About CHEF Coaching


The CHEF Coaching program has two components: culinary coaching research and education. The two components go together. The program studies effective methods to improve the nutrition of individuals, and then immediately translates this into practice through the educational component.

CHEF Coaching is designed to provide easy to follow culinary instruction and education directly to patients to reduce costs and improve the quality of food preparation in the home. CHEF Coaching also offers “train the trainer” instruction for healthcare professionals and chefs.


In 2014, a culinary coaching approach was developed by Rani Polak, MD, CHEF, Health Coach, at the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, Harvard Medical School, to improve nutrition through a two-pronged approach, combining culinary training and coaching. Culinary coaching is defined as a “behavioral intervention that aims to improve nutrition and overall health by facilitating home cooking through an active learning process for participants that combines culinary training with health and wellness coaching competencies.”

Why choose CHEF Coaching?

  • CHEF Coaching is the only culinary medicine program focused on overcoming proven barriers to home cooking using behavioral change techniques.
  • CHEF Coaching is a unique, tele-medicine approach, decreasing culinary education costs and improving program access.
  • CHEF Coaching is a culinary medicine program applicable to all diets and healthy eating plans.


CHEF Coaching Program Accomplishments


  • CHEF Coaching for Patients successfully developed and piloted


  • CHEF Coaching for Patients implemented as a service at Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA
  • The first culinary medicine program to be presented during an American College of Lifestyle Medicine annual conference
  • The first culinary medicine program to be presented during Harvard Medical School, Department of Nutrition grand rounds
  • CHEF Coaching Module integrated as part of the Lifestyle Medicine rotation for the Yale School of Medicine’s combined Internal Medicine/Preventive Medicine residency program
  • CHEF Coaching for Clinicians approved for continuing education credits by Wellcoaches®


  • CHEF Coaching for Patients is first program of its kind to be approved for health insurance billing
  • Approved as a program within The Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School
  • Receives grant from Vela Foundation to develop CHEF Coaching for clinicians
  • CHEF Coaching for clinicians implemented as a service at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • American College of Preventative Medicine selects CHEF Coaching to develop the Culinary Medicine module of the National Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Curriculum
  • Harvard Medical School approves onsite component of Clinician CHEF Coaching for Continuing Medical Education credits


  • Paper with culinary coaching definition accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journal
  • Harvard Medical School approves small group practice component of Clinician CHEF Coaching for Continuing Medical Education credits
  • Culinary coaching module included in Veterans Administration’s physicians’ assistant training program
  • A Culinary Medicine Task Force, led by the CHEF Coaching program director, founded as one of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) communities
  • CHEF Coaching for clinicians implemented as a service during Lifestyle Medicine, Tools for Promoting Healthy Change conference, Harvard Medical School


  • Cook With a Doc: culinary telemedicine module that allows clinicians to cook with their patients added to CHEF Coaching for Clinicians
  • CHEF Coaching wins three-year grant to evaluate the impact of the culinary coaching program on patient’s BMI
  • First report to describe the impact of the CHEF Coaching for Clinicians training published
  • CHEF Coaching for Clinicians approved for continuing education credits by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • CHEF Coaching for Clinicians included during Lifestyle Medicine In Day-to-Day Practice conference, Harvard Medical School


CHEF Coaching Scientific Publications

CHEF Coaching Articles

CHEF Coaching Graduates in the News


CHEF Coaching Leadership

Margaret Moore, MBA


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For additional information about the CHEF Coaching program contact:

Phone: (617) 651-2433

Email: chefcoaching@instituteoflifestylemedicine.org