jwu:providence news

jwu:providence news

Eating Smart
JWU Providence Campus News

Healthy Dining Forum Brings Taste to the Table

When Chef William Idell ’89 of JWU’s College of Culinary Arts speaks about culinary nutrition, every culture “has a voice at the table.” Idell believes there is a disconnect between nutritionists and chefs. He has simplified the math and science of nutrient-based guidelines into what he calls “food-based” guidelines that are more relevant in the kitchen.

That philosophy was imparted in October 2009 at the first Healthy Dining Forum held in Rhode Island. The goal was to provide local chefs with the basic tools to create and prepare healthy menu options.

Chefs can bypass the complexity of nutritional guidelines by sticking to a palette of flavors, lean meats and whole grains, Idell told the gathering. He incorporates five basic flavor profiles into his own guidelines: Latin, Mediterranean, North African, Asian and Indian. Each reflects the ingredients, spices, herbs and seasonings basic to that part of the world. “You can create a healthier version of a menu item without sacrificing flavor and taste,” Idell says.

The forum was part of Eat Smart Rhode Island, a campaign promoting collaboration among Rhode Island restaurants, Farm Fresh Rhode Island, the Johnson & Wales Providence Campus Culinary Nutrition Department and the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Initiative for a Healthy Weight. Presenters included Catherine Adams, from the National Restaurant Association, and Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group.

Participants included local alumni who teamed up with JWU students in the kitchens where they were given a mystery basket and a limited amount of time to create healthful meals. Students exchanged tips from the classroom while the pros shared their experiences from the realities of the restaurant business.

Image: Derek Wagner '99, co-owner Nick's on Broadway, checked out ingredients available for a friendly cook-off.

JWU Providence Campus News, 'Big Mama" Toppoki‘Big Mama’ Talks Toppoki
Hoping to make toppoki as popular as pizza, the Korean Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is promoting Korean cuisine globally. In September 2009, a film crew from the Korean Broadcasting System came to campus, along with South Korean celebrity chef, Hae Jeong Lee, known as “Big Mama,” to document JWU students and chefs experimenting with toppoki recipes.

Toppoki, a traditional Korean dish once served to kings, is now a popular snack food available from snackbars and street vendors throughout South Korea. In its raw stage, toppoki, a rice-based product, resembles macaroni. It is extremely versatile and can be combined with any variety of vegetables, proteins and sauces.

Image: Jeong Lee — “Big Mama” — (right), reviews a recipe with culinary students while filming a Korean Broadcasting System documentary on campus.

President Irving Schneider, PhD

“In addition to our economic impact, JWU contributes to the vibrancy of the City of Providence through the community service of our students and the successful careers and entrepreneurial spirit of our graduates.”