HEART FOR HEALTH: Chef Uses Cooking and Education to Help People Eat Better | Monthly Winston-Salem
“When it comes to community relations, I never really told them to change their diet. I never said, ‘Hey, you have to stop eating like this.’ I just showed them. This is what 56 grams of sugar looks like.
“They see it and they can make their own decisions. By giving them information, let them make their own decision when they are ready. You just share the information with them, ”he says.
He has a passion for working with children and the elderly. For example, some people may have difficulty chewing food, so it helps them incorporate ways to try new items or different ways to cook things that are easier to chew.
He enjoys teaching children to prepare food. Even if they think they might not like a dish because it’s healthy, says Dickerson, kids are more likely to try something if they’ve helped prepare it.
The father of five says he has always tried to empower his own children to make their own decisions about food. He also tries to lead by example.
One way to be healthier is to cook at home. Although not vegetarian, Dickerson prefers plant-based options over animal products.
He describes his own style of cooking as “new urban cuisine”, a new take on southern and low country cuisine. He encourages people to eat regional foods like green vegetables and sweet potatoes, which can be made healthier with spices and seasonings, rather than animal fat. For example, he likes to stuff sweet potatoes with pecans, black beans or grated coconut.