Chefs and nutrition professionals came together for the 2nd Annual Culinary Nutrition Conference this month at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City. This full-day event, created by two Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) with a passion for cooking, Jackie Topol and Kristy Del Coro, integrated innovative culinary techniques and nutrition science in order to help attendees provide their communities with practical skills to implement and maintain healthy behavior change. The conference included an interactive combination of lectures and hands-on cooking workshops led by leading RDNs in the culinary and communication realms of dietetics.

Renowned culinary RDN and media personality Ellie Krieger, MS, RDN, kicked off the day with a lecture sharing the evolution of culinary nutrition and the new healthy trends in store for the nutrition profession. As evidenced by the sold-out conference, Ellie highlighted the demand for culinary nutrition, as well as noting that, in the past, food editors have expressed the need for dietitians to increase their cooking knowledge in order to more effectively communicate to their respective readers. As Ellie so perfectly stated, culinary competency is critical for dietitians, with food being our form of currency.

The next lecture of the day was right up our communications alley with Canada-based YouTuber, blogger, and new cookbook author Abbey Sharp, RDN discussing how and why to use a variety of new media platforms to spread impactful nutrition messages. Throughout her presentation, Abbey shared a variety of great tips for RDNs to increase their social presence and profit from different social media outlets including SEO advice, guidance when working with brands for sponsored posts, and the steps for finding a niche and voice for one’s personal brand.

Between these informative lectures, attendees had the opportunity to play (and learn!) in the kitchen by participating in four hands-on culinary workshops: Making Low FODMAP Dishes Delicious with Julie Harrington, RDN, CPC; Global Flavors: Inspiration from Around the World with Abbie Gelman, MS, RDN, CDN; Reinventing the Healthy Plate for the Millennial with Facebook wellness chef Anthony Moraes; Homemade Gut-Healthy Foods including coconut yogurt and sourdough bread with Willow Jarosh, MS, RDN and Kayleen St. John, MS, RDN. And through her lecture, Recipe Development Outside of the Lines, Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN taught attendees how to apply skills learned in the workshops when creating new recipes in their own kitchens.

To close out an exciting day full of delicious food and engaging educational content, Dr. Robert Graham of Fresh Med NYC shared his thoughts on why the future of medicine is the very food created throughout the entire duration of the conference itself – an idea we fully support as nutrition professionals.