed to create and implement a nutrient dense menu. Also, finding a chef passionate and educated enough in the proper nutrition department is VERY hard to find, let alone pay for.


My personal experiences outside of the culinary world led me to have to make more informed decisions about nutrition and what I was serving as a chef. That led me to have to walk away from corporate and private owned places and start my own establishment that would give me the creative leeway to create a nutrition dense menu. I realized through my personal journey that it is up to each chef as to what their careers are about and how that effects their customers and their own health and creative juices.

post #5 of 8
Agreed. Unless I'm attempting to create a light dish -maybe something very springtime- that just happens to naturally fall under healthier guidelines by coincidence.
post #6 of 8

Working now in Austria it is more Tradition that Plays a part in my daily menu choices.

post #7 of 8

When I was cheffing it did not play a role in my decision making process much at all.  My customers loved my food because I didn't shy away from cream, butter, pork, etc.  That being said, any good chef will also offer up lighter dishes for those looking to eat a little healthier or lighter.  I would always make sure that there were a few "lighter" dishes on the menu to accommodate those tastes.  I did not start to make those dishes more "nutritious" but they ended up being healthier by the mere fact that I wanted a dish that was lighter than many others on the menu.  I also think that by cooking seasonally, some of the dishes created were just naturally more nutritious but nutrition was not at the front of my mind when creating them.

post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by Pete View Post

  My customers loved my food because I didn't shy away from cream, butter, pork, etc. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of them products.

Some people are scared/ worried/ overly concerned in some way of "fat", some scared of protein, for some the problem is carbs, others blame their nutrition woes on salt, this is why there are fad diets. For most people the problem is portion size, compulsive, addictive habits, and number of meals that is the demise of their girlish figure.

Good products coupled with decent technique should lead to nutritious meal options. Knowledge is power and nutrition needs to become a larger part of the role Chefs play.

When it comes to nutrition Oscar Wilde said it best; "Everything in moderation, even moderation."
Sometimes its just fun to gorge at the Corral or to not eat for a few days. Cant be too healthy all the time, the stress of it will kill ya first anyway.

Those saying it is cost prohibitive or too time consuming need to overcome them barriers and eat good food.

I love you book the Flavor Bible I ordered it last Summer while I was on Parental leave, I look forward to reading more soon. " The Nutrition Bible"??? !!!
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