Food News

Culinary and Medical Professionals Unite for Belle Glade Health Fair May 24

Culinary and medical professionals will unite May 24 at the Louise Lorraine Voltaire Multicultural and Educational Health Fair at Glades Central High School.

The fair itself is named after Louise Lorraine Voltaire, a registered nurse and vice president of the Haitian American Nursing Organization and Allied of Palm Beach, the nonprofit organization driving the health fair.

Special guest celebrity chef Ron Duprat will also be headlining the event.

See Also: Top Chef Ron Duprat on the Florida-New Orleans Creole Connection

Among the several positions he has held throughout his career, Duprat was the executive chef at Latitudes Beach Cafe. He also appeared on several episodes of Bravo's Top Chef and more recently on Spike TV's Bar Rescue.

The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to the public. During that time, medical professionals will provide free health screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar and mammographies. Information about nutrition, diet and exercise, childhood obesity, diabetes and other disorders will be provided.

Duprat will be conducting cooking demonstrations. Together, Duprat and Voltaire are calling on more professionals from each respective industry to unite and participate in the event. Not is the health fair providing essential medical services to the community, but the both the medical and food service industries could benefit from the collaboration, according to Duprat.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that the health and food sectors are not--and should not--be regarded as mutually exclusive from each other," he said. "it's not enough for doctors to know just the basics of nutrition. They must also learn to translate the science into practical lessons that empower their patients to lead healthier lives."

The bridge between the two industries appears to be growing. Johnson and Wales and Tulane universities united chefs and doctors to produce a medical culinary program.

Duprat and Voltaire met at the First Lady Michelle Obama Let's Move Initiative Inauguration. Both have invited Obama to the event.

Being held in Belle Glade, which sits surrounded by farm land in the far-upper west of Palm Beach County, the health fair targets an under-served community.

"Language barriers, a lack of information on how the system actually works, nervousness and confusion about practical access like many new immigrants, had great difficulty actually obtaining the health care resources and services that they well deserved and needed," Voltaire said.

Together, Duprat and Voltaire are calling on more medical professionals, specifically doctors and nurses, to donate their expertise to the health fair.

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David Minsky is U.S. Navy veteran and Tulane graduate who has experience reporting on stories from California, South Florida, and the Deep South. He also won some journalism awards. Email or tweet David with story tips and ideas.
Contact: David Minsky