May 21, 2020 by Nancy Eagleton
Celebrity Chef Cindy Hutson to Infuse Cancer Patients’ Palates with Culinary Delights
(Miami Cancer Institute names Celebrity Chef Cindy Hutson its culinary ambassador.)
Flavorful, five-star quality food is joining leading clinical care on the menu of services available to patients at Miami Cancer Institute when it opens in January 2017. Celebrity Chef Cindy Hutson will serve as culinary ambassador for Miami Cancer Institute, teaming with nutritionists and other healthcare professionals to develop healthy dishes and recipes that will benefit cancer patients during and after treatment.
“We are thrilled to have Chef Cindy join our team,” said Michael J. Zinner, M.D., founding CEO and executive medical director of Miami Cancer Institute. “The food we eat plays a role in the development of cancer, and once cancer is diagnosed, appropriate nutritional support really helps patients recover from their treatment.”
The partnership was announced in front of Miami Cancer Institute patients, doctors and administrators at Hutson’s famed Coral Gables restaurant Ortanique on the Mile. Dr. Zinner – a Board-certified surgeon whose culinary interests have included cooking beside some of the country’s renowned chefs as an apprentice – joined Hutson and three patients in preparing a gourmet salad and bisque made with some of the healing ingredients Hutson will use in her culinary creations for the Institute. Scientific evidence has shown the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals in ginger, garlic, squash, kale, pomegranate and other similar foods can help fight cancer.
“This project is close to my heart because my mother battled cancer,” Hutson said. “Through her, I learned to create cancer-fighting foods with emphasis on high antioxidants, low fat and high fiber while still keeping it fresh and tasting great. We are going to do the same for patients, including educating them and inviting them to participate in programs about how to prepare nutritious foods.” Hutson’s mother is a colon cancer survivor.
“Nutrition is a critical component of promoting wellness and cancer prevention,” said M. Beatriz Currier, M.D., medical director for cancer patient support services at Miami Cancer Institute. “Bringing in a highly regarded and talented culinary expert like Chef Cindy will help patients commit to making the lifestyle changes often needed to beat and reduce the risk of being diagnosed with cancer.”
Leonard A. Kalman, M.D., deputy medical director and chief clinical officer of Miami Cancer Institute, echoed the enthusiasm for the culinary alliance. “It’s exciting that our patients will have the advantage of having wonderful food that looks and tastes great,” he said.
Chef Cindy Hutson is chef-owner of Ortanique on the Mile in Coral Gables. When Ortanique opened 17 years ago, Esquire and Bon Apetit recognized it as a “Best New Restaurant’ and Conde Nast honored it with one of their “Hot Table” concepts award. The culinary empire built by Chef Cindy and life/business partner Delius Shirley began with opening Norma’s on the Beach in Miami in 1994. They recently opened two restaurants named Zest in downtown Miami and at The Cliff Hotel in Negril, Jamaica. Hutson’s first cookbook, From the Tip of My Tongue,” was awarded the 2015 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for “Best Woman Chef Cookbook in the United States.”
Baptist Health South Florida is developing Miami Cancer Institute into a destination cancer center known for leading clinical care, exceptional patient experience, advanced clinic research and the state-of-the-art technology, including the first proton therapy center in South Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean. To accelerate its mission of hope, caring and innovation, Miami Cancer Institute has announced plans to join the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, a dynamic partnership that will ultimately enable cancer patients to access potential breakthrough therapies in South Florida.