medicinal, michelin, cooking, joel robuchon, nadia volf,

Michelin-Starred Medicine

Star chef Joël Robuchon and neuropharmacologist Nadia Volf make gourmet meals that boost body, mind and mood.

When neuropharmacologist Nadia Volf met friends for dinner at Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris, she didn’t expect it to be life-changing. “I realized the importance of food, and understood that cuisine is a true art when it captivates the body and the spirit,” she recalls. “I immediately felt immense gratitude, and also real admiration for this chef who knew how to orchestrate flavors so marvelously.”

The result of the friendship borne out of that fateful night is the new cookbook Food & Life (Assouline), in which Robuchon’s recipes meets Volf's science. “Together, we wanted to bring to readers a lot of delicious solutions for every day and for any circumstances in their lives,” she says. “You ask yourself, what should I eat today for my body, for my emotions, for my mind, for my spirit? Food helps to release suffering and stress, and at the end of the day it can help us fall asleep in a state of peace, and to wake up in a state of happiness."

Their captivating guide reveals how we eat influences our physical and mental well-being. Sprinkled between seasonal recipes are lists of foods that help you manage your emotions, ingredients the heal different parts of the body—there’s even a section titled “Foods for joie de vivre.” And they aren’t afraid to give indulgent recipes for “celebratory dishes” like foie gras sliders and sea scallops with caviar, either.

Below, Volf curates an exclusive fall shopping list to help you ease into the season, plus the ideal meal and a healthy recipe from the book. “In autumn and winter, the weather is often cold and the body suffers from a lack of light,” she says. “The nutrients in the foods below will help you transition into these periods with joy and good health.”

Fall shopping list:

(1) Ginger, chives, green onions and dates: In acupuncture, these foods are believed to tonify (stimulate) blood flow.

(2) Garlic, cayenne pepper, Sichuan pepper, oregano, cinnamon, rosemary, parsley, chicory, dandelion: These spices warm your body from the inside out.

(3) Honeydew, arugula, pine nuts, almonds: These fruits, vegetables and nuts are also warming.

(4) Citrus fruit: Naturally rich in vitamin C, a key element that keeps immunity high. “All parts of these fruits are beneficial: their zests, their skin, their pith, their flesh,” she adds. Pith contains anti-bacterial substances, zest contains antioxidants called flavonoids that may prevent allergies and are strengthen the cardiovascular system.  

Your perfect cold weather power meal:

Appetizer: Broth with garlic, cayenne pepper, pepper, oregano, and rosemary

Main course: Veal roast with mashed potatoes spiced with earthy parsley, chives and onions

Dessert: Clafoutis made with plums, cherries and cinnamon

Get Robuchon's health-meets-gourmet Indian Soup recipe