Culinary Medicine Society

The medical students who make up our leadership board, the Culinary Medicine Society, help to keep current Tulane medical students engaged in teaching kitchen activities. They help spread the word about opportunities for students to get involved and assist in scheduling medical student volunteers for our community cooking classes. They plan and staff community outreach events as well as student outreach cooking classes and parties throughout the year. They help manage our kids’ programming and assist with social media. We couldn’t do what we do without their help!

 

2022-2023 Leadership 

 

Tatjana Mortell

President

Email: tmortell@tulane.edu 

“Hello everyone! My name is Tatjana Mortell and I am excited to serve as the CMS President for the 2022-23 academic year. My passion for food and cooking began in high school while working in the cafe at a popular gym. It was then that I began to appreciate nutrition as a powerful tool for our health, however, the importance of it in medicine is often overlooked in the medical school curriculum.  The GCCM was one of my draws to attending medical school at Tulane given the unique opportunity to learn a knowledge set that will allow me to provide my patients with the most comprehensive care. This is especially important to me given the severity and prevalence of multifactorial ‘lifestyle diseases’ like heart disease and diabetes in the United States. As President of the CMS I hope to share my passion for Culinary Medicine with my classmates, help advocate for increased and improved learning opportunities for medical students, and continue to grow initiatives that uplift and improve the health of the New Orleans community.”

 


 

Truman Nguyen

Treasurer

Email: tnguye36@tulane.edu 

“I grew up around people who were very passionate about food and that love was passed onto me. Since I was young, I always saw food and eating as more than just something we all do to stay alive. It can be one of the most powerful means of expression and communication precisely because it’s a thing that each person has in common. I can’t wait to help the Culinary Medicine Society and Teaching Kitchen share that common language of food with the folks who come through!”


 

Arianna Lehuquet

Secretary/Social Media Coordinator

Email: alehuquet@tulane.edu

“Some of my favorite memories growing up are the ones in my Grandpa’s kitchen learning the recipes that have been in my family for generations. Through food and cooking, I learned the rich history of who came before me and the power that sharing meals with others holds. I am excited that my two passions, food and medicine, have a space to coexist here in the Teaching Kitchen and am excited to further promote physical and mental wellness through the art of cooking.” 


 

Pranali Gandhi 

Community Outreach Coordinator

Email: pgandhi2@tulane.edu 

“Growing up in an Indian family fostered my love for treating food as medicine and as a result of my service experiences, I have become passionate about improving access to nutrition education and nutritious foods. Learning to cook from my mother not only kept me connected to Indian culture but also taught me about the various health benefits of the spices we used every day. I am excited to be part of the Culinary Medicine Society because the teaching kitchen is a unique meeting place for the community and future medical professionals to learn from each other!”

 


 

Arriel Shirazi 

Community Outreach Coordinator

Email: ashiraz@tulane.edu

“My love for cooking stems from the role food plays in bringing my family together at the end of the week to share stories, laugh, and celebrate life. CMS creates the perfect recipe by combining medical student education with community engagement to empower a healthier generation in New Orleans. I am excited to join the team and build a culture of healthy, creative, and delicious eating in the New Orleans community!”

 


 

Brianne Futa 

Community Outreach Coordinator

Email: bfuta@tulane.edu 

“Growing up, my mom was always in the kitchen cooking or baking for us. She was always trying new recipes, and as I grew older, I started to learn from her too. Cooking is now something I enjoy doing in my free time, and I truly believe that food has the power to connect people. I hope to become more engaged with the community through this role and show others how enjoyable cooking can be.”

 


 

Abigail Mohr 

Service Learning Coordinator

Email: amohr@tulane.edu 

“The majority of a person’s life is spent planning, cooking, and consuming food, and I want to ensure that this is both a fun and nutritious experience for each of my future patients! I hail from the Southeast part of the U.S., where it is nearly impossible to connect with friends and neighbors outside of an eating context. My goal is to give people the ability to create delicious and healthy meals to share with those they love so that we can create stronger and happier communities! One cannot expect to practice good medicine without a solid understanding of the effects of diet on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.”

 


 

Alison Mortemore 

Service Learning Coordinator

Email: amortemore@tulane.edu

“After graduating from the University of Cincinnati I got involved in food science education when I had the opportunity to teach a group of 5th graders about healthy food choices and food science. During that process, I learned how much I enjoyed following recipes, trying new foods, and how ingrained in our culture that food is. The belief that food impacts our health is something I strongly believe and I hope to educate communities about food throughout my medical education and eventually as a practicing physician. When I’m not actively stress baking to ease my med school anxieties, I enjoy spending time outside and my dog Blu.”

 


 

Grace Tanguilig 

Kids Programming Coordinator

Email: gtanguilig@tulane.edu

“I grew up in a house where we couldn’t leave the dinner table without eating our nightly fruits and vegetables. Our summers were spent tending the family garden and finding new ways to prepare our overflowing stores of fresh produce. Later on, public health classes in college taught me how lack of access to these nutrients has major impacts on community health, and when I researched Tulane I knew I wanted to be involved with the GCCM. During the pandemic, I loved experimenting with healthy cooking, and I’m thrilled to be part of this team and share my love of delicious food!”


 

Steve Zeldin 

Kids Programming Coordinator

Email: szeldin@tulane.edu

“I have been cooking with my mom ever since I was a child, and it is a huge part of my life. I think cooking healthy and fantastic meals should be an enjoyable aspect of everyone’s life. I joined Teaching Kitchen because mealtimes are the best time to bond with those around you, and I want to spread my love of cooking with others.”


 

2021-2022 Leadership

 

Marissa Tucci

President

Email: mtucci@tulane.edu

“The importance of nutrition in medicine is commonly overlooked by the medical school curriculum, physicians, and the general population.  The Teaching Kitchen is unique in its ability to educate both future medical professions and the community about the intersections of nutrition, population health, and medicine. When I interned with GCCM as an undergraduate student, I discovered my passion for public health nutrition, and I aim to continue incorporating it into my medical education and future practice. As president of the Culinary Medicine Society, I hope to share this enthusiasm with my classmates and advocate for improved nutritional education for medical students. Most of all, I want to help emphasize that nutritious foods can also be delicious foods!”

 


 

Lawrence Bacudio

Treasurer

Email: lbacudio@tulane.edu

Lawrence is a first-year MD student at Tulane. He earned his Bachelor’s in Public Health in Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His interests include weightlifting, traveling, hiking, and photography. He loves to cook all sorts of Asian cuisine including soondubu jjigae (kimchi tofu stew), okonomiyaki, and Thai curry. He also dabbles in baking and enjoys making ube cake, Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese egg tarts), and Levain-style cookies. He enjoys teaching the community affordable yet healthy cooking that is not only fun but also easy to accomplish.

 


 

Anna Alvarado

Secretary/Social Media Coordinator

Email: aalvarado1@tulane.edu

Hey everyone! My name is Anna Alvarado and I am the new co-secretary for the Teaching Kitchen/Culinary Medicine Society. I had the pleasure of volunteering with the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine prior to COVID-19 and fell in love with the work that they do with the community, both within the kitchen and outside. Working with fellow community members and partners inspired me to become more involved with GCCM and continue to advocate for improving the health of our community through the joys of cooking and food.

 


 

Elsie Zhao

Secretary/Social Media Coordinator

Email: yzhao21@tulane.edu

“I think food has the magic to heal: no matter it is after a bad or a cold rainy day, or it is when you miss your family a little extra, a nice meal can cheer you up. By being part of the Culinary Medicine Society, I’d love to share my passion for food with others and in the meantime learning how to be an advocate for healthy eating.”

 


 

Kavita Patwardhan

Community Outreach Coordinator

Email: kpatwardhan@tulane.edu

“I come from a family of physicians so my exposure to medicine, and the lifestyle that comes with it, started at an early age. Pagers and intermittent phone calls were staples at home, but despite my parents’ hectic schedules, we always came together for meals, no matter the day. Food brought us together every night and gave us the chance to reconnect with each other after spending hours apart. That simple ritual nurtured my love for food and taught me how to connect with others over something familiar and comforting. I joined the Teaching Kitchen Board because I want to share that love with my community and help inspire unity through food.”

 


 

Lauren Mueller

Community Outreach Coordinator

Email: lmueller2@tulane.edu

Lauren is a first-year MD/MBA student from central Illinois. Some of her favorite dishes to cook include garlic shrimp and jalapeño turkey burgers. She loves trying new recipes, exploring New Orleans, and listening to podcasts. She joined the Teaching Kitchen Board because she believes healthy eating, especially eaten with friends and family, is the best preventative medicine. 

 


 

Rohit Rao

Community Outreach Coordinator

Email: rrao4@tulane.edu

“Cooking has always been one of my creative releases when I’m stressed. I joined the Culinary Medicine Society to combine cooking with my public health interests to be able to engage with the community on healthier eating and lifestyles.” 

 


 

Tuhin Choudhary

Service Learning Coordinator

Email: tchoudhary@tulane.edu

“I consider myself to be a “foodie” and I love trying different cuisines from all over the world. Food and culture are interconnected with one another and I really believe in the importance of healthy eating. I believe the Teaching Kitchen does a great job in working with the New Orleans community and educating students at TUSOM and I’m excited to be a part of the team!” 

 


 

Tom Eggers

Service Learning Coordinator

Email: teggers@tulane.edu

“Food has always been a passion of mine, from watching cooking TV as a child to experimenting with new cuisines. I find that food is more than just sustenance, it’s art, medicine, and a stress reliever. I wanted to be part of the Culinary Medicine Society Board so that I could help show others the benefits of knowing how to cook delicious and healthy meals.”

 


 

Mariel Colon-Leyva

Kids Programming Coordinator

Email: mcolonleyva@tulane.edu

“I’ve always seen food as something that brings people together. From a really early age, my grandmother showed me how food can be a way to demonstrate love and care to both yourself and those that surround you, and I’ve always thought that to be kind of beautiful.  I wanted to join the Teaching Kitchen Board so as to further explore that relationship that we foster with food and how it can be both healthy and enjoyable.”


 

Kevin Marzotto

Kids Programming Coordinator

Email: kmarzotto@tulane.edu

“I grew up learning how to cook from my grandparents and the time we spent together over homecooked meals created memories that I will always cherish. I decided to become involved in the TK because I believe cooking is an amazing way for people to connect with each other and learning how to do so in a healthier manner will help us all lead healthier and happier lives, filled with delicious food!”