The Chef and The Dietician: The New Dynamic Duo

Pensiero's Twisty Culinary Career Path

Meet Laura Pensiero: she began her career as a professional dietician, working as a meal planner and counselor in hospitals. She decided to further pursue her love of food by attending a New York culinary institute. Now, she's a nutrition counselor for New York's Strang Cancer Prevention Center, has become faculty at Culinary Institute of America, and is about to publish a book with famous chefs Daniel Boulud, Jacques Pepin, and Jacques Torres.

Why The Move?

Pensiero eventually began to realize that her interest was in using food to help prevent disease, a goal that led her quite logically to culinary school. She says, "We're starting to see that dieticians are getting more in touch with food. Many of them are going to culinary schools...Chefs influence what we eat a lot more than medical reports. They have a tremendous power over what the public eats."

Options in Culinary Careers

Adding culinary school to dietician training will greatly expand your job opportunities. Residential schools, factories, health centers, fitness spas, and even star-rated hotels are often eager to hire someone who can both inform their clients of solid food choices, and direct them toward cooking methods and recipes that will help them commit to their choices.

Culinary school will prepare you for your career, but you might also think about your other skills and interests, and ask how they can help boost your career as a chef.