Tulane University School of Medicine and Johnson & Wales University  announce groundbreaking culinary medicine collaboration

July 17, 2012

Keith Brannon
Phone: 504-621-2724

Tulane University teams with Johnson & Wales University to unite doctors and chefs in improving the nation’s health.

Tulane University School of Medicine and Johnson & Wales University announced a groundbreaking long-term collaboration that unites doctors and chefs in improving the nation’s health through the teaching of culinary medicine.

For the first time, a medical school and a major culinary institution plan to implement a fully integrated, comprehensive joint curriculum for doctors, medical students, chefs and the community focused on the significant health role that food choices and nutrition play in preventing and managing obesity and associated diseases in America.

“This is an entirely new approach in the training of both physicians and chefs,” said Dr. Benjamin Sachs, senior vice president and dean of Tulane University School of Medicine. “Our goal is to change the way health practitioners think about food and the practice of medicine. With statistics showing that 65 percent of Americans are overweight and a third are obese, it’s not enough for doctors to know just the basics of nutrition. They must also learn to translate the science into practical lessons that empower their patients to lead healthier lives.”

The initial program, which includes culinary classes for medical students, will be based at Tulane University, with the collaboration’s long-term goal to establish others first at JWU’s flagship campus in Providence, and in the future at JWU’s campuses in North Miami, Denver and Charlotte. The comprehensive plan is to include seminars, internships, faculty training, curricular offerings, community outreach, research and, ultimately, the development of a master’s degree in culinary nutrition at JWU and a rotation in culinary nutrition for Tulane medical students.

“Elevating the overall role of nutrition, including the preparation of nutritious meals is vital in disease management and prevention,” said Karl Guggenmos, MBA, AAC, university dean of culinary education, Johnson & Wales University.  “Our collaboration with Tulane will address many aspects of culinary medicine, including mitigating the risks of food allergies and preparing culturally sensitive nutritious meals, with the long-term goal of improving public health.  We will also underscore the central importance of the Culinary Arts in this process, in terms of making healthy food that is also delicious and pleasing to eat.”

Several aspects of the collaboration are in place, including:

•    Joint faculty seminars for students at both universities
•    Internships at Tulane for JWU’s culinary nutrition students
•    Healthy culinary classes for the New Orleans community involving students from both schools

With chefs and physicians side-by-side in the kitchen, clinic and community, this collaboration offers a unique opportunity for substantive change in the way medicine and the culinary arts are practiced in the United States – a major step in attacking the problem of obesity in America.  

About Tulane University School of Medicine
One of the nation's most recognized centers for medical education, Tulane University School of Medicine is a vibrant center for education, research and public service. Established in New Orleans in 1834, it is the second-oldest medical school in the Deep South and the 15th oldest in the United States. Tulane prepares the next generation of medical professionals to serve their communities as they shape the future of health care.  For more information, visit

About Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University (JWU), founded in 1914, is a nonprofit, private, accredited institution with campuses in Providence, R.I.; North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C. An innovative educational leader, JWU offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs that inspire professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth by integrating arts & sciences and experiential education with leadership and personal development opportunities. In 1998, JWU became the first in the nation to offer a bachelor of science degree in Culinary Nutrition. Today, the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the ADA, has six full-time registered dieticians on faculty, and has produced more than 1,000 alumni. For more information, visit

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000