Make Medicine, Not Food

BriarPatch Cooking Instructor Tiffany Chen

Tiffany Chen

Tiffany Chen

Ayurvedic chef and one of BriarPatch’s most versatile cooking instructors, Tiffany Chen offers a variety of classes, ranging from Vegan Sushi to Indian Cooking to Vegetarian Dumplings.

“Cooking is my deepest expression of love and creativity,” said Tiffany, “and cooking healing meals is my passion.”
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Tiffany first studied Public Health at the University of California Irvine, then became a Food Safety & Quality Assurance professional. However, wanting to touch peoples’ lives more directly, she began the study of Ayurveda at the California College of Ayurveda in Nevada City. “My heart was directed towards channeling my newfound knowledge of health and balanced living with my unceasing passion for cooking with fresh and local food,” she said.

“Food has the potential to be incredibly healing or incredibly destructive. It’s a common misconception that healthy food isn’t tasty food. Healing food should please both the senses and the gut for a satisfying and holistic experience. When properly prepared and eaten, food has the power to prevent—and in many cases, reverse—disease.”

Tiffany usually offers two classes at BriarPatch each month, putting an Ayurvedic spin on classic food. Her upcoming classes are:

  • Canoodling with Taiwanese Cuisine (Taiwanese beef noodle soup) on January 8
  • En-thai-rely Vegan (vegan Thai recipes) on February 12
  • Keto to Veto Carbs (keto-diet-friendly recipes) on February 26

She also offers a popular Pie Class in which she teaches, for example, how to make a pumpkin pie with warming spices like black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, which help with digestion of the pie. It’s holiday comfort food with a medicinal spin. “Although I can still cook a mean turkey,” she said, “I also like to make alternative holiday meals.”

“I really love teaching people how to cook. It helps empower them in the kitchen, which expands to other areas in life. My mantra before cooking each healing meal is ‘make medicine, not food.’”

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