A Culinary Dietitian - A Path Where 2 Passions Meet

Posted by Renee Chan on

Food is a core part of my life. 

Some of my favourite memories with my father stem from our meals together. He introduced me to a variety of fine foods in Vancouver, many of which I’ve grown so fond of. When I moved to New York City to pursue a clinical nutrition degree, it was the restaurants that helped shape me (and make all six years of cold, cold winters worth it)!

Kitchen Globe-Trotter
Working in restaurants taught me everything - from understanding why I became a dietitian to observing people’s ordering and eating habits. Name any position in the restaurant industry, I’ve done it - line cook, pastry chef, sous chef, barback, barista, waitress, host, and finally a manager. Once I learned the skills of every station, I trained with renowned chefs in Italian, French, American, and Chinese cuisines and seafood restaurants. 

Deciding the Type of Dietitian To Be
By the time I received my second degree, I was working as a clinical dietitian for a large institution. Though it was a sustainable career, it was missing an important aspect - teaching my patients the significance of preventing the diseases they were admitted for. The hospital training proved an important part of my training but it also gave me insight into my true purpose: changing people’s lives one meal at a time. 

Linking Academics to Business
After 3 years of clinical work, I left to pursue a career in food service. I moved to Hong Kong to re-establish a connection to my heritage, but it was there I combined my dietetics training with my restaurant experience. I learned about the breakdown of sauces and ingredients to visualize the nutritional values each dish presented, sourcing materials at the market, and locating vendors around the city. 

Creativity Became My Path
Being a manager at a frozen yogurt chain in Hong Kong allowed me to view food in a much more creative way. Since Hong Kong has some of the most jaded people in the entire world, it gave me license to play with different flavours and surprise my clients on a daily basis. 

Coming Full Circle
After 16 years of a nomadic life, I made the decision to head home to Vancouver and start a business. The True NOSH concept had always been bouncing around my head and after travelling for so long, I had the chance to start it. I wanted my products to be a representation of both my heritages - Canadian and Chinese, but in a healthy way. Having a plant-based, no added sugar, and gluten-free product line be tasty gave me inspiration to keep creating. 

True NOSH was born to provide people, especially those with health issues, with options so they can feel free to eat foods they normally would have avoided. My dream is to have people’s hunger point to True NOSH, not only to eat healthier but because they love how it tastes. 

And most importantly, I’m doing this for my father, who lost his battle with diabetes and heart disease, and whom I miss every single day. 

If you’d like to book a nutritional consult, you can email me at renee@truenosh.com. Or join one of our online cooking classes where we provide gluten-free and vegan options for typical Chinese dishes. You can find all the information on our website: www.truenosh.com

Written by: Renee Chan
Edited by: Ev Wong

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