05 March 2018

Meet our Monash FODMAP Chef!

Trish and Shirley Vlog

By Trish Veitch, Shirley Webber and Erin Dwyer - Research Chef & Research Dietitians

Every week we share a new recipe on our blog with some delicious low FODMAP meal ideas. Have you ever wondered who assists in developing these tasty delights? Meet our very own Monash University department on Gastroenterology research chef Trish Veitch!

Meet our Monash FODMAP Chef! from Monash FODMAP on Vimeo.

Questions we asked our chef! 

1. What made you decide to become a chef?

I absolutely love food and cooking! There are endless possibilities with what I can create. It’s both the art and the science that fascinate me. Everybody needs to eat so why not make it delicious!


2. Where did you do most of your training to become a chef? 

  • Cooked professionally for 40 years.
  • Even during my early cheffing career years I have always asked why? In 1984, my parents gave me a copy of “On Food and Cooking. The Science and Lore of the Kitchen” and coupled to my working in some of Australia’s top chefs I read the book from cover to cover. This inevitably opened up more questions, experiments and research.
  • They’ve all fuelled my passion for research as did my extensive travel and living overseas:
  • Lived in Sri Lanka, South India and London
  • Worked as a chef in London, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Bangkok and Shanghai.
  • Traveled extensively in South East Asia, South Asia and Europe 


I then:

  • Completed my undergraduate degree in microbiology in Townsville which answered many of my “Why” cooking questions
  • Taught professional cookery at a Victorian TAFE where I designed, researched and taught dietary requirements and Food Safety.
  • Started my Masters at Monash here in Gastroenterology researching prebiotics and their effect on gut microbiota. This started me off on my current interest in low FODMAP foods. 


3. What cuisine has influenced you cooking style the most? 

  • Sri Lankan/ South Asian, South East Asian (Thai in particular). Middle Eastern and French 


4. Where do you get your inspirations for your recipes? 

  • 40 years of professional cooking. 
  • Extensive travel.
  • Living in Sri Lanka, South India, England and Australia. Working in Thailand And China.
  • Extensive food shopping and a fascination with food markets, specialty shops and supermarkets. 


5. What are the key things to think about when cooking for people who have particular food intolerances? 

  • I always ask people I am cooking for if they have intolerances or allergies. 
  • I consider allergies particularly important, as I do not want to kill anyone! 
  • However, I also want to know about their food intolerance issues, as I do not want to make people feel bloated or sick! I usually ask if they know what triggers their intolerance but it unusual that they can pinpoint it. In that case I’ll cook a low FODMAP meal that I know everyone will be happy with. 
  • The other big question I’ll ask is there any foods that they don’t like. I get some surprising answers like pumpkin! 


6. As someone who does not struggle with IBS, what do you find to be the hardest thing for you when cooking or developing recipes for people with IBS? (Ingredients or a particular style of cooking). 

This is an important question! As I do not suffer from functional gut disorders I can eat anything! Onions, garlic, bread and legumes pose no problem for me. As a result I know exactly what popular dishes have a lot of these ingredients in them and what they are suppose to taste like. Many people who are diagnosed with gut problems are also used to cooking the same high FODMAP dishes so my skill is to create low FODMAP versions that mimic the original ones.

It’s great that I can use:

  • Green onion and leek tops.
  • Garlic infused oil
  • Canned chickpeas (to a degree)
  • Lots of herbs and spices
  • Low FODMAP flours


7. What is your go-to low FODMAP ingredient for adding flavour to food?

Spices and herbs!

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