It is rare to find a trained chef that is able to cook and bake for clients that adhere to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). I was introduced to Chef Travis Bettinson by a busy doctor that decided to use SCD as a therapeutic treatment for her daughter’s Crohn’s when she was referred to me to learn some basics of the diet. While I was mentoring her, she mentioned a young chef that was cooking SCD foods for private clients. She had hired Chef Travis for weekly SCD cooking visits, to help balance her demanding work schedule at the hospital with the time-consuming nature of SCD, and described the foods he was making for her family with vivid analogies. “The pea soup he makes is like a walk in a magic forest“, she said.
I was intrigued and also exhausted after a few years of cooking SCD. At that point it had been two years since we had last eaten at a restaurant, and both I and my family needed a little break. We craved food that was made by someone else, with different flavors, different aromas, etc…
We decided to treat our teen and splurge on a private visit of Chef Travis. We agreed on specific items from the SCD menu that the chef suggested, and he came to our house for a day of cooking. Since he is a professionally trained chef, he quickly and easily worked his magic in the kitchen. I could never have produced as many dishes as he did in the same timeframe. When he left, we had a variety of dishes, some of which we froze for later indulgence. Our teen was elated. After years of such a restricted diet he had a delightful chance to enjoy new tasting foods. I was relieved to get a little break from kitchen duties.
It was clear to us that, as much as we wished, our family couldn’t afford this treat on a weekly basis. However, it was such a pleasure that we have since treated ourselves on a few special occasions and had Chef Travis come and cook for us. As a matter of fact, we plan on having the chef again this summer for a special visit, to cook and teach our teen some techniques and tricks of his trade. This lesson is a gift we are providing for our son as we mentor him on his way to become an independent young adult that will be able to cook for himself in the future.
Chef Travis also provides SCD catering for larger groups and events. We enjoyed his food at the Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH) symposium on “SCD as a Therapeutic Diet” in 2014. This year the chef catered the entire SCD menu for Camp Oasis in Washington state, thanks to an amazing team effort by the CCFA NW in cooperation with the GI experts at SCH. The kids came back from summer camp with new appreciation for the pleasures of this diet, craving more and asking for his recipes.
Earlier this year Chef Travis contributed a collection of his recipes to the diet guidebook that was published by Professor David Suskind. The chef has also been recruited to provide the catering for a planned SCD clinical trial at Seattle Children’s Hospital. In parallel, Chef Travis continues to expand his knowledge about the diet and develop a growing repertoire of SCD recipes.
Here are a few of the kids favorite recipes from Camp Oasis. Chef Travis was happy to share them with us.