Culinary Medicine Program

Dallas, TX

500

People served since 2021

Using the Life-changing Power of Teaching Kitchens to Transform the Health of the Community

With the institutional mission of UT Southwestern to educate, discover, and heal, this academic medical center owes its teaching kitchen program to just one physician and one culinary-trained dietitian. Education has been the foundation of the program. The team offers inter-professional training to a group of 50 students including medical, physician’s assistant, physical therapy, dietetic, and other graduate students annually. In order to enhance the diversity of future leaders and serve a more diverse population in the future, the team trains bilingual medical and dietetic students in culinary medicine. UT Southwestern also hosts graduate medical programs including pediatric and family medicine residencies and gastroenterology fellowships. 

The team has also expanded to the research space with both education-based studies and a grant-funded clinical trial with Spanish-speaking participants. This has been an opportunity to target efforts to promote food equity, which requires concurrent study of the many factors driving access, sustainability, and scalability, particularly as it impacts communities that bear the greatest burden of disease due to systemic societal oppression. They have worked with students and community health workers in the past to reach underserved communities. A new teaching kitchen in south Dallas will provide a community space to offer culinary medicine as both a patient care model and a community engagement opportunity.

Snapshot

Key Demographics

  • 6 community organization partners to promote food as medicine in low-income areas in Dallas/Fort Worth with 2 community-based grants funding our work
  • 118 hours spent in direct hands-on cooking classes in 2021
  • 514 unique learners in 2021
Quick Facts

2

1 physician, 1 registered dietitian

Built-in kitchen in a university setting

IMPACT

Learning in a teaching kitchen is a unique opportunity that combines practical cooking skills with relevant food-related knowledge in a way that's unmatched by any other nutrition education experience. Culinary medicine explores the intersectionality between various real-world factors that impact one's ability to prepare and access nutritious meals. This training has helped me become more confident, inclusive, and knowledgeable about the impact that food has on overall health and wellness.

Brooklynne Palmer3rd year medical student and graduate of UTSW Culinary Medicine Program

Publications

Magallanes E, Sen A, Siler M, Albin J. Nutrition from the kitchen: culinary medicine impacts students’ counseling confidence. BMC Med Educ2021 Feb 4;21(1):88doi: 10.1186/s12909-021-02512-2. PubMed PMID: 33541352; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7863372.

Marshall H, Albin J. Food as Medicine: A Pilot Nutrition and Cooking Curriculum for Children of Participants in a Community-Based Culinary Medicine Class. Matern Child Health J2021 Jan;25(1):54-58doi: 10.1007/s10995-020-03031-0. Epub 2020 Nov 16. PubMed PMID: 33200324.

Press

UT Southwestern Newsroom, “Culinary Medicine programs aim to improve nutrition education for doctors,” September 2022

Dmagazine.com, “The Food as Medicine Movement Is Gaining Momentum in Dallas,” February 2021

Sonia’s Inner Circle, “Heart Healthy Recipes Using Lentils,” February 2020

Southwestern Medical Foundation, “Culinary Medicine: A Fresh Outlook on Food & Medicine,” March 2019

Southwestern Medical Foundation, “Culinary Medicine: Through a Med Student’s Eyes,” March 2019