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Cuisine

We strive to immerse our guests in a Cal-a-Vie culinary experience that embraces mindful eating and reconnects with real food. Our cuisine features nutrient-packed dishes inspired by the garden that are artfully presented and served with genuine hospitality. Our intention is to model authenticity in the way we interact with our food, our health, and the communities in which we live - and empower our guests to do the same.

Proper fitness and nutrition both play an integral role in helping our guests to achieve their personal goals. We've developed a menu that is not only nutritious, but will instill the notion that simple, healthy eatingcan indeed be elevated to a gourmet status. Our commitment to freshness and quality, beauty in presentation and providing the highest nutritional value combines to nourish not only the body, but also the palate and visual senses as well.

The nutritional philosophy that underlies our dietary program reflect the most contemporary understanding among health and nutrition experts - a low-sodium diet high in natural complex carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, legumes, fresh vegetables, and fruit; along with modest amounts of lean animal proteins such as dairy, egg, poultry and fish; plus sparing amounts of natural cold-pressed oils ... all fundamental to enhanced health and longevity.We offer customization to meet specific dietary needs such as gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options.  Our Culinary Team brings a touch of something special to every meal. Whether it is an omelet with herbs and vegetables handpicked that morning, a garden setting luncheon or a cooking demonstration at dinner, our team delivers an experience that entices, educates and enthralls guests.  Working together, they create a culinary excursion that begins with a seed and is delivered with a smile.

 

 

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Our Culinary Team

Curtis Cooke - Executive Chef

Curtis Cooke joined the award winning Cal-a-Vie Health Spa as Executive Chef in 2013. For 16 years prior to that, he helmed the kitchens at some of the most renowned destination spas in the United States. "The foundation for a healthy, happy life begins with food." This concept is at the center of Cooke’s masterful healthy cooking techniques and is incorporated throughout the entire Cal-a-Vie culinary experience. Cooke encourages guests to fall in love with the flavors of nature by his sharing his passion for color, texture, and scent in order to prove that simple, healthy eating can be elevated to gourmet status. For every meal, Chef Curtis strives for the guest to experience the ‘potager to plate’ process and to accent the food by bringing the focus all the way back to the seed.

Chef Curtis enjoys working with guests through his hands on cooking classes and cooking demonstrations.

 

May Tom - R.D. , M.P.H., Nutritionist

May practices a functional medicine approach to diet and lifestyle by addressing underlying causes rather than symptoms. She believes that personalization is the key to success and that there is not a “once-size-fits-all” diet for everyone.

May has an undergraduate degree in animal physiology and neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego. She received her Master’s in public health from Loma Linda University, specializing in nutrition and health education. May has had extensive training and experience in educating and consulting on various topics related to healthy eating, behavior  modification, and achieving optimal health. 

 

 

Ashley Van Leuven - Food and Beverage Manager

Armed with a dream of working in an atmosphere that inspires creativity and encourages a hands-on, personalized approach as it relates to the guest experience, Ashley came to Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in 2013.  She works closely with Executive Chef Curtis Cooke to ensure that guest special requests are met, and to create a warm, welcoming dining atmosphere for the guests to enjoy.

 

 

 

Ellyse Briand - Culinary Gardener

Cal-a-Vie’s expansive garden and culinary program wouldn’t be the same without our Culinary Gardener. Ellyse continues to elevate the property’s potager-to-plate gardening process with new produce, an edible flower program, a green house, and caring for six colonies of dedicated “employbees.”

Ellyse collaborates with the ‘Cal-a-Vie culinary quartet’ (also composed of the executive chef, dietician, and food & beverage manager) to deliver flavorful, fresh ingredients to guests each day from a range of seasonal produce and fresh herbs grown on site. She cultivates heirloom ingredients, plucked at the peak of ripeness, to deliver a culinary experience that is organic, healthy and pesticide-free.  With a focus on seasonal produce cultivated from seeds, Ellyses’s latest culinary endeavor is the expansion of the gardens and she can be seen driving the tractor daily and the garden takes shape.

Ellyse is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and was a member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association until her recent move to California.