The Georgia Department of Public
Health, in collaboration with the Georgia Department
of Agriculture, hosted a lunch and learn cooking
demonstration for Public Health employees on April
17, featuring Executive Chef Holly Chute from the
The event was organized in support of InSTEP -
Insulin Support, Tips and Exercise Program - to
encourage employees to eat healthy, remove white
hazards from their diet and get moving throughout
the work day.
Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald led
Public Health employees on a brisk walk
to the Georgia Department of Agriculture
for the lunch-n-learn with Executive
Chef Holly Chute.
More than 50 participants, along
with Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, walked from 2
Peachtree to the brand new kitchen at the Department
of Agriculture. They were greeted with more than the
appetizing smell of onions, herbs and spices - they
also were introduced to simple meals which can
quickly be prepared for family and friends.
Executive Chef Holly Chute prepared food
for the live cooking demonstration for
the Georgia Department of Public Health.
Chute's menu included mixed green salad with lemon,
extra-virgin olive oil and fresh parmesan, citrus
herb grilled chicken, quinoa pilaf, local greens
sautéed, and Greek yogurt with strawberries, honey,
basil, white balsamic.
"I used a regular balsamic vinegar with the yogurt
and berries and a chili garlic olive oil to sauté
the greens," said Chute. "I used Swiss chard, beet
greens, collards and kale. The greens took two to
three minutes to sauté. The quinoa took about 20
minutes to cook, as did the chicken."
Chute has worked for six Georgia governors: George
Busbee, Joe Frank Harris, Zell Miller, Roy Barnes,
Sonny Perdue and now Nathan Deal. She oversees all
meals served at the Governor's Mansion.
Commissioner Gary Black (center) greeted
local Georgia farmers in his office
during the lunch-n-learn with Public
Health employees and Chef Holly Chute.
Chute introduced some of Georgia's
farmers as special guests, including Liz Porter from
Buckeye Creek Farm (greens and grits); Terry and
Jeannie Ross from Ross Berry Farm and Apiaries
(honey and berries); Steven Bell and Adam Parker
from Atlanta Gourmet Mushroom; James Dault from
Sweetwater Growers (herbs and greens); Cagle Farm
House (seasonal vegetables); and Rockin S Farm
(jelly and jam). Participants were able to sample
and purchase Georgia grown produce and cooking
Frank Sanchez, a registered environmental health
specialist with the environmental health program,
was absolutely impressed with Chute's cooking tips
"I thought her menu was amazing," said Sanchez. "I
especially enjoyed the quinoa and the greens. I
tasted fennel bulb for the first time."
He said he has cooked Chute's recipes for the
grilled chicken, quinoa, and greens twice for his
family. "I already had Swiss chard and beet greens
in my garden," Sanchez said. "I went to Whole Foods
to buy the collard greens and kale and enjoyed a
healthy and tasty meal."
"She made eating healthy look so easy," said Bunmi
Bamidele, a programmer/analyst III for the office of
information technology. "I tasted small portions of
the quinoa and grilled chicken and I didn't feel
hungry after eating. I enjoyed the entire cooking
experience with Chef Holly."
All audience participants received free copies of
the EatingWell magazine and the 2012 EatingWell
calendar. Ten lucky winners also received "Georgia
Chef Holly Chute's lunch and learn recipes will be
available soon on the GeorgiaSHAPE Website.
-Story by Connie F. Smith, DPH Communications