Dietetic Career Spotlight on Olena Gudz, MS, RD, LD, Master Pastry Chef
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on FEBRUARY 25, 2014
Meet Olena Gudz, a master pastry chef and registered dietitian. She specializes in developing delicious, healthy recipes and is a culinary consultant to the masses. Read on to learn how you can combine one’s love of cooking with nutrition education and coaching. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
Ever since my sixth-grade science fair project, I realized that I was a science-nerd. Since I am also a tad food-obsessed, I knew my career would need to also “feed” this passion. For me, nutrition and dietetics blends the best of both science and food. Sound nutrition involves evidenced-based science; delicious and healthy food is the way we enjoy it.
Your Job Title?
Culinary Nutrition Consultant
Company you are with now?
Olena Nutrition, LLC
Other Social Media links you would like to include:
Facebook Page: Olena Nutrition
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
There really isn’t a typical day for me, which I prefer. I spend time helping people with their nutrition concerns, whether it’s through counseling, suggesting healthy fridge and pantry makeovers, providing cooking demos or grocery store tours. You’ll also find me recipe developing and taste testing away in my kitchen. I am honing my food photography and blogging skills too. When my schedule permits, I also teach professional and recreational cooking/baking classes at the culinary school I attended. It is an honor to return as an instructor after being a student.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
Initially, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. However, I knew that I wouldn’t be creatively fulfilled in that field. Without a second thought, I went on to receive my diploma in Advanced Pastry Arts from The International Culinary Arts and Sciences Institute. I then worked at some of Cleveland’s top restaurants, including Lola and Crop Bistro and Bar. I loved the challenges that came with working in a restaurant, especially the responsibility of developing recipes for a seasonally changing dessert menu. I wanted to use my culinary skills in a way that delivered the message of healthy, flavorful cuisine to a wider audience. Becoming a Registered Dietitian and also earning a graduate degree in Nutrition were the final pieces to my career puzzle and I couldn’t be happier. Plus, I’ve always known that I wanted to have my own business and I finally found a way to do it through culinary nutrition!
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
The skills that I was born with include: being a good listener, using lots of determination to accomplish my goals, having a strong work ethic, and possessing skills in the visual and musical arts. The skills that I have learned along the way are: being more outspoken and learning to be more business-savvy.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Put in the hard work while also allowing things to evolve at their own pace. It’s tempting to want to make things happen quickly, and I’ve learned that this is not realistic. By letting things happen at a more natural pace, you may realize something that you otherwise could have missed because of rushing through your work. Also, even though I am very driven professionally, I make sure that my health, wellbeing, and family are at the top of my list. Stay true to your own values as you progress through your career. And, always send handwritten thank you cards to those who’ve helped you along the way…it never goes out of style.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
I would love to visit countries all over the world and indulge in the delicious cuisine that people eat for health and enjoyment.