Cancer Cooking Classes


Cooking Class at Smith CenterEating well is one of the most fundamental and accessible ways of promoting good health and living well through cancer treatment and beyond. Our classes offer live instruction, simple and delicious whole foods recipes, and research-based nutrition information from trained nutritional counselors and chefs.

In planning our classes, we keep eight basic food principles in mind: Whole, Fresh, Natural, Local, Seasonal, Balanced, In Harmony with Tradition, and Delicious.

From these principles, we explore an array of cooking options from simple, one-pot meals to vegetarian menus, ayurvedic foods, and beyond. Classes are open to anyone interested in learning about whole foods cooking.

Upcoming Professional Oncology Culinary Training:

In partnership with American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), Smith Center offers a professional training, Culinary Translation in Breast Cancer Care and Survivorship. Please contact us at 202.483.8600 for more information on upcoming events. 

Cancer & Nutrition

The science of what we know about food and cancer is still evolving, yet there are areas where the data is consistent. We know that some cancers are related to nutrition and some diets create conditions that increase our risk of getting cancer. In addition, some foods we eat make it harder for us to withstand cancer treatment and its side effects while some diets can help us recover from cancer.

People have many questions about nutrition and cancer, like “I have breast cancer—can I eat soy?”  People want to know about the kinds of oils they should use in cooking. Some want to know about ideas for simple and easy meals or choosing healthy already-prepared foods. Some people want to know about how to prepare whole grains and beans.

Eating well is important, yet people are often confused about what they should eat and how to prepare healthful foods. Classes are designed to address the questions and needs of people living with cancer while providing exceptionally delicious and healthful recipes based on the eight basic food principles.

Note: Source Laura Pole/A Taste of Smith Farm

Culinary Translation in Action

Students at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, are donning their new, crisp white uniforms and learning how to treat hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease using nontraditional tools of the trade: spatulas, knives, and saucepans.
Read more: Physicians and Chefs Cook Up Healthy Med School Curriculum. Medscape. Jul 17, 2014.


About Our Director of Nourishment Programs

Laura Pole, Director of Nourishment ProgramsLaura Pole, RN, MSN, and Chef, has served as Smith Center’s head chef and nurse consultant since 1997. She is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Cancer Guide with 25 years experience in caring for people with serious illness. She is also a Certified Health-Supportive Chef, professional musician and Nia body-mind fitness instructor. Her popular cooking class, Eating for a Lifetime: Cooking for People with Cancer, introduces participants to the Eight Principles of Food Selection, along with truly tasty and healthy recipes. Laura is the founder of “Eating for a Lifetime,” a consulting business dedicated to teaching individuals and professionals about health-supportive eating and food preparation.

Recipes from our nutrition teachers

To Top