SPE Certified




An SPE-Certified Dinner at Eataly, NY

If you follow us on Twitter or you’ve liked us on Facebook, then you’ll most likely have seen us singing from the rooftops about last Wednesday’s press event (#HealthThroughFood) at Eataly, New York.  With our Executive Chef Anthony Moraes and Culinary Nutritionist Natalia Hancock at the helm, we wanted to demonstrate to New York’s media how SPE-certified restaurants can serve healthy and nutritious food, without compromising on taste.

First off, we needed an intimate setting in which we could comfortably serve a three-course dinner to 30 people and give a small cooking demonstration. We chose La Scuola di Eataly, a venue perfect for the task on 23rd St. and 5th Ave.

The tables are set at La Scuola di Eataly

As we set the tables and prepared for the guests to arrive, Natalia and Anthony set to work on the hors d’oeuvres as special guest chef James DiStefano (Rouge Tomate) prepared the dessert. The evening was moderated by David Eisenberg of the SPE Advisory Board, who introduced our guests to the concept of SPE’ s health-driven philosophy before screening the “What is SPE?” video.

SPE Certified's Executive Chef Anthony Moraes and Rouge Tomate's Executive Pastry Chef James DiStefano share a joke at Eataly

The menu at the event was, of course, fully SPE-certified. No butter or cream was used, and no frying or grilling was involved. Our menu was as follows:

Hors d’Oeuvres


Mini Burger: Teton Waters Grass-Fed Beef with Avocado and Salsa Verde.

Sweetcorn Panna Cotta: Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Maryland Crab and Cilantro.

Beet Canneloni: Vermont Buratta, Hazelnut and Minus 8 Vinegar



Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho: Bell Pepper, Fennel, Cumin and Cucumber.



Pork Fried Rice: Shiitake Mushroom, Ginger and Pork Loin.



Chilled Local Blueberry Soup: Meadow Creek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Lemon Shortbread and Chamomile.

Guests from Epicurious, The New York Times, Crains and more enjoying some SPE-certified Pork Fried Rice

During the meal, our guests were treated to a short cooking demonstration by Chef Anthony Moraes and Culinary Nutritionist Natalia Hancock. As our team prepared the entrée, the diners were briefed on how specific ingredients and cooking techniques can boost the nutritional value of a dish. Naturally, it’s not easy to believe that something like pork fried rice can be made into a healthy dish without compromising on taste, so we brought along some of our SPE Scientific Committee and Advisors to explain a little bit of the science behind the food.

SPE Certified Executive Chef Anthony Moraes and Culinary Nutritionist Natalia Hancock prepare to demo their Pork Fried Rice dish

As Jeffrey B. Blumberg and Eric Rimm of the SPE Scientific Committee spoke of the research and the “magic” behind making healthy food taste great, SPE Advisors Pamela Peeke and Arlin Wasserman also commented on the sustainability and health benefits of eating SPE-certified dishes.

Founder and CEO Emmanuel Verstraeten and COO Nil Sonmez also addressed the audience, sharing with them the inspiration behind the SPE movement and the desire to make a change. The truth is that diners simply don't have enough healthy options when they're eating out, and healthy food is often perceived as tasting bland and being unimaginative. We're proving that's not the case when a dish is SPE-certified.

With 6 restaurants in the process of being certified and more on the way, we’re hoping to bring healthy and delicious food to as many people as possible. Now that we’ve demonstrated the power of SPE to New York’s media elite, our next step is to bring SPE certification to a restaurant near you.


press, soups, healthy appetizers, healthy desserts, healthy entrées, sustainability

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