Iowa State Workshop Designed to Enhance Culinary, Nutrition Skills

April 29th, 2009

AMES, Iowa - People interested in increasing their culinary and nutrition skills can do so this summer at a workshop at Iowa State University. "Enhance Your Iowa Plate" will be held in Ames July 30-31.

"The workshop will provide skills and knowledge for those interested in food and healthy cooking," said Jean Anderson, senior clinician in Iowa State's food science and human nutrition department. "Registered dietitians will gain information to use with clients and patients. The information also will be useful to train kitchen staff in hospitals, schools and long term care residences. Others will learn new tricks to provide quick, nutritious, tasty meals for family and friends."

Those attending the conference will get hands-on experience and learn about proper meat cooking techniques, culinary knife skills and fresh fruit and vegetable preparation. Nutrition, menu planning, culinary trends and much more will be part of the conference's focus.

"This conference will offer participants a unique opportunity to learn from ISU Dining's professionally trained chefs," said Erica Beirman, Iowa State's culinary science coordinator.

Beirman coordinates Iowa State's new undergraduate degree program in culinary science, which was approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, in July 2008. The program blends food science and technology with creative aspects of food preparation. It's academic home is the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, which is co-located in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Sciences.

Increasing consumer interest in health and nutrition led to the development of the new culinary sciences major, and the same is true for the workshop.

Workshop participants will practice their culinary skills as well as visit and shop at the West Des Moines Farmers' Market. They'll work with chefs to learn proper techniques for preparing a variety of produce items purchased at the market.

Seating is limited to the first 50 people who register. Early-bird registration, before June 30, is $149. After that, registration for the two-day conference is $199. Registrants also can opt to attend a tasting of Iowa's finest wines, spirits and beers on July 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The tasting will discuss food and wine pairings and is an additional $40.

Registered dietitians can receive 12 continuing professional education units by attending the conference. All participants will receive a certificate of completion and a CD of recipes.

More conference details and online registration is available here.


Erica Beirman, Food Science and Human Nutrition, (515) 294-4361,

Cathy Curtis, Human Sciences Communications, (515) 294-8175,

Susan Thompson, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communication Service, (515) 294-0705,