Friday, July 17, 2009

City Tech and Woodhull Hospital collaborate on cookbook

Faculty and students at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) and doctors from Woodhull North Brooklyn Health Network have collaborated to create a new cookbook, Cooked to Perfection: Cherished Family Recipes That Are Good for You. The book, which is available through the City Tech Bookstore, features old family recipes donated by clients of 11 North Brooklyn senior centers.

The hospital selected 80 recipes from the many submitted by the seniors, and then passed them along to Robert Minolfo, a nutritionist and City Tech adjunct professor. “Robert reworked the recipes, omitting many of the fats and limiting the ingredients to more nutritious substitutes,” City Tech professor Claire Stewart said in a recent press release.

“Being given the responsibility of reinterpreting these recipes was an honor,” Stewart continued. “Nicole Gajadhar and Sandra Lowe-Stuart--the hospitality management students who tested the recipes with me--shared the goal of respecting their traditions. We carefully measured each item, added seasonings, corrected the amounts, and made the instructions more user-friendly and easier to read. Altogether, we ended up with a nice selection of different ethnic dishes--mostly Spanish, Polish and Jewish.”

After testing the recipes last summer, the hospitality management team passed them on to professor MaryAnn Biehl of City Tech’s advertising design and graphic arts department so that she and her Design Team class could create a design concept for the book.

While the idea for the book was originally hatched by Woodhull North Brooklyn Health Network as a means of teaching dietary lessons to diabetic and elderly patients, it is having a much larger reach. Six local restaurants have agreed to add the dishes to their menus. For example, Chimu's Peruvian Cuisine, located at 482 Union Avenue, serves the cookbook's Stuffed Red Snapper recipe.

(l to r) Claire Stewart, professor of hospitality management, City Tech; Scott Mason, assistant commissioner, Bureau of Senior Centers, New York City Department for the Aging; Narcisa Ruiz, director, Diana Jones Senior Center; Tillie Tarantino, director, Swinging Sixties Senior Center; Sabrina Ramos, director of operations and special projects, New York City Department for the Aging; Iris Jimenez-Hernandez, senior vice president, Woodhull North Brooklyn Health Network; Barbara Grumet, dean, school of professional studies, City Tech; Brenda Johnson, director, Willoughby Senior Center, City Tech students Sandra Lowe-Stuart and Nicole Gajadhar, and Wajciech Mleczko, director, Polish Slavic Senior Center