For The New York Times
Published: April 10, 2012

SOME people cannot travel without Advil or a neck pillow. Dr. David M. Eisenberg, an associate professor at the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, feels incomplete without his beloved paring knife and eight-inch Wüsthof cleaver.

He was wielding both with sweaty zeal the other day on the dais of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, demonstrating a stir-fry with perfectly browned shiitake mushrooms and a heavy dose of sake to the 400 or so pediatricians, endocrinologists, dietitians and other health practitioners who were spending three and a half days in the Napa Valley learning how to cook. "This isn't neurosurgery," Dr. Eisenberg said as he whacked a garlic clove with the cleaver. "This is hearty, affordable, cravenly delicious food."

The son of a Brooklyn baker, Dr. Eisenberg is the founder and chief officiant of "Healthy Kitchens/Healthy Lives," an "'interfaith marriage," as he calls it, among physicians, public health researchers and distinguished chefs that seeks to tear down the firewall between "healthy" and " crave-able" cuisine. Although physicians are on the front lines of the nation's diabetes and obesity crises, many graduate from medical school with little knowledge of nutrition, let alone cooking. It is a deficiency that is becoming increasingly apparent as the grim statistics climb. (By 2050, for example, as many as 1 in 3 adults will develop diabetes if current trends continue.)

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