Celebrity Chef Bal Arneson Visits Community Memorial Hospital

Chef Bal Arneson (R) poses in the “Teaching Kitchen” with CMH Executive Chef Brian Scalfaro.

The Brent Street Cafe, located at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, recently welcomed Celebrity Chef Bal Arneson for “The Teaching Kitchen,” an interactive cooking demonstration and education series hosted by CMHS and its nutrition services partner, Morrison Healthcare.  Attendees of the free event included members of the community, health system leadership, staff, physicians, and friends of the hospital, and highlighted a selection of signature recipes served by Chef Bal and her team during the Cafe lunch service.

“We were thrilled to have Chef Bal join us for the teaching kitchen event at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura,” said Haady Lashkari, Community Memorial Health System’s Chief Administrative Officer at Ojai Valley Community Hospital. “As a health system, we are committed to providing our patients and visitors with healthy, nutritious food, and were grateful for the opportunity to learn more about spice and flavor from Chef Bal.”

Event attendees received a tutorial on creating custom spice blends, and mixed their own jar of spices to take home.

Arneson is a television host, award-winning author, Compass Celebrity Chef and culinary personality who is internationally known for her trademark spice-infused cooking. A native of India, she is a passionate advocate for simple and healthy Indian recipes, and her TV programs air in several countries around the world, including in the United States on the Cooking Channel and on Food Network Canada. Arneson has authored three national best-selling cookbooks, including “Everyday Indian,” which won the Asian Cuisine category prize for Canada from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. She also wrote, “Bal’s Quick and Healthy Indian,” and “Bal’s Spice Kitchen.”

Teaching Kitchen event attendees (L-R) Cindy DeMotte, Cindy Fahey, and Vicki Van Der Toorn.

Following her time behind the line during the Brent Street Cafe lunch service, Arneson hosted a live cooking demonstration in the Cafe dining room.  25 lucky event attendees were treated to stories from Chef Bal’s childhood and culinary career, a custom spice blending tutorial, and samples of flavor-packed, healthy staples of Indian cuisine.  Event attendees had an opportunity to ask questions and received signed cookbooks from Chef Bal, as well as gift bags containing spices, recipes, and Chef Bal’s tasty Lentil Cookies.