A holistic chef is a skilled culinary artist that creates meals with the whole person in mind. The nutrition content of the ingredients being used is important as well as how how the person will feel after they eat that meal. Menus are created with balance in mind, seasonality, dietary restrictions, and overall satisfaction. A holistic chef focuses on using whole, real, nutrient dense foods in their cooking. This means less pre-packed foods, nothing overly processed and real food sweeteners instead of white sugar. A holistic chef may have a nutrition background, many nutrition certifications, or a past career working as a dietician, nutritionist or health coach as well. Usually there is a person story as to why they care about the foods they are making and how it affects the health of their clients.
What does “Holistic” Mean?
/hōˈlistik/: of or relating to the whole. Characterized by the treatment of the whole person, relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts. It is the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
I named my business as soon as I graduated from Culinary School. The words “Holistic Chef” kept coming to me because those were the words that most felt like how I approached food and cooking. I believe in culinary medicine, that food can heal. My own health journey showed me that many of our symptoms can be traced back to what we eat. I wanted to look at the whole person, their overall health goals when I thought about what to cook for them. Making food taste great is a wonderful skill and goal to have, but I also wanted the person eating my food to FEEL good afterwards.
The term “culinary medicine” implies that there is a direct relationship between the food we eat and our personal health and wellness. Culinary medicine is starting to be researched where the art of food and cooking is blended with the science of medicine and measuring outcomes. Considering that food IS medicine means that high-quality, nutrient dense meals can help prevent and treat disease and restore well-being.
In this philosophy, there aren’t specific foods and diets that are “right” for everyone. Culinary Medicine is applied to each person individually, considering these questions:
- What foods will help this person feel better
- What season are we in, do they need hot foods or cold foods
- Are there any mineral or vitamin deficiencies that their meals can help boost back up
- How is their digestion, strong or weak?
- Are they in a health crisis that warrants a specific diet
How to Find a Holistic Chef
If you are looking for a holistic-style chef in your area, I put together a list of questions that will be helpful as you talk to candidates. Make sure they fit your needs. You can also look for certain words on their website like “natural chef” or “health supportive meals”.
You can search for chefs across the country here by individual state, county and/or zip code: www.hireachef.com.