Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine: Teaching Kitchen Spotlight

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH

What they do: The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine (GCCM) within the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, provides hands-on culinary training and nutrition education for medical students, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. The center focuses on training future physicians, and providing continuing medical education to practicing physicians, to offer their patients practical diet and lifestyle modifications in order to improve their health.

GCCM also offers free nutrition-focused cooking classes for community members and private two-hour classes for up to 20 people.  

How they do it: The center involves students, professionals, and community members in different ways.

  • All Tulane undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to volunteer at GCCM to help classes run smoothly and ensure a positive experience for class participants. 
  • First- and second-year medical students are required to complete several culinary medicine modules as part of their Foundations in Medicine coursework. They also have the option to enroll in an elective course in which they have the opportunity to practice counseling patients in GCCM community cooking classes, or in a stand-alone culinary medicine elective. Both elective options include hands-on cooking classes that link fundamental nutrition principles with basic cooking skills.  
  • Third- and fourth-year medical students are eligible to complete a month-long rotation at the teaching kitchen. The rotation includes basic culinary education, including knife skills, safety, and sanitation, and students help to provide nutrition education during classes for other medical students, professionals, and community members. Students in this rotation are required to complete eight core culinary medicine modules, a brief research project, and a curriculum development project. Fourth-year students may also participate in a month-long rotation learning culinary medicine at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. 
  • GCCM also provides hands-on culinary medicine training to Tulane medical residents in several specialties, including internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and OB/GYN.
  • GCCM hosts dietetic interns who participate in a two-week rotation working alongside chefs, registered dietitians, physicians, medical students, culinary interns, undergraduate students, and community members. Interns help lead culinary medicine classes, complete a research project, develop curriculum materials, and create a seasonal recipe.
  • Healthcare professionals can take continuing medical education (CME) classes through Health Meets Food to earn up to four continuing education credits per module. CME sessions use hands-on cooking classes at GCCM to give professionals evidence-based information on how to educate patients about nutrition. 
  • Community members may sign up for free cooking classes that are offered in six-week series and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Professional chefs and Tulane medical students teach healthful cooking and nutrition concepts to use at home, basic cooking skills, and how to meal plan, shop, and eat well on a budget. Separate sessions are offered for kids ages 8 to 12, adults (and children at least 13 years old), and families with children at least 5 years old. 

Mission: To educate and train future physicians to understand and apply nutrition principles in a practical way, and to empower participants to improve their health by learning how to plan, shop for, and cook food that is both nutritious and delicious.

Major Funding: not disclosed

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: not disclosed

Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect health: GCCM was the first teaching kitchen to be implemented in the context of a medical school. The Health Meets Food curriculum, which is now used at more than 60 academic medical centers in the US, was first piloted at GCCM. 


300 N. Broad St, Ste 102
New Orleans, LA 70119

Core Programs: Teaching kitchen, culinary medicine

Number of staff: 4

Number of volunteers: not disclosed

Areas served: New Orleans, LA

Year Started: 2012

Director of Operations and Executive Chef: Heather Nace, RD, LDN 

Contact Information: Email: | Phone: (504) 988-9108

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