This 175 page bilingual cookbook created for the Geriatrics Department, was my favorite project during my time at Lincoln Medical Center. It was a multi-disciplinary endeavor. I worked with Public Affairs, Outreach, Nutrition, the Executive Office, Geriatrics, Facilities, and even Food Services. Each department brought their strengths to this project. For example, Carmen Rodriguez in Outreach went into several retirement homes around the Bronx searching for people who wanted to share their heritage by contributing a traditional recipe. Even NYS Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo and Community Board Chair George Rodriguez contributed to the cookbook.
The Nutrition department then revised these recipes using a delicate balance that maintained and respected the cultural traditions while simultaneously adapting the recipes to a healthier standard. Additionally, we persuaded local supermarkets and restaurants to participate by offering discounts and specials to patrons with our Sweet Bites coupons.
My involvement was very deep, also, as the art director, graphic designer, photographer, and even shopper. Once I received the final recipes, I had them translated either into Spanish from English or into English from the original Spanish. They were organized into categories and we chose several recipes from each to be made for a tasting event. Next I went shopping! and chose all of the dinnerware, table linens and garnish for my photo shoot.
While the chefs delivered meals to the participants of the event, samples were brought to me where I had set up studio lighting in another part of the kitchen. I then plated the food and photographed each of the selected recipes.
The final system I created contained: the cookbook, bookmarks, menus, coupons, an apron with the logo, a poster map of participating restaurants and supermarkets, a booklet of selected recipes given out as promotional gifts, banners, web and social media graphics, a web pages with downloadable recipes, and probably more that I don't even remember!
Our cookbook was such a success that several other Lincoln departments wanted to have them available for their patients. So, I developed a series of shorter volumes to be printed one each over the next four years. They were incentive for patients to keep up with their return check ups and to keep eating healthy.
To learn more about the event, visit The Bronx Free Press article!