The Latham Cookbook: Chef Paul reflects on co-authoring specialty PWS publication

May 24, 2018

When Latham’s Executive Chef Paul Donahue learned that pre-orders for the new Latham cookbook have come from as far as Australia and the Netherlands, he was thrilled. Chef Paul co-authored “Living Healthy with Prader-Willi Syndrome: Cookbook and Nutrition Tips” with a goal of creating a cookbook “so that someone who doesn’t know how to cook, and has someone in their life with Prader-Willi syndrome, can create these meals at home and improve the quality of life for the individual with PWS.” He said collaborating to create the resource for planning nutritious, delicious meals for individuals with PWS was truly a labor of love.

Chef Paul wrote the lead article in the cookbook, entitled “Cooking for Someone with PWS.” In his reflections (within the Latham Centers’ “Recipes” for Success section), he writes about why he was so passionate about creating the Latham cookbook—and how he hopes it will help parents and other caregivers of children and adults with PWS. Excerpts follow:

“This cookbook and guide for living healthy with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is the result of many months of collaboration with people who care deeply about the health and well-being of the students and adult residents who call Latham Centers home. I started working as chef at Latham Centers in 2014 with the expectation that I would change the menu for the children in our special education school and the adults in our group residences. Never did I expect that the revamped menu would so positively impact our community of people with PWS.”

In consultation with expert PWS nutritionist Melanie Silverman, MS, RD, IBCLC, Latham’s new menu was informed by research on Omega 3s, Mediterranean style foods, and lactose- and gluten-sensitive diets. Chef Paul noted, “With help from Melanie and a team of Latham staff members, we created new recipes for a menu plan, with primary focus on the nutritional needs of the individuals in our care.” At Latham, ‘fun’ still makes its way into the menu. Chef Paul tells his colleagues, “Remember, we are working with kids, and they want to have fun.” Graham Cracker Band-Aids (a Halloween-themed treat at Latham shared in the cookbook) are a big hit with our students!

The recipes presented in the new PWS cookbook are just some of the Latham menu items; additional cookbook modules are planned. Paul said whether the cookbook reader is a seasoned chef or just learning the ins and outs of cooking for someone with PWS, he hopes the outcome is healthier, happier dining for the entire family.

An online portal for cookbook orders is under construction, but our temporary donation page HERE will allow you to receive a cookbook in appreciation of your donation to Latham Centers (minimum $35 donation, US only). For additional information, email PWScookbook@lathamcenters.org.