SPE® Certified , a unique certification and consulting program designed to enhance the nutritional quality of meals without compromising taste, will make its official debut on May 5th, 2012 at Chicago’s National Restaurant Show. Just as LEED certification has become a symbol of sustainable building, SPE aims to become the premier culinary nutritional consulting firm and the most trusted, independent food certification for healthy dining — a new, simple way for foodservice operators to address consumer concerns about sustainability and personal health.

The inspiration for SPE was born from the Latin phrase “Sanitas Per Escam,” which means literally “Health Through Food <Click Here> .” Founded in 2001 by entrepreneur and restaurateur Emmanuel Verstraeten in Brussels, SPE was first applied stateside in 2008 to the menu at Rouge Tomate <> , the Michelin-starred Modern American restaurant in midtown Manhattan. “Our goal is to become the most trusted authority in the culinary nutrition ‘space,’ which is certainly the way of the future. SPE is not about uninspired diet food or low calories, but rather providing healthy and sustainable dining options without compromising taste.” He added, “When a restaurant offers an SPE Certified dish, it demonstrates that in addition to taste, the chef values health, sustainability and a commitment to the greater good.”

SPE Executive Chef Anthony Moraes (an alumnus of celebrated chefs Michel Nischan and Dieter Kochina) and SPE Culinary Nutritionist Natalia Hancock, R.D., work with chefs to develop seasonal dishes that focus on sourcing, thoughtful preparation and an artful approach to combining nutrient-dense ingredients.  SPE’s hands-on process of recipe development, applicable to a wide variety of cuisines, means that each chef’s unique culinary vision is kept intact: SPE doesn’t impose its recipes, but rather adapts existing menu items to make them “SPE Certified.”  “I have always been a proponent that healthy dining does not have to compromise taste and I am looking forward to working with many talented chefs to bring this unique concept of dining to restaurants throughout the United States,” says Chef Moraes.

The principles of SPE were developed after nearly ten years of research, and have been validated by a committee of world-renowned experts affiliated with prestigious research centers, including Eric Rimm, ScD, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, Jeffrey B. Blumberg, Ph.D., Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University and John P. Foreyt, Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine’s The Behavioral Medicine Research Center in Houston, Texas.


The SPE philosophy extends beyond the farm-to-table movement of locally sourcing ingredients by applying specific guidelines to the preparation of food to enhance its nutritional benefits. SPE’s unique methods result in delicious-tasting dishes that provide lasting satiety, ensuring one leaves the table energized, with a true feeling of well-being.

The tenets of SPE include eliminating butter and cream from appetizers and entrées and limiting their use in desserts, emphasizing seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the meal and using “good” fats of higher nutritional quality while limiting unhealthy fats and eliminating industrial trans-fats.  SPE is also a proponent of using minimally processed foods and highlighting key allergens so diners can make informed choices.


SPE will be available in two formats:
SPE Consulting
Launching in May 2012, SPE’s culinary and nutritional team offers a wide range of customized consulting services to address specific needs of the foodservice industry. Whether customers want a healthy meal for the whole family, a locally-sourced dinner or have more specific dietary requirements, SPE Consulting provides combined expertise that is unmatched in the industry: recipe and menu development, strategic nutritional analysis, legislative compliance, allergen and gluten-free expertise and nutrition and sustainability assessment.

SPE Certified
Restaurants can choose one of four levels of certification, Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each level is based on the percentage of dishes that are considered SPE Certified on the menu. SPE Certified restaurants will thus offer diners the opportunity to eat a delicious, nutritionally balanced meal outside of the home.

SPE’s ultimate vision is to become the most trusted symbol of nutritional quality, resulting in making dining out even more appealing to a broader range of consumers while at the same time bringing a new level of consciousness about health and sustainability to American restaurants and the foodservice industry.

For more information on SPE’s consulting and certification services, visit <>  or click on What is SPE <> ?