A Delicious Kick-off to Black History Month

Healthy soul food was part of the Black History Month opening ceremony held at Upstate Medical University on February 1. Pictured is  Chef Bleu (Will Lewis)  serving healthy collard greens to Drenye Chandler, 6, and Alana Jo, 10, who attended the event to  sing “Life Every Voice and Sing,” with their group, Precious Lily.

Chef Bleu’s motto –“Food Matters To Our Health” -– is inspired by First LadyMichelle Obama’s childhood obesity initiative  and his personal desire to stay healthy.  A retired  executive chef and cancer survivor, Lewis describes cooking food as themeans for taking care of friends and family. To help friends, family and the community get healthy, Lewis cooks meals that are healthy twists on traditional recipes, such ascollard greens cooked with smoked turkey instead of ham hocks, and skinless chicken baked in multigrain coating instead of fried chicken.

In the background are Chef Bleu’s assistants, Johnny Hayes and Jackie Policastro.

For info on upcoming Black History events at Upstate:

To contact Chef Bleu:


About Susan Cole

Susan Cole is the social media editor at Upstate Medical University. She manages Upstate's presence on multiple social media platforms, chairs the Upstate Social Media Committee and works to educate Upstate's internal team about social media. Susan previously worked in global public relations and marketing communications agencies in New York City and Rochester, NY. She has worked on integrated communications programs in a range of industries-- from the fine arts to agribusiness. Currently, she focuses on social communications and how people use digital platforms to share information. To stay healthy, Susan enjoys teaching and taking fitness classes at HardCore Fit, keeping pace with her kids and exploring plant-based recipes. She resides in her hometown of Fulton, NY with her husband and children.
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