Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Director, GWU Culinary Medicine Program.
Dr. Harlan practiced Internal Medicine in New Orleans. His love of food began as a teenager working in the restaurant business. Starting as a dishwasher, he worked his way up to managing his first restaurant by the age of eighteen and owning his first restaurant at twenty-two. After operating Le Petit Café as a chef/owner he closed the restaurant to return to school. Dr. Harlan originally intended to pursue a degree in hotel and restaurant management but events led him toward medicine and the decision to become a physician.
After finishing an undergraduate degree in Anthropology Dr. Harlan went on to study medicine at Emory University. Working as a caterer throughout school, he continued to be involved with food and cooking but noticed a lack of knowledge in the medical field around food, eating healthy and eating well. Neither patients nor health care providers understood much about a healthy diet. Patients, it seemed, were usually told not what they could eat but, rather, what they could not eat.
In medical school, Dr. Harlan wrote It’s Heartly Fare a food manual for patients with cardiovascular disease. Since then he has published numerous books focusing on translating evidence based diet and nutrition information for the lay public. He is publisher of the popular Web site DrGourmet.com where information from the Mediterranean diet literature is translated in a practical way for the American kitchen.
He served as Associate Dean for Clinical Services at Tulane University School of Medicine is the Executive Director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, the first of its kind teaching kitchen operated by a medical school. The center offers an innovative program teaching medical students about diet and lifestyle that bridges the gap between the basic sciences, clinical medicine, the community and culinary education. Medical students work side-by-side in the kitchen with culinary students to teach each other and, most importantly, teach the community and patients how to return to their kitchens and transform their health.