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Inaugural Wellness Event Ushers in the New Year: The Art and Science of Cuisine

Ron Evans and Geoff Wahl

From left: Professor Ron Evans and Chef Nathan Coulon and Chef Su-Mei Yu with Salk scientist Geoff Wahl

Fuel for both the mind and body will be the theme in January when the Salk Institute introduces The Art & Science of Cuisine, blending the most recent nutritional discoveries with novel culinary concepts.

Guests at the mixer will have the opportunity to meet some of San Diego's most innovative chefs, sample their cooking and learn how to optimize nutrition in home-cooked meals. Complementing the fare will be up-to-the-minute information from Salk scientists about the latest research into the links between nutrition and health, and the role diet may play in disease risk.

San Diego has long been known for its dynamic restaurant scene, and the city regularly tops lists for active living. Many local chefs have made it a priority to serve the freshest, most healthful fare—food that not only pleases the palate but nourishes the body. Deborah Szekely, the honorary chair of the event, cofounded the renowned spas The Golden Door and Rancho La Puerta and at 91 embodies the power of mindful eating. Szekel has written three cookbooks and recently launched Wellness Warrior, a nonprofit organization to champion health issues. Featured chefs at the event will include:

Nathan Coulon–executive chef at True Food Kitchen, who takes popular trends in cuisine and pairs them with healthy living. His menu features seasonal recipes that emphasize locally grown organic ingredients.

Isabel Cruz–owner of three restaurants in San Diego and two in Oregon and known for her innovative blending of Latin and Asian cuisines. Her recipes produce meals that are not only delicious but are good for you.

Joy Houston–a certified Raw Food Nutrition Educator who helps people incorporate more fresh foods into their everyday diet. She has been featured on TV and in magazines for various aspects of healthy eating, raw food, superfoods and juicing.

Denise Roa–chef at Rancho La Puerta, who fuses the culinary and cultural heritages of her own life with the healthful "spa cuisine" dining pioneered by Rancho La Puerta. The resort has never focused on caloric deprivation, but instead celebrates the seasons of its own farm and organic produce suppliers with a cuisine that is colorful, zesty, and satisfying—the kind of food that fuels a life of vigorous activity.

Su-Mei Yu–owner of the popular Thai restaurant Saffron. Yu serves only the freshest seasonal ingredients "to offer food for the body, mind and soul." Host of the TV show Savor San Diego, she is a passionate advocate for the local food community.

The Art and Science of Cuisine will take place at the Institute on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. For more information, visit or contact or call 858-453-4100 ext. 1846.