Stories / Guides and Tips

Resources from the 2024 James Beard Foundation Winter Wellness Series

Anna Magnuson

February 29, 2024


In our inaugural Winter Wellness Series, we held five virtual sessions hosted by wellness experts and chefs covering tools and strategies to combat the various forms of industry burnout. Our goal for this series was to emphasize the importance of taking care of yourself holistically. By prioritizing your well-being, you not only enhance your own quality of life, but also contribute to creating a happier, healthier, and more sustainable industry for yourself and your employees. Let this series guide your self-care year-round.

Check out the recordings and resources from each of the sessions below.

Stretching for Strength: Preventing and Treating Industry Body Pains
Host Meredith Powell of Orange Door Fund guided participants through a series of stretching, mobility, and breathing exercises tailored to alleviate the strains and discomforts associated with the physically demanding workday in the kitchen. From relieving tension to improving flexibility, attendees gained practical insights and techniques to enhance their overall well-being amidst the rigors of the industry. Be sure to check out the companion packet!

Food as Fuel: Eating for Wellness
Chef-advocate Elena Terry of Wild Bearies explored how to harness the healing power of food to care for ourselves and others. Beyond ingredients to incorporate for improved winter nutrition, Terry discussed how the choices we make in what we consume can have far-reaching effects, not only on individual health, but also on the well-being of entire communities.

Herbalism 101: Nature’s Guide to Well-Being 
Chef and herbalist Adrian Lipscombe of the 40 Acres Project hosted an informative workshop on the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of the plants around us. Lipscombe walked through the myriad benefits of incorporating herbal remedies into daily routines, from bolstering immunity to promoting sleep and emotional well-being. Participants gained both a deeper understanding of herbalism and practical knowledge to empower them in their quest for holistic health and wellness. Check out the accompanying PowerPoint to learn more.

Mind Does Matter: Managing Your Mental Health with Southern Smoke Foundation
This panel-style discussion delved into the crucial topic of mental health, facilitated by Catarina Bill, chief mission officer of Southern Smoke Foundation. She was joined by A. Jordan Wright, a clinical associate professor of Counseling Psychology at NYU; and Danielle Baran, a clinical psychologist at Northern Illinois University. Together they discussed the challenges faced by the restaurant industry community in maintaining mental health and common focus areas raised in counseling sessions with industry clients. This panel proposed ways to create mentally balanced spaces within the industry and furthered listeners’ understanding of when and how to reach out for mental health support.

Bringing it Home: How to Implement Wellness Practices in Your Restaurant
In the final installment of our Winter Wellness Series, acclaimed chef-owners Katie Button of Cúrate, Fiore Tedesco of L'Oca d'Oro, and Brother Luck of Four by Brother Luck shared insights into their innovative wellness programs, designed to prioritize the health and well-being of their staff members. Through these culinary visionaries’ perspectives on the transformative power of prioritizing wellness within the industry, listeners gained actionable tips to implement in their own establishments.

To learn more and explore other Foundation resources, check out our virtual education library and industry resources. To stay up to date on industry news and other events, sign up for our bi-weekly Industry Support Newsletter.


Anna Magnuson is the program manager at the James Beard Foundation.