Learn How to Use Food as (Preventive) Medicine with Chef Andrea Beaman


Want to live a longer, healthier life? You may need to change the way you’ve been eating. With the link between longevity and nutrition more prominent—and publicized—than ever, we all know the old adage is true: you are what you eat.

What we might not know, however, is how to cook nutritious foods so they taste as good as anything; that there are specific foods that help mitigate the symptoms of specific diseases (and, at times, can even resolve or completely prevent them); or that the Food Lab at Stony Brook Southampton is offering a course on Saturday, October 22, that will teach you all of these things and more.

Natural chef and holistic health expert Andrea Beaman (Top Chef, The View, CBS News) will lead the one-day immersion in cooking to prevent disease. Participants will learn basic cooking and nutrition skills, as well as how to eat in order to help prevent heart disease, cancer and stroke (the three leading causes of death in America).

“The Food Lab reached out to me, because they wanted to offer a course that would make food literacy and nutrition accessible to everyone,” says Beaman. “Everybody is trying to use food as medicine. Everybody is saying, ‘You gotta eat well.’ And that’s true, obviously, but there are energetics of food that need to be discussed. And we’ll discuss them in this workshop.”

Also on Beaman’s to-teach list: the various herbs and spices that treat specific conditions, how different methods of cooking affects our food (and then, in turn, our bodies), where we need to source our food and why.

Organically grown herbs in the greenhouse at Scarsella’s in Laurel Hollow.

Organically grown herbs in the greenhouse at Scarsella’s in Laurel Hollow.

“For starters, everyone should be eating local, organic food,” says Beaman. “This is not news. In the 1930s and 40s, women left the home and went out into the workplace. This was great, obviously, but in the process, thousands of years of culinary wisdom were lost. We changed the ways we do things. If you go to Italy, an old grandmother will still go out into her garden and pick herbs, put them into a soup, and give it to one who’s suffering. This innate knowledge of how to treat people with food has been lost here, but I’m working hard to give it back to people.”

And Beaman will continue to work hard in passing on this knowledge on Saturday, October 22. Students will leave her workshop with easy-to-implement food principles, new recipes and cooking skills. They will also earn a digital badge to place on their LinkedIn profiles—pixelated proof of the skills they’ve developed and can now pass on themselves—and enjoy a locally-sourced, seasonal lunch.

“People think when they start to change their diet, ‘Oh well, I guess it’s just gonna be sprouts and seeds,'” says Beaman. “This isn’t true at all. You can still enjoy meat and cheese and eggs. Everything just needs to be naturally raised and cooked the right way.”

To pass on that specific knowledge, Beaman is the perfect person for the job.

Chef Andrea Beaman

Chef Andrea Beaman

“It all started with me,” she says. “I had a disease when I was 28 years old. I had goiter and hypothyroidism. I was a chronic dieter at the time and I just knew I needed to change my diet. So, I started eating healthy. My thyroid disease naturally resolved itself.”

The takeaway? Eating well can help resolve your diseases too, and help to prevent a myriad of others.

So, join Chef Beaman at the Food Lab on Saturday, October 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The fee to attend is $175 (which includes lunch, all course materials and food prep). You can register online right here.

“I love teaching this stuff,” says Beaman. “People have all these little lightbulb moments. I can actually see it happening. It’s so important and fun.”

For more information, or to register for Chef Beaman’s Food Literacy for Disease Prevention workshop, please visit the Food Lab’s website.