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Edwin Cabrera: Ballet Dancer Turned Chef on a Mission to Promote Healthy Living

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chef Edwin Cabrera

Edwin Cabrera's journey from ballet dancing to becoming a chef is an inspiring testament to the transformative power of passion, resilience, and the profound impact of personal experiences. Today, he serves as the consulting chef for the Center for Nutritional Excellence at the Diabetes Institute, channeling his background in ballet into a culinary mission to help people lead healthier lives. At the core of his journey lies his deep commitment to health, ignited by his brother's battle with cancer.

For 15 years, Edwin graced stages worldwide as a professional ballet dancer, a journey that began at the age of 14. His commitment to this demanding art form took him to different corners of the globe, where he had the privilege of performing with various renowned dance companies.

Transitioning from the demanding world of ballet to the culinary arts might seem unlikely, but for Edwin, it was a natural evolution driven by a deep-seated passion. "I always had a passion for food, especially baking and culinary art," he says. But what truly ignited Edwin's dedication to health and nutrition was a pivotal moment in his life - his brother's battle with mediastinal cancer. This diagnosis came just as Edwin prepared to embark on his culinary journey. As he waited to start culinary school, he took on the role of his brother's caretaker. Through cookbooks and recipes, he began preparing meals for his ailing brother.

The recipes he followed during this challenging period primarily emphasized natural, organic, and whole foods. Edwin was struck by the absence of processed meat and the predominance of greens and plant-based ingredients. It was a revelation that would leave a profound mark on his culinary philosophy, laying the foundation for his future as a chef dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle.

In 1997, Edwin's brother's recovery was nothing short of a miracle, and the family embraced a new way of life centered around health and natural foods. This experience made Edwin realize the immense potential of food in improving people's lives. The absence of processed, unhealthy foods in his brother's diet and his journey to recovery were lessons that stayed with Edwin as he continued his culinary education at Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona. After school, Edwin's journey led him to Canyon Ranch Health Spa, where he focused on healthy cuisine.

In 2011, Edwin's path took an exciting turn when he was selected as the chef for the Diabetes Institute at AdventHealth. Edwin was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the department and expanding its reach. This opportunity allowed him to dive deep into recipe development, food styling, and cooking demos.

Chef Edwin's journey at the Diabetes Institute became more than a career; it became his life's mission. He shares, "It is a matter of how we embrace the patients and help them confront their diet and health." His culinary expertise and passion for helping people have had a profound impact on patients' lives at the Diabetes Institute.

Today, Chef Edwin's work extends beyond the hospital. He is actively involved in the community, conducting cooking demos and engaging with people through the Speakers Bureau of AdventHealth. He aims to share his knowledge and inspire individuals to embrace healthier eating habits. Edwin's cooking demonstrations showcase the delicious flavors of healthy cuisine and educate people about substitutions and dietary choices that can enhance their health.

Chef Edwin's culinary philosophy revolves around maximizing flavor, reducing sodium, fats, and sugars, and utilizing herbs, spices, and whole grains. His dedication to crafting healthy and delectable meals profoundly impacts his patients and the community. He understands that making dietary changes due to a disease can be daunting. Through education and cooking demonstrations, he helps people make the transition while making it enjoyable and achievable.

Edwin Cabrera's commitment to promoting healthy living led to the creation of "The Art of Eating Well: Healthy Cooking," a cookbook that embodies his culinary philosophy. The book offers a wealth of knowledge and delicious recipes, reflecting his journey from a ballet dancer to a chef on a mission.

Looking ahead, Chef Edwin continues to inspire and educate. His journey is a powerful testament to the influence of passion and personal experiences in shaping one's life. As he transitioned from ballet to the culinary world, he discovered his true calling - helping people lead healthier lives through delicious and nutritious food.

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