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The founding concepts of the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative remain true today: if we can teach people to eat, cook, move and think more healthfully, and with mindful intention, we can prevent a host of chronic diseases and enable people to lead healthier and happier lives.

Our Team

Margaret Counts-Klebe
Director of Operations

Margaret Counts-Klebe


After completing her MBA at McGill University, Margaret realized that her interests lay in the public sphere vs private business. This led to working in a government agency, a nonprofit consulting firm, an arts center as well as several political campaigns. She is a community builder who advocates for DEI in all of her work.

Margaret holds a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from Northeastern University and is a Society for Human Resources Certified Professional. She is an elected Town Meeting Member and serves on several nonprofit boards. She is excited about TKC’s mission having been a member of a local CSA for many years.

Culinary Nutrition Research Coordinator, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Kate Janisch


Kate focuses on helping the research efforts of the TKC.

Kate is a Registered Dietitian with her Masters in Public Health. She has previously worked with school food service administration, restaurants as well as a private practice dietitian. She has completed her 200hr yoga teacher training. In addition to her work with the TKC she teaches an undergraduate course at Northeastern University focused on public health nutrition programs in community settings.

Director of Research, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Jennifer Massa


Jen leads the research efforts of the TKC.

Jen started her career in public health doing lab bench science at Harvard in the environmental health department investigating occupational health exposures and poor health outcomes. She went onto Johns Hopkins where she helped perform a study of the rescue and recovery workers at the World Trade disaster site and the physical and mental health consequences of their first response efforts. Jen then returned to Harvard where she earned her joint Doctor of Science degree in Epidemiology and Nutrition where she studied diet and lifestyle and associations with cancer in the large Harvard cohorts. In her postdoctoral years, Jen joined a neuro-epidemiology group at Harvard where she studied viral and other environmental exposures and risk of Multiple Sclerosis. As a research associate, she worked at the Channing Lab where she continued her work in preventative medicine looking at sleep and circadian rhythms and risk of cancer and other outcomes. Jen jointly held an appointment as Instructor at the Harvard Medical School where she worked in the Anesthesia Department of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital helping to conduct randomized clinical studies.

Jen connected with David Eisenberg at the Nutrition Dept where she worked with him to create a study to investigate the teaching kitchen as a preventative health intervention. Now, Jen helps the TKC establish research projects and begin to develop research protocols for the multi-site research efforts of the collaborative.

In addition to her research efforts, Jen was a residential first year proctor and academic adviser at Harvard College for 15 years and continues to sit on the Freshman Board of Advisers where she continues to advise Harvard freshmen. Jen currently lives in Cambridge, MA where she loves to run along the Charles River and dig in her community garden.

Allison Righter Headshot
Director of Membership & Programs

Allison Righter


Allison Righter, MSPH, RDN is a dedicated public health professional and registered dietitian nutritionist with passion for driving impactful food-related initiatives that align both health and sustainability goals. From 2021-2024, Allison served as director of health and sustainability programs for the strategic initiatives group at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) where she led program planning and strategic direction for two annual conferences (Menus of Change and Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives) and three year-round collaboratives with specific sectors of the foodservice industry influencing millions of meals served each day. She previously served for seven years as a faculty member at the CIA, where she taught nutrition, food safety, food systems, and public health courses and helped integrate allergen awareness, student wellness, and sustainability principles across the curriculum and campus. Allison also coordinated the teaching kitchen pilot study at the CIA in partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health from 2013-2015 that led to the launch of the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative. She continued to coordinate the TKC through 2018 before it spun out into a separate 501c3. Prior to the CIA, Allison served as program manager for the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, providing science advisory to the Meatless Monday campaign and supporting community-based food systems initiatives in the greater Baltimore area. She completed her BA in Public Health Studies and her MS in Public Health as part of a coordinated dietetics program at Johns Hopkins University. In 2019, she was awarded a “Forty Under 40 Mover & Shaker” award by NY’s Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. After living in NY’s Hudson Valley for a decade, Allison recently moved back closer to friends and family outside of Baltimore with her husband and daughter. Outside of work, Allison enjoys cooking, reading, staying active, hanging with friends, and exploring the local food scene.
Katie Welch
Executive Director

Katie Welch

Katie Welch is delighted to utilize both her personal passion for food as medicine and more than 20 years of advancement experience to fortify and enhance the work of the TKC. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Cambridge Public Library Foundation, leading a rapid expansion of fundraising and community building to support a seven-branch library system. At the Library Foundation, Katie worked closely with dedicated board members to design, elevate, and expand a comprehensive development platform to drive all types of fundraising and build towards a $10M endowment goal. Katie began her career at The Guidance Center in Cambridge, MA, rising to the role of Director of Development before becoming the Director of Development and Marketing for Riverside Community Care, the largest nonprofit health and human service organization in MA.

Katie holds a degree from Tufts University and a certificate from the New York Center for Homeopathy. She is a board member of the Friends of the Melrose Public Library and Grassroots Environmental Education. When she’s not at work, Katie likes to experiment with new recipes and enjoy nature with her husband and two young daughters.

Designer & Lead Creative Consultant

Jason Wright


Jason Wright runs a New York-based Graphic & Web Design studio, J Wright Design, for a wide range of industries including Restaurants & Hospitality, Endurance Sports, New Business, and beyond. For more than two decades, JWD has created branded identities, websites, objects, packaging, clothing designs, and much more for clients worldwide. His focus is on delivering high-quality, eye-catching creative solutions, but with a professional personal touch not found in many design studios.

Jason is a New York-based designer and fine artist who develops creative and practical solutions for clients worldwide. With over 20 years of experience in advertising, graphic design, and web development, Jason combines the versatility of a big design agency with the personal attention of a small design boutique. Holding a Masters degree from Pratt Institute and a Bachelor’s Degree from Emory University, Jason began his career in advertising creating campaigns for companies such as Papa John’s Pizza and Coca-Cola.

His work includes sites for Oscar-nominated and award-winning films, design, and advertisements for large corporations such as CNN and Target, as well as countless identities and other design work for his clients. Some of these businesses include an Iron Chef, Michelin-starred restaurants, World Champion Triathletes, top fashion designers, Multi-Platinum rock stars, architects, artists, vet hospitals, and television personalities.


Lydia McGrath

Lydia holds a BS in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut. She is currently completing a combined MS and dietetic internship program at Tufts University in Boston, MA. During her undergraduate studies, Lydia was involved in research exploring the benefits of a plant-based diet for individuals with metabolic syndrome. She has also gained experience learning about the prevalence and consequences of malnutrition in clinical settings, and the critical role that nutrition plays in improving health outcomes. Lydia is passionate about using food as a tool for managing and preventing chronic disease and supporting optimal wellbeing.


Candace Sapp


Candace Sapp is a doctoral student in the Community Nutrition program in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. Candace serves as a Maternal & Child Health Nutrition Leadership Trainee with Marsha Spence and Betsy Anderson-Steeves. She works with Dorian McCoy as a graduate assistant on diversity, recruitment, and retention initiatives for CEHHS in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her research focuses on the implementation of nutrition interventions related to childhood obesity in minoritized youth. In her free time, she enjoys baking and decorating cakes.

Board of Directors

Akio Yonekura

Interim Chair

Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Cancerscan Inc.

Robert Edmiston


Executive Director of Turner Farm

Linda Shiue

MD, Chef

Physician and Director of Culinary Medicine at Kaiser Permanente

Dexter Shurney


Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President Wellbeing Division, Adventist Health

Advisory Council

David Eisenberg Photo
Founder & Senior Advisor

David Eisenberg


David M. Eisenberg, MD is director of culinary nutrition and adjunct associate professor of nutrition at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He he is the founder and former executive director of the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative  and is the founding co-director of the Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference. From 2000-2010, David served as the Bernard Osher distinguished associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, founding director of the Osher Research Center and the founding chief of the division for research and education in complementary and integrative medical therapies at Harvard Medical School. He simultaneously served as the director of the program in integrative medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. His current educational and research interests include: studies to assess the safety and cost-effectiveness of complementary and integrative medical therapies; and the creation of reproducible self-care strategies involving nutrition, mindfulness, exercise, and behavioral optimization to prevent, treat, and manage common medical conditions.

David is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. He completed his fellowship training in general internal medicine and primary care and is board certified in internal medicine. In 1979, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, David served as the first U.S. medical exchange student to the People’s Republic of China. In 1993, he was the medical advisor to the PBS Series, “Healing and the Mind” with Bill Moyers. He has served as an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Federation of State Medical Boards regarding complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine research, education, and policy. From 2003-2005 David served on a National Academy of Sciences Committee responsible for the Institute of Medicine Report entitled, “The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the American Public.” He has served as a member of the U.S. National Board of Medical Examiners Clinical Skills Committee and its Communications Task Force. David has authored numerous scientific articles involving complementary and integrative medical therapies and continues to pursue research, educational and clinical programs relating to integrative and lifestyle medicine. As the son and grandson of professional bakers, David aspires to bring together the culinary and medical communities to enhance comprehensive health care for all.

Hope Barkoukis


Hope is a licensed, registered dietitian, and Chair of the Department of Nutrition in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. She’s a past Board member for The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and faculty lead for the Jack, Joseph, Morton Mandel Wellness & Preventive Care Pathway for medical students. Prior to joining CWRU she developed nutrition and wellness programs for Fortune 500 companies, completed advanced professional culinary training and presented hundreds of nutrition education presentations incorporating culinary demonstrations for television, professional and community audiences. Hope has received many teaching awards for her engaging and energetic teaching style including the 2019 Outstanding Dietetic Educator from NDEP and the Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Top Prof, and the John S. Diekman Graduate Award for teaching excellence. In 2017, she was one of the nominees for the Carl Witte Excellence in undergraduate teaching award. In 2016 she received the Professional Achievement Award from the 7,000 member organization, SCAN: Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness nutrition practice group. Additionally, Hope was appointed by the CWRU Board of Trustees as the inaugural recipient of the Jack, Joseph, Morton Mandel Professorship in Wellness and Preventative Care, 2016-2021. In February, 2018 the Pathway received an award for Innovation in Teaching future health care professionals from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Hope’s research areas include aging, glucose metabolism, the glycemic index, sports nutrition and liver disease. Currently Hope is co-investigator for an NIH study investigating a healthy lifestyle intervention in preparation for pregnancy in obese women.

Deanne Brandstetter


Deanne Brandstetter, M.B.A., R.D. has over thirty years of experience in the food and nutrition business.   As Vice President of Nutrition & Wellness for Compass Group, North America, she leads a team that coordinates wellness programs for foodservice clients and develops innovative & award winning cross sector nutrition & wellness initiatives. She also directed the nutrition program for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah as part of the Compass Olympics Lead Management Team.

Deanne’s marketing background and passion for great food has fueled her goal of creatively translating medical and nutrition science into innovative exciting food concepts for Compass Group customers.

She earned an American Culinary Federation Silver medal for Healthy Cuisine, has authored numerous articles for professional and trade journals, including a module of the ADA (now AND) Labeling Certification Course, and has presented programs at the Society for Foodservice Management, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Foodservice Director magazine Menu Directions, Field to Plate-France, the National Restaurant Association and the CIA Greystone World of Healthy Flavors conferences. Deanne is a Culinary Institute of America Fellow, was a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Sustainable Food Systems Roundtable and Task Force on Menu Labeling, Past-Chair of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nominating Committee, member of the Academy Diversity Committee, Past-Chair of Dietitians in Business & Communications and  2022-23 Treasurer of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics; co-chair of the CIA Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative and is serving as a WELL Nourishment concept advisor. She also serves on the Advisory Board to the Dean of the School of Education, Health and Society at Miami University. She was awarded a WELL Community Award in 2021 and the Dietitians in Business & Communications Outstanding Leader in 2022.

Sherene Chou

Sherene Chou


Sherene Chou, MS, RDN is an award-winning dietitian and chef focused on building a more equitable and sustainable food system through the intersection of plant-based nutrition, culinary medicine, and health equity. She works with national brands and institutions to build innovative programs for more accessible and culturally inclusive nutrition education. In 2020, she co-founded Food + Planet, an initiative to empower health professionals to transform the food system and in 2023 developed the first Blue Foods As Medicine cookbook. She’s worked in many types of teaching kitchens: pop-up farmers market programs, L.A. Kitchen, a community-based teaching kitchen, and at USC Keck School of Medicine. She has served as chair for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group, former nutrition advisor for the Plant Based Foods Association, and currently serves on Padilla’s DE+I Collective. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Today’s Dietitian, and British Vogue. Learn more about her work @eatsustainablefoods (Instagram)

Sian Cotton


Sian Cotton, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, founding director of the Osher Center for Integrative Health and the Turner Farm Foundation Chair at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  A Professor in the Departments of Family and Community Medicine and Pediatrics, Dr. Cotton has an active research lab with ongoing clinical studies focusing primarily on mindfulness-based interventions and integrative medicine practice-based research. She is currently the Vice-Chair of the Academic Consortium of Integrative Medicine and Health, a group of 75 leading academic institutions and thought leaders.  Dr. Cotton is often invited to speak with community organizations and businesses, healthcare audiences, and academics about mind-body medicine for stress reduction, and preventive and wellness-based approaches to healthcare.

Paul DelleRose

Paul DelleRose


Paul DelleRose, B.Ed., CHE, is a Chef and Professor of Culinary Arts at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). A passionate and enthusiastic educator, Paul teaches varied courses to students in the institute’s degree program.

Paul is a 1994 CIA graduate and returned to his alma mater as a faculty member in 2007. Before that, he was consulting executive chef for Cornerstone USA. His professional experience also includes serving as executive chef for the Doubletree Hotel and Hilton in Tarrytown, NY and as executive chef and partner at Civile’s Venice on the Hudson.

Paul also helped develop the curriculum and taught two cohorts of a joint pilot study with the CIA and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study involved a multi-dimensional approach to training consumers to eat better through healthy cooking techniques and lifestyle modifications. Paul is a regular presenter at the Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives CME issuing conference sponsored by the Harvard school of Public Health and the CIA.

A Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Paul holds a bachelor’s degree education from Empire State College of the State University of New York. He also studied at the Windows on the World Wine School.

“Creating an overall healthy lifestyle for yourself doesn’t require a radical diet or significant life change. In fact, it can be attained through common sense decisions about the way we eat, move, and live.” – Harley Pasternak

Kofi Essel Headshot

Kofi Essel


Kofi D. Essel, MD, MPH, FAAP, is the inaugural Food as Medicine Program Director at Elevance Health. As a core member of the Health Outcomes Organization team, he works to coordinate with the broader social impact strategy, health equity, and medical policy initiatives throughout the enterprise. He leads efforts in designing innovative approaches to address diet related chronic diseases and social risk using novel food interventions.

Dr. Essel is a board-certified community pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital(CNH) and Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University(GWU) School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Most recently serving as the Director of the GWU Culinary Medicine Program. Dr. Essel has dedicated his career to advocacy/research around healthcare and public health workforce training, health disparities, and community engagement, with expertise and national recognition in the areas of addressing diet related chronic disease and food insecurity with patients and families.

Dr. Essel sits on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Obesity Solutions’ Lived Experience Innovation Collaborative and was nationally recognized by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for helping to create an innovative curriculum to enhance pediatric resident trainee skills on nutrition related disease management. Dr. Essel sits on the board of directors for the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and serves as physician advisor for the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “Veggies Early & Often” campaign. Dr. Essel is a member of the executive committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Obesity. He also co-authored a national toolkit for pediatric providers to address food insecurity in their clinical settings with the AAP and FRAC. Dr. Essel earned a B.S. from Emory University with a focus on human biology/anthropology and earned his M.D. and M.P.H. in Epidemiology from GWU.

Chavanne Hanson


Chavanne Hanson is Google’s Food Choice Architect and Nutrition Manager on the Global Food Team. She joined Google in December 2018. The Google Food Team is responsible for creating food experiences that promote collaboration and engage and energize Googlers each and every day. With cafes, teaching kitchens and events that serve thousands of meals each day, the team works with a variety of partners and suppliers to deliver delicious, nutritious food and innovative experiences to fuel Google’s culture and future. Chavanne will be working to creatively leverage nutrition sciences programming, food choice architecture, behavioral sciences and the development of well-being approaches in order to create meaningful user experiences for Googlers. Building on this work, she is deeply motivated to work with the Food Team as well as the broader Google network to inspire and enable the world to make food choices and use food experiences to develop more sustainable lifestyles and communities.

Before joining Google, Hanson was the assistant vice president and senior public affairs manager of Nutrition, Health & Wellness at Nestlé SA located in Vevey, Switzerland. Early in her tenure at Nestlé, Chavanne served as a Nutrition Communications Manager/Market Nutritionist where she championed Nutrition, Health & Wellness initiatives for the Nestlé Prepared Foods Company and supported Nestlé USA health & wellness growth. As the Nestlé USA Wellness Champion she expanded her role beyond Prepared Foods to work with each of the retail divisions to build Nestlé’s overall Nutrition, Health & Wellness image.

Prior to joining Nestlé, Chavanne enjoyed a varied career. She got her start in the nutrition field helping to develop and implement a preventive cardiology program for University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. She went on to become the Associate Producer for the Gathering Place television series and nutrition communications consultant to Graham Kerr, one of the first television chefs and recognized as the “Galloping Gourmet”. Chavanne has taught the nutrition component of healthy cooking classes at the Loretta Paganini School of Cooking as well as Culinary Nutrition for Chefs in Training at Schoolcraft College in Michigan. She has also been involved with various publications such as co-author of My Personal Path to Wellness Journal, did recipe testing and development for the Health Guaranteed Cookbook.

Chavanne received her B.S. in dietetics from Baylor University and her M.P.H. in human nutrition from the University of Michigan.

Aviad “Adi” Haramati


Aviad “Adi” Haramati, PhD, is an award-winning Professor of Integrative Physiology and Medicine, and Founding Director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE) at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC. He also serves as co-director of the graduate program in Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences at Georgetown. He is the founding vice-chair of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health and served as chair of numerous international congresses in integrative medicine and in health professions education. In addition to co-directing the Renal Module for first year medical students, Dr. Haramati also teaches mindful practices to medical students, residents and faculty to foster professional identity formation and well-being. His sessions on Mindful Eating and Mind-Body Medicine were part of the CME course on Healthy Eating, Healthy Lives, sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America. Dr. Haramati is a past-president of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE), former member of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), a member of the Governing Committee of Association of Medical Education in Europe, and a member of the Executive Council of the World Federation for Medical Education. He has been a visiting professor at over 100 medical schools worldwide.

Adante Hart


Adante Hart is a Registered Dietitian, nutrition educator, speaker, and enthusiast of all things food, culture, and health. He strives to advance food sovereignty, and increase community and individual agency over wellbeing and quality of life. Drawing from a wealth of experience working in and around food, from academia to agriculture, farming, healthcare, restaurants, and non-profits, Adante presents on topics that reside at the intersection of nutrition, accessibility, foodways, and health. He currently serves as an Outreach Dietitian for Oldways and has served in various roles with Rouxbe Cooking School, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and the National Organization of Blacks in Nutrition and Dietetics (NOBIDAN). Additionally, Adante serves as a Team Member of Tall Grass Food Box, a community-supported agriculture business that supports and encourages the sustainability of Black farmers in local food systems. He holds an MPH from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BS from The Johns Hopkins University. He currently resides in Raleigh, NC and enjoys all things related to food, technology, and media production.

Robert Israel


Robert Israel, MD, is an internist and aspirant chef, life time good eater and attendee at one of the first Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conferences (and several subsequently) which changed his life and his practice dramatically. Since then he has more successfully incorporated lifestyle medicine and culinary medicine into his practice. With a lot of help from like-minded people at USA Health he now has a teaching kitchen in his office. Classes are held regularly there for medical and nursing students, high school students, the public, and patients as well. Most importantly, the USA Health system has been most supportive and indeed in another year or so we will have three teaching kitchens in the system.

The TKC has been a great resource for us since we joined in 2020. My own dietary choices have changed to almost all whole foods, mostly plant forward, less meat and sugar and almost no highly processed foods and I now crave vegetables. I am passionate about the plant forward movement both for personal health and also for planetary health. I strongly believe that a healthier community is a wealthier, happier, and more equitable community. Sustainability, equity, and planetary health are important to us here.

My vision for teaching kitchens is that in the near future all communities will have exposure to this resource either in person or via the web.

Mary Jo Kreitzer


Mary Jo Kreitzer PhD, RN, FAAN is the founder and director of the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota where she also serves as a tenured professor in the School of Nursing. She has served as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of numerous clinical trials focusing on mindfulness meditation with persons with chronic disease including studies focusing on solid organ transplant, cardiovascular disease, chronic insomnia, diabetes, and caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies include the use of social technology to enhance healing and wellbeing and the impact of mindfulness on brain-computer interface performance.

Dr. Kreitzer has authored over 150 publications and is the co-editor of the text Integrative Nursing 2nd Edition published in 2019 by Oxford University Press. She earned her doctoral degree in public health focused on health services research, policy and administration, and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Dr. Kreitzer was named in 2020 as one of the 100 most influential health care leaders in Minnesota by MN Physician. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a distinguished policy fellow in the National Academies of Practice and a Fellow Ad Eundem of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Save the Date:
TKC Symposium &
Annual Members Meeting

November 13-15, 2024
Salt Lake City, UT

Learn more about teaching kitchen innovation.