About Mary Abbott Hess

A nationally recognized expert in food and nutrition communications, Mary Abbott Hess, LHD, MS, RD, LDN, FADA, is a partner in Culinary Nutrition Associates. She is also president of Hess & Hunt, Inc. Based in Chicago, Hess & Hunt has provided consulting services to the food and health industries and government for over 35 years.

Dr. Hess has served as chairman of the board of directors of the American Institute of Wine & Food, a national organization with 22 chapters in the United States. She is a past president of the 70,000–member American Dietetic Association (ADA), now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. She was founding chair of the Food & Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group, which was established to develop culinary skills among dietitians.

Dr. Hess held the Steenbock Chair at the University of Wisconsin-Stout where she created educational materials to teach portion control. In 1997, a national award for food and culinary excellence was endowed in her honor, and in 2005, she received ADA’s highest honor, the Copher Award.

As a nutrition educator, Dr. Hess believes that great-tasting, healthful foods enhance quality of life. She has published and spoken extensively on the influence of flavor on eating behavior, the importance of portion control, spa menus and healthful recipes, women’s health issues, and the life and work of Julia Child, her friend and mentor. Dr. Hess is frequently interviewed by both print and electronic media, is a popular speaker at meetings of national and international organizations, and has been invited to testify before several congressional committees.

She has authored or co-authored ten books, with most receiving national or international awards. Early in 2011, Essentials of Nutrition for Chefs, co-authored with Catharine H. Powers, was named the best book in the health category for the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Since then she has edited Review of Dietetics, 2014-2016 edition and the Pocket Supermarket Guide for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

As an educator, she has recently developed curriculum and taught at Washburne Culinary Institute at City Colleges of Chicago, Walter Payton High School and for several community based programs.

In addition to her professional activities, Mary Abbott Hess serves on several boards of directors and volunteers at the Pederson-McCormick Boys & Girls Club of Chicago coordinating their organic gardening and food education programs.