top of page
  • Writer's pictureKevin May

Mindful Cooking: In the Lab with Jonathan Deutsch, Certified Research Chef - Ep 13

Finding creative innovation at the intersection of culinary arts and science in the Drexel Food Lab

Photo credit Lindsey Kerr

Episode 13 Summary

What happens when the culinary arts and science paths cross and you have someone like Certified Research Chef Jonathan Deutsch there to inspire, support, and guide you? How might the disruption of the foodservice and hospitality industry due to COVID-19 lead to new opportunities and innovation that can have a positive impact on our food system, environment, health, and nutrition? In this episode we explore these questions and a whole lot more as we kick off season 2.


Video from Freethink about the work being done in the Drexel Food Lab

Notable Quotes

I think every chef is sort of a natural upcycler. One of the first things you learn in culinary school is full product utilization and controlling food cost.

I think there's a real challenge with what some have called culinary literacy in this country. K-12 home ec is sort of a dying breed and a lot of our college students, for example, wouldn't take a family and consumer sciences course or an intro to cooking course, but these are important life skills.

There was so much disruption in the supply chain that it created a lot of new opportunities. No one is doing things the way they were 10 months ago.

I think upcycling in general is old and new. I mean, you've always had soups and sausages and things that use food scraps so that nothing went to waste. And you see that in and nearly every culture what's new, I think, is the explicit marketing of it and the connections across sectors.


About our Guest

Photo credit Brian Michael Kinney

Jonathan Deutsch, Ph.D, CHE, CRC is Professor in the Department of Food and Hospitality Management in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University. He was the James Beard Foundation Impact Fellow, leading a national curriculum effort on food waste reduction for chefs and culinary educators and was named a Food Waste Warrior by Foodtank. Before moving to Drexel, Deutsch built the culinary arts program at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York (CUNY) and the Ph.D concentration in food studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and School of Public Health. At Drexel, he oversees the Drexel Food Lab, a culinary innovation and food product research and development lab focused on solving real world food system problems in the areas of sustainability, health promotion, and inclusive dining. He is the author or editor of eight books including Barbecue: A Global History (with Megan Elias), Culinary Improvisation, and Gastropolis: Food and Culture in New York City (with Annie Hauck-Lawson) and numerous articles in journals of food studies, public health, and hospitality education. He earned his Ph.D in Food Studies and Food Management from New York University (2004), his culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America (AOS, Culinary Arts, 1997), and is an alumnus of Drexel University (BS, Hospitality Management, 1999). A classically trained chef, Deutsch worked in a variety of settings including product development, small luxury inns, and restaurants. When not in the kitchen, he can be found behind his tuba.

Connect on LinkedIn


Mentioned in the Episode

Here are links to companies and organizations that were mentioned, we invite you to visit them.

NRDC Resources

ReFed Resources


Learn More:

If you are interested in learning more about some of the topics discussed in this episode check out these articles.


Special thanks to our Sponsors and Production Team:


Upcycled Food Association -

Produced by Hi-Fly'n Productions

Executive Producer | Host: Kevin May

Associate Producer: Amy Gilbert

Creative Development: Sue Marshall


bottom of page