Duane Ehrens is Chef and Supervisor at CHI St. Alexius Medical Center where he develops recipes, plans menus, and prepares meals for patients, visitors and at special events. A native of Wahpeton, he earned associate degrees in Cook and Chef training and in Business. Previously, he worked preparing food for youth, for the elderly and in food sales.
Karen Ehrens is a health and nutrition consultant, registered dietitian, and policy advocate. Karen is a consultant to Healthy North Dakota, where she works to connect people and organizations working to prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease and is the coordinator for the Creating a Hunger Free North Dakota Coalition. Karen connects food and health with the ND Department of Agriculture’s “Going Local” foods initiative.
Duane and Karen teach cooking classes to help others experience the flavors and health benefits of local veggies and of a prairie-style Mediterranean Diet. They can often be found sniffing and poking produce at local food stores and farmers markets!
What is that “just one thing” that we can do to improve health? For 9 out 10 North Dakotans, that one thing is eating more fruits and vegetables. By doing that one thing, we add nutrients, reduce the risk for leading causes of illness and death like diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and help manage body weight. Chef Duane Ehrens and wife Karen Ehrens, a Registered Dietitian, will help you do that one thing with their presentation featuring cooking techniques and meal suggestions, recipes, and shopping tips including finding and using more local foods.
Duane and Karen have been cooking together for 22 years, teaching cooking classes featuring the Mediterranean Diet, working with farmers markets and the BisMan Community Food Coop, gardening for the Hunger Free North Dakota Garden Project, working with schools and bringing people together around food, including their own family, with their daughter Emily.