The surgeon behind one of the world’s most difficult cookbooks
Dr. Nirav Patel is a famous New York-based surgeon who after thousands of procedures has mastered the relationship between human, robot, and heart. Saving lives is his everyday work, and currently, he is starring in Getinge’s new brand campaign alongside chef Fredrik Berselius. Turns out, a surgeon and a chef have things in common when it comes to practicing dexterity.
Dr. Nirav Patel grew up in India where he has a medical degree from Baroda Medical College. His medical training has spanned three countries, providing him a unique perspective on global best practices in cardiac surgery. Today, he is the director of Robotic Surgery for Northwell Health and the vice chairman of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York where he performs about 350 surgeries a year.
Most recently, Dr. Patel is fronting global medtech supplier Getinge’s new brand campaign where he together with Fredrik Berselius, a famous chef, have created what is believed to be one of the world’s most difficult cookbooks.
“When I first heard about this project, I was excited. A special cookbook for heart surgeons, for dexterity training. I just couldn’t say no,” says Dr. Patel.
The cookbook includes nine complicated recipes; ideal for surgeons and chefs who want to practice their dexterity.
“I would say that dexterity is the most important skill when you perform surgery. You must understand the importance of being effortlessly nimble and precise. There are no shortcuts. You must love it, respect it, and maintain the effort to continuously practice and improve,” explains Dr. Patel.
Surgery and advanced cooking do have some things in common. They are both about preparation, passion, commitment, attention to detail, teamwork and not least a high level of precision.
“It’s not that hard to see the parallels. Fredrik was the mastermind when it came to ingredients and cooking. But together, we made sure that we used at least one surgical technique in every recipe. Something that really puts your dexterity to the test. A heart operation can last for five hours, and you must maintain concentration and precision throughout.”
Even though Dr. Patel has been in surgery for many years, this was the first time he applied surgical techniques to cooking. Turns out, exercises such as stitching cabbage are a surprisingly great way of developing dexterity skills.
“Surgery is an art, but a scientifically proven art. Often you know exactly what to do and in what order. But at certain times you must carefully innovate and improvise. All nine recipes are phenomenal training for your fingers and your mind and all with acute attention to detail. The experience and the result were even better than I expected, and I hope this cookbook will be useful and fun for any surgeon or chef who wants to practice dexterity.”