Why This New York City Doctor Went to Culinary School

When was the last time you asked your doctor for his or their soup recipe? Probably never but that’s something Dr. Robert Graham, a recent graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef’s Training Program, wants to change.

Over the past 11 months Graham who owns the integrative health practice, Fresh Med, underwent 600 hours of culinary education. The program, licensed by the New York State Department of Education and nationally accredited focuses on healthy cooking. Students attend full or part-time and learn cooking techniques, how to source ingredients, how food can heal, recipes for traditional flourless, vegan and gluten-free desserts and breads and business principles as well as complete an internship in a professional kitchen.

“The difference between a cook and a good chef is how to pick best ingredients and how to optimize the technique,” says Graham who has always had an interest in food.

As a child growing up in Jackson Heights, his mother cooked family meals every day telling him “there no greater expression of love than cooking for someone else.” As a doctor, Graham is influenced both by his mother’s focus on food and by his dad who was a conventional biochemist. Throughout his education, his previous work at Lenox Hill Hospital in his practice and at home he stresses how food can heal. [Full Article]