With Laura Pole, RN, MSN PCNS

Come in from the cold and warm up in Chef Laura’s healing kitchen.  You’ll learn how to prepare delicious nourishing soups and stews using warming winter vegetables, beans and grains.  And how about a citrus fennel salad and spiced muffins to turn up the yum?  Finally, enjoy eating your meal in each other’s warming company!

*Please Note: Every individual’s needs are unique. We aim to offer a variety of health-promoting options for each individual to consider, but do not prescribe the specific dietary content of any program for anyone.

Suggested donation: $35, includes a health-supportive meal and all recipes.

Our programs are open to the community and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.

About Laura Pole

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, comes with a diverse educational background including a Masters degree in nursing, chef certification, and professional music training. For over 20 years, she has been merging her careers as a health supportive chef, professional musician, oncology clinical nurse specialist, and a palliative care educator. Laura serves Smith Center in several ways: Director of Nourishment Education Programs, Director of Professional Trainings in Culinary Translation and Co-Creator/Coordinator of Patient Navigation Trainings. Laura is also on faculty for the nationally acclaimed Cancer-Fighting Kitchen workshops.

This program is full. Please contact us at programs@smithcenter.org or 202.483.8600 to be added to the waitlist.

With Chef Kara Garrett

Start out the new year on a healthy note! Learn tips to make weekly meal planning easier and together we will prepare simple make-ahead and easy-to-reheat meals for the week.

Menu items will include cancer-fighting whole grains, vegetables, proteins and dressings that can be used in a variety of bowls, wraps, salads and soups throughout the week. Please bring your preferred reusable storage containers. 

When registering, please indicate any guest(s) that will be joining you, and if you have any food restrictions or allergies. This meal will have vegan and gluten-free options.

About Chef Kara Garrett

Kara Garrett Cancer Support Program Coordinator

Kara is a health-supportive chef based in Washington, DC. Following her breast cancer diagnosis in 2013, she embraced the challenge of finding a balance between her foodie lifestyle and eating well with cancer. She has adopted a flexible diet plan that focuses on plant-based, sustainable whole foods, but does not restrict indulgences of things she loves. She is passionate about working with others to encourage healthier food choices that energize the body and the soul.

Kara graduated in August 2017 from the Chef Training Program at Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC and spent one month as the sous chef at The Ananda Ashram Yoga Society of New York in Monroe, NY. She is currently enrolled in the Developing Healthy Communities: Nutrition, Behavior, and Physical Activity graduate program at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.


with Chef Cathryn Pethick

The Wealth of Health in Summer Cuisine: An Ayurvedic-Inspired Cooking Class

The warmth and moisture of our Summer – the season of Pitta – graces us with a nutritional abundance of tastes, colors, and vitality! We will use the gifts of summer foods to create a taste-full palette of kitchen delights: a beverage, snack, soup, dessert and main course, that support and balance us with the sweet cooling tastes of summer’s culinary treasures!   



Alaina Sadick, Smith Center Yoga for Cancer teacher

Cathryn Pethick, AYS, teaches yoga and Ayurveda in the Washington, DC metro area, and is a long-time professional chef. She is an Ayurveda Yoga Specialist through the Himalayan Institute, teaching the self-care basics of the traditional Indian science of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic cooking to groups and private clients. Since 1997, she has taught both traditional and gentle hatha yoga classes for adults and children, therapeutic classes for seniors and special-needs students, and restorative yoga. It is her deepest desire to offer tools that bring balance and well-being into the lives of those she touches.