Dean Ornish dinner event

Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) will host Dr. Dean Ornish at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 27, at Asheville Community Theatre for an event centered on educating the community about food, chronic disease and aging. Ornish, a best-selling author and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, will discuss sustainable nutritional practices that are good for the health of both humans and the planet.

The event will also serve as an introduction to the professional catering world for Dava Melton, founder of Blessed 2 Cook, who will provide a locally sourced, small-plate menu designed to correspond with Ornish’s lecture. Melton says her goal was to create a menu that is healthy, as well as “loud” and “colorful,” including a range of colors and textures that will energize attendees, rather than filling them up and making them want to go to sleep.

Her menu for the evening will feature hoisin-glazed trout with scallion dressing, sprouts and baby lettuce salad; kale and crispy potato salad with cranberries and honey mustard drizzle; roasted tomatoes, marinated tempeh and collards over polenta cakes and quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, walnuts and creasy greens.

Ornish’s lecture is part of the Integrative Health Conference held by MAHEC and will be followed by a book signing. Tickets are $45. The meal begins at 6 p.m., lecture begins at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, at Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut.

About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at

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