Certifiably Good

Chefs seek a new culinary seal of approval for healthy dishes

Grant Cornett for TIME

Ingredients from the asparagus-and-beet salad served at New York Citys Rouge Tomate, the first U.S.

It's impressive enough for a chef to get a Michelin star. But Jeremy Bearman managed to earn his without the help of a key ingredient: cream.

His Manhattan restaurant, Rouge Tomate, also uses very little butter. Bearman is steering clear of these staples of fine dining because he is following a new set of culinary guidelines--voluntary standards not unlike architecture's LEED certification, which denotes a building's energy efficiency. The new system is called SPE, short for sanitas per escam (Latin for "health through food") and stresses not only using local, seasonal ingredients but also combining them in ways that maximize their...

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