Chef Ryan Callahan, aka The Cancer Chef, had a very personal reason for writing the book Cooking for Chemo…And After. During his mother’s diagnosis of breast cancer, he watched her suffer even more when she tried to eat.
“Eating was difficult for Mom because of nausea and mouth sores, a frequent side-effect of chemotherapy. She would just pick at her food. And everything tastes so different because chemo affects your taste buds.”
As a three-time breast cancer survivor, I knew what he was saying was true.
It was during this difficult time while Chef Ryan watched his mother begin to “wither away” from the illness and treatment that he decided to cook Chick-n-Dumplings to see if he could coax her to eat a life-sustaining size meal. When she finished her third helping Chef Ryan realized he was onto something important and wrote a cookbook that contained his mother’s favorite food which he described as “Chicken and Dumplings done right.”
Besides his love for his mother and cooking he is the proud winner of the 2016 Gourmand World Cookbook Award: Best New Health and Nutrition Cookbook, USA; for his ground-breaking book, Cooking for Chemo…and After! Chef Ryan is the author of 4 cookbooks, two of which won Gourmand International Cookbook Awards.
It all began on cookingforchemo.org under “Our Story.”
Then cooking for chemo built into a movement of sorts, that surprised even the hospitality industry veteran with over fifteen years of hands-on culinary experience in the kitchen.
During this candid LIVR Video Podcast interview, Chef Ryan shares his heart and soul about the importance of not only cooking for chemo but the necessity of eating healthy food during chemo…and after.
“My recipes are so easy a child could make them…with adult supervision of course… because there is some cutting of vegetables and meats involved with knives…but the point is my recipes are very easy to prepare and cook.”
I did some research on Chef Ryan using his website before the interview and found it to be extremely educational. He shares, “If someone were to ask you to define the idea of flavor to someone who had never eaten before, how would you describe it?”Then he answers his question using a combination of science, logic, art, and a love for food.
“Flavor is both scientific and artistic. Scientifically, it is a series of chemical compounds that are created or broken down during the cooking and preparatory process in the creation of edible and digestible compounds. Artistically, it is defined as the human experience of eating and drinking. This experience evokes emotional responses and fills the brain with associations both past and present.”
When Chef Ryan is not cooking, eating, talking or thinking about food you can usually find him nestled up with some “manga” or playing video games on his computer.
As you will see in this short fifteen-minute Video Podcast that is long on information, Chef Ryan is so full of life in his Chartreuse-Green chef-coat, and glowing with his love of food, that I will bet you anything he watches cooking videos, too, and talks to the computer.
So, the next time you think cooking…think Callihan.
You can learn more about Chef Callahan, his cooking videos, and his cooking classes @ chefryancallihan.com
About the Author: Kathleen (Kat) O’Keefe-Kanavos is a VIDEO Podcaster, a three-time Breast Cancer Survivor, seen on Dr. Oz, DOCTORS, NBC, & CBS. Her Divine Dreams diagnose her illness. Kat was a Research Participant for Duke University’s Dr. Larry Burk‘s Breast Cancer Dream Research Program. They co-wrote, Dreams That Can Save Your Life. She is a Syndicated Columnist, TV Producer/Host and award-winning Author/Lecturer who promotes patient advocacy and connecting with Divine Spiritual-guidance through Dreams. “Don’t tell God how big your problems are. Tell your problems how big your God is.” Learn more @ www.KathleenOKeefeKanavos.com
Photo Credits: Book title shot and pictures of Chef Callahan were used with his permission.