Chef out to prove good food can be good for you

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 30, 2008

Editor’s note: News Molecules are designed to give readers occasional tidbits of information about the N.C. Research Campus.
By Emily Ford
KANNAPOLIS ó A famous chef and a research scientist will team up for a cooking demonstration at the N.C. Research Campus.
“We might even get a show on the Food Network,” joked Dr. Steve Zeisel, director of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis.
Zeisel will offer a running commentary about nutrition while Johnson & Wales chef-on-assignment Peter Reinhart prepares a variety of focaccia, his specialty, to benefit the institute on the Research Campus. Participants will make their mark on the popular, finger-dented dough.
At $100 a ticket, the Healthy Harvest will include the cooking lesson with Reinhart, nutrition information from Zeisel, a host of healthful hors d’oeuvres and wine tasting.
Starting at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 13, Reinhart and Zeisel will challenge the misperception that food is either good or good for you ó but never both.The evening will showcase foods that at first blush seem decadent but are nutritionally sound.
Guests will dine on seasonal vegetables dipped in warm bagna cauda and fresh herbs, as well as toasted flatbread paired with a light aioli of red peppers pureed with garlic and walnuts.They will enjoy chunks of acorn squash dressed with fresh pomegranate and pumpkin seeds encased in an amber sheet of sweet brittle.
Reinhart, an acclaimed baker, cookbook author and two-time winner of a James Beard Foundation award, will demonstrate focaccia and its sweet counterpart, schiacciata. Whether topped with olive oil and fresh herbs, roasted vegetables or raisins plumped in liqueur, Reinhart’s treatment of these puffy flatbreads has earned him a faithful following.
Zeisel, a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will discuss the health benefits of the hors d’oeuvre ingredients. He will speak one-on-one with participants in the cooking class, which organizers hope will feel more like a cocktail party than a culinary study.Registration is limited. To buy a ticket, call Beverly Jordan at 704-250-5008.