Ten things you didn't know about the registered dietician and certified executive chef...
As a proponent of easy-to-prepare foods made with fresh ingredients, Golda Ewalt has made a career of encouraging people to live a healthy lifestyle. A registered dietitian and certified executive chef, she serves as director of food and nutrition services at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center, where she was previously director of the Dietetic Internship Program.
A central Illinois native and graduate of Western Illinois University, Golda holds a master’s degree in health services administration and a culinary arts degree from Illinois Central College. She serves as adjunct faculty at ICC, teaching nutrition and menu planning for the ICC Culinary Institute, and is past president of the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Golda enjoys spending time with her husband—Bob Streitmatter, manager of Peoria’s Luthy Botanical Garden—as well as cooking (naturally!), gardening and volunteering at the Peoria RiverFront Market.
- Favorite aspect of central Illinois: I love the West Bluff! It’s been my home for 24 years. We have many friends who are our neighbors. Another bonus is that we live close to Campustown and enjoy all the restaurants, from pub food to Mexican to Vietnamese—and of course, One World!
- Favorite splurge: Brunello wine from Tuscany. It’s made from 100% Sangiovese grapes and must meet specific quality standards to be bottled as Brunello.
- Favorite meal: The farm-to-table dinners I have hosted for the OSF dietetic interns and the Heart of Illinois Professional Chefs Association. The dinner is in September and planned around what is in season in central Illinois. We source local meat and have used goat, pork and beef. One year my father foraged local mushrooms to serve—a delicious treat! The best part is cooking with my fellow chefs and paying tribute to our local farmers.
- Secret ambition: To be a chef on a small yacht and cook the fish that the guests catch.
- Favorite journey: My favorite recent journey was hiking to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with my husband. We camped two nights at the Bright Angel Campground and began our journey to the top at 5:30am. We were in the dark for over an hour, wearing headlamps to see the path. We both loved this journey and the natural wonders the canyon offers.
- What did you do to celebrate your 50th birthday? I celebrated all year! I achieved my goal of running a half marathon. My husband and I hiked and camped at Acadia National Park and went on a cruise to Spain and Portugal with my family. I also took on a new role at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center as the director of food and nutrition services. It was a great year!
- First job: In the fourth grade, I delivered the Penny Saver once a week. I saved my money to go to Six Flags.
- What’s the worst tasting thing you’ve ever eaten? I ate sea urchin, or uni, at a market in Spain. It wasn’t fresh, tasted horrible, and left a terrible taste in my mouth for hours. Since then I’ve had fresh uni and it was delicious! Someday I want to dive for sea urchin and eat it right after I harvest it.
- What’s on your iPod? I’m into Tenille Townes. She has an amazing voice.
- Do you collect anything unique? We collect antique garden sprinklers. a&s