Exploring Spices and Culinary Medicine with Linda Shiue, MD, Chef


Image by Дарья Яковлева from Pixabay

Episode Summary

Linda Shiue, MD is an internal medicine physician, chef, and author of the cookbook Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes. At Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco, Linda serves as the first Director of Culinary Medicine and the founder of Thrive Kitchen, a space for patients to learn “the most practical, simple, and flavorful ways” to improve their health through nutrition.

So, what does the term “food as medicine” mean? Where does it fit in the healthcare space? In this episode, we break down the field of culinary medicine and how Linda’s path in traditional primary care has informed her practices at Kaiser Permanente.

“What I realized after more than a couple of decades of being a doctor is that the simplest and most basic ideas are actually the most powerful… No matter what we have in terms of technology and medications, if someone isn’t eating in a way that is supportive of their health, nothing we can do will help them get to their optimal health.”

Linda’s classes offer recipes for diverse, flavorful vegetarian dishes while also fostering an appreciation for healthy eating and cooking among her patients. In doing so, Linda has created an educational and supportive community that promotes long-term wellbeing.

“We would basically have five or six different recipes… and then we would all have them together, join all of our tables together at the end for a group meal. And that’s when we would talk about health and nutrition and cooking… in a very relaxed environment over a meal.”

Listen to this episode to learn more about Linda’s classes, her cookbook, and her recommendations for making meals that are as healthy as they are delicious.

Here are the details of our conversation:

[00:02:03] Linda’s transition from primary care to culinary medicine

[00:04:47] Food as medicine

[00:07:04] The importance of culinary medicine in healthcare

[00:07:38] The Thrive Kitchen experience

[00:09:33] Foundations of Linda’s recipe design

[00:10:42] Writing Spicebox Kitchen

[00:13:30] Spices as a theme of Spicebox Kitchen

[00:14:18] What is culinary medicine?

[00:16:27] Key components of a healthy meal

[00:19:57] Most fun and most challenging parts of cooking classes

[00:22:21] Linda’s top five spices

[00:25:56] Properties of spices

[00:27:43] Linda’s message on nutrition and cooking

Episode Notes

Linda Shiue, MD is an internal medicine physician, chef and founder of Thrive Kitchen, a teaching kitchen for patients, at Kaiser Permanente, San Francisco, where she is the first Director of Culinary Medicine. She believes that the best medicine is prevention. Her cooking classes showcase seasonal produce, lavishly flavored with spices and fresh herbs. She is the author of the cookbook, Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes, which was awarded a Gold Award in the 2022 Nautilus Book Awards and selected as a finalist in the 2022 International Association of Culinary Professionals Awards. Dr. Shiue is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine and has served as faculty at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Stanford University. She also serves as a member of the boards of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, Meals of Wheels San Francisco and the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative. She is a graduate of Brown University, San Francisco Cooking School, UCSF and the kitchen of Michelin-starred restaurant, Mourad, in San Francisco, and has a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. 


Follow Linda on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

Check out Linda’s cookbook, Spicebox Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *