# of people served since joining TKC

Member since 2023

Department of Nutrition Leads a Robust Undergraduate, Graduate, and Medical Student Teaching Program Devoted to Nutrition-focused Culinary Instruction

The Department of Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is nested in the School of Medicine and reaches undergraduate, graduate, and medical students with nutrition focused culinary instruction. The department offers undergraduate courses titled Case Cooks that are open to all undergraduates, regardless of major. The goal is to introduce students to basic cooking techniques; explore the role of food in culture, health and well-being; and to build confidence in the kitchen while exposing them to new foods, cooking techniques, and recipes. Students enrolled in the multiple masters level nutrition and public health degree programs also have the opportunity to get involved with departmental community-based nutrition interventions or specialized study.

The department also leads the Jack, Joseph, Morton Mandel Wellness Pathway for medical students with a nationally award-winning curriculum focused on lifestyle and culinary medicine. The Pathway is one of eight extra-curricular pathways for medical students and currently has the highest number of enrolled pathway students (170). Its core curriculum competencies help physicians guide their patients (and themselves) towards prescribing healthy lifestyles and engaging in wellness promotion behaviors.

Lastly, CWRU has community-based culinary medicine research interventions that specifically aim to mitigate health disparities and improve health outcomes among underserved populations. These interventions have been specifically designed to demonstrate high levels of cultural humility across all aspects, including recruitment, foods/recipes included, participants incentives, site location, transportation, etc.

In its new 2,400 square foot Teaching Kitchen that can accommodate 48 participants, a demo area, and live stream instruction, the workstations are designed to recreate the home cook environment. The hands-on classes in the teaching kitchen are designed to empower participants to improve their own health and those of their future patients by creating healthy, culturally diverse meals while learning to shop, plan, cook and store foods that contribute to dietary patterns that meet current Dietary Guidelines.


Key Data

  • Case Western’s state-of-the-art teaching kitchen will be open for classes in April 2023, with a 2,400-square-foot facility accommodating 48 participants via 6 workstations with capability for concurrent live stream instruction.
Quick Facts


10 Dietitians, 8 Physicians, 1 Registered Nurse, 1 Exercise Physiologist, 1 Psychologist

Built-in kitchen in the community


"The JJM Mandel Wellness Pathway through the Nutrition Department advocates for and integrates learning activities to help medical students maintain a healthy lifestyle and understand stress management techniques. Hands-on culinary labs get students into the kitchen, helping us understand exactly what some dietary recommendations entail, and how to make cooking easier. I plan to draw on these experiences when talking to patients about healthy lifestyle change."

Case Western Reserve University Medical Student


McManus C, Barkoukis H, Burns A, Ricelli O, McWhorter JW, Harris SR. Preparing Registered Dietitian Nutritionists for Leadership in Culinary Medicine: Opportunities, Barriers, and Alternatives in Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Education and TrainingJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Published online February 3, 2023.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2023.01.015 

S. Harris, H. Barkoukis, J. McWhorter, O. Ricelli, A. Burns, C. McManus,
Culinary Medicine Education: Curriculum inclusion and Program Director Attitudes, Beliefs and Confidence in ACEND Accredited Programs with a Supervised Practice Component, J Acad Nutr Diet. 2022;122(10)A104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2022.08.047.

C. McManus, H. Barkoukis. Positioning the Registered Dietitian for Culinary-Centric Research. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2021 Sept;121(9S)A45. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2021.06.125.

McManus C, Barkoukis H, Kim R, Nguyen J. 907-P: Diabetes-Inspired Culinary Education (DICE): An Innovative Approach to Type 1 Diabetes Management through Culinary Medicine. Diabetes 1 June 2021; 70 (Supplement_1): 907–P. https://doi.org/10.2337/db21-907-P

Barkoukis H, Swain J, Rogers C, Harris SR. Culinary Medicine and the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist: Time for a Leadership Role. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2019 Oct;119(10):1607-1612. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2019.01.012. 


Ideastream Public Media, “Case opens new kitchen classroom to help expand teaching of food as medicine,” April 2023.


In 2018, Case Western was awarded the “Innovation in Teaching Future Healthcare Professionals” by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation

In 2020, Catherine McManus was awarded the “Mary Abbott Hess Award” for Recognition of an Innovative Food/Culinary Effort through the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, for her work on Diabetes Inspired Culinary Education