Drs. Rob and Renee Sangrigoli
Doylestown Hospital Physicians Share a Passion for Creating in the Kitchen
It's not uncommon to come across two doctors who love to cook, but it may be a bit rare to find two physician chefs who are married to each other. Drs. Rob and Renee Sangrigoli, cardiologists at Doylestown Hospital, share an appetite for creating a variety of heart-healthy culinary dishes. For the couple, interest in the hobby began when they were children, growing up in houses permeated by the aromas of homemade Italian cooking. When they met at Temple University School of Medicine, it was one of the things they had in common. "For us, our family and our heritage mean we see the kitchen as a place to congregate, to eat and to cook as a family," Dr. Renee says.
The couple love to cook Italian, but the high carbohydrates usually associated with the cuisine led them to alter the way they cook to make it healthier.
They use less pasta and more fresh fruits and vegetables, and have incorporated a variety of grilled dishes that make good use of various spices and fresh herbs which they have found results in added flavor without having to use much salt or sugar. A few years ago they started a small garden, which, says Dr. Renee, has really made a difference both in our recipes and in terms of economics.
Cooking is also something the Sangrigoli's discuss with their patients and use as a teaching tool. As cardiologists, they know the impact diet can have on your health. Dr. Renee Sangrigoli specializes in heart failure, while Dr. Rob Sangrigoli specializes in electrophysiology and treats heart rhythm disorders. "I counsel patients to look for fresh foods and to stay away from processed ones, especially in the warmer months when so many things are in season," Dr. Renee says.
Her husband tells patients that they can make healthier choices, eat well and still enjoy good food. "Everything in moderation," Dr. Rob notes. "That's what we do, and we hope our patients realize that we are following our own advice."
The Sangrigolis have seen firsthand how inactivity and poor food choices can contribute to hypertension, diabetes and obesity, even in young children, and say it's important for people to start learning to make good food choices when they are young, something they have taught their own two sons. They prepare meals together as a family, often using weekends to cook meals for the week ahead. "As working parents with busy children, we try to plan our meals ahead of time to ensure we are eating healthy after a long day," adds Dr. Rob. "This helps us avoid having to eat out on the run."
The couple has also shown off their cooking skills at the Friends of the Heart Institute's Cardiac Cook-Off. Proceeds from the fundraising event, which pairs Doylestown Hospital cardiologists with local chefs, are used to purchase cardiac equipment and support programs at the hospital. The Sangrigolis" spicy fish tacos and tequila cocktail, which they created with chef Caleb Lentchner from Marsha Brown Restaurant in New Hope, won the competition a few years ago. "We enjoy doing the Cook-off fundraiser and working with the local chefs," adds Dr. Renee. "We love to showcase our interest in food, health and our patients."
"Using fresh, in-season foods can make a big difference in your health."