A Teaching Kitchen as an Asset for the Whole University Community
The UBC membership is a collaboration between the BC Brain Wellness Program and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, which houses the Dietetics program at UBC. The renovated culinary lab in the Food, Nutrition, and Health building, called Vij’s Kitchen, was named for Chef Vikram Vij, who donated $250,000 toward the culinary lab’s renovation. The kitchen has six kitchen stations, a demonstration kitchen, and new audiovisual equipment. Its uses span undergraduate and graduate dietetic student instruction; nutrition education of varsity sports teams; and inter-professional nutrition education of dental hygiene students and dietitian students.
The membership partner, BC Brain Wellness Program, is a unique and interactive program establishing clinically relevant lifestyle approaches to complement medical treatment in the clinics at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at UBC. The program’s goal is to improve and sustain quality of life and function for its participants while pursuing rigorous research into lifestyle interventions for brain health. The team currently offers 27 different free lifestyle based courses to over 1,100 individuals. They plan to offer a weekly nutrition and cooking class for program participants to help promote nutrition in the role of healing. They also aim to offer culinary medicine for members of allied health/medicine through inter-professional collaboration between physicians and registered dietitians. Finally, a research project is also underway that will include a nutrition class for healthy agers. The BC Brain Wellness Program is designed as a learning health care system—it will continuously evolve and improve based on research findings and feedback from participants.