Michio Kushi, Kushi Institute Honorary Dean, is a founding pioneer and advocate of the macrobiotic movement since the 1950s. He has lectured at countless conferences and seminars all over the world on macrobiotic philosophy and principles. In Boston, he began Erewhon, one of the earliest natural food distributors, and throughout the 1970s he founded the East West Foundation (now Kushi Institute), Kushi Foundation, and One Peaceful World. He has written more than forty books on this subject. In 1999, the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History honored him with the exhibition “Michio Kushi Family Collection on the History of Macrobiotics and Complementary Health Practices.” Michio resides in Brookline, Massachusetts and continues to be a regular attendee at the Summer Conference. He no longer works with people privately. Read more about Michio Kushi on our founders page.
Alex Jack, Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Teacher and Counselor, is founder and director of Amberwaves, a macrobiotic network to preserve rice, wheat, and other foods from genetic engineering, climate change, and other threats and to keep America and the planet beautiful. He has served as editor-in-chief of East West Journal, general manager of the Kushi Institute, director of the One Peaceful World Society, and vice president of Quantum Rabbit.Alex has co-authored many books with Michio Kushi including The Cancer-Prevention Diet, Diet for a Strong Heart, The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health, and The Book of Macrobiotics. He also co-wrote Aveline Kushi’s Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking. Alex has taught all over the world, and is on the visiting faculty of the Kushi Institute of Europe and has taught at the Ohsawa Center in Tokyo. He lives with his wife Gale in the Berkshires.
Edward Esko, Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Teacher and Counselor, is a key personality in the macrobiotic diet /health revolution. Edward trained extensively with Michio Kushi, and in 1972 became vice president of the East West Foundation, the non-profit macrobiotic educational organization founded by Michio Kushi.
Edward has lectured in over a dozen countries, guiding thousands of people toward better health through the macrobiotic diet. Authoring and editing more than twenty texts on macrobiotic philosophy and cooking, many of which have been translated into different languages, he was honored with the Aveline Kushi Award in 2006 for his contributions. With Michio, he co-authored, among others, Macrobiotic Approach to Cancer (1982), and Nine Star Ki (1991). Edward has served as a Kushi Institute faculty member since 1977, devoting much of his energy to the Macrobiotic Leadership Program.
Bettina Zumdick, Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Teacher and Counselor, has been involved in macrobiotics for over twenty-five years. A native of the Baltic Sea area in Germany, she studied food science at the University of Muenster. Bettina has taught macrobiotics and other mind-body-spirit related topics such as meditation, Tao Yin Yoga and chanting throughout Europe and the United States.
Realizing the complex interconnections between mind, body, and spirit through her own healing journey from Lyme disease, Bettina knows that it is possible to improve your health and to deepen the quality of all your experiences in life. It is her intent to share the knowledge and wisdom of this path for better health, vitality, and being able to pursue your most passionate dreams in life.
Mirea Ellis, Kushi Institute Assistant Director and Macrobiotic Teacher, started macrobiotics in 1973 in order to overcome chronic allergies that had plagued her for years. She studied with macrobiotic teachers in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, and attended the Ohashi Shiatsu Institute in New York City. Prior to joining Kushi Institute in 1982, she worked for various macrobiotic organizations, including the East West Center of Philadelphia, where she was a macrobiotic head chef. Mirea has taught macrobiotics and another major interest, wild foods, in various cities in the Northeast. She has been interviewed on T.V., radio, and in newspapers, and has published articles. Mirea is the founder and president of Rejuva Organics, a natural body care products and natural foods consultant business.
Judy MacKenney, Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Counselor and Teacher, began her practice in 1992 under the auspices of Kushi Institute counselors, with the medial diagnosis of Stage IV inoperable non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Judy recovered thoroughly through macrobiotics. A holistic health educator and counselor, and a member of the American Society of Alternative Therapies (ASAT), Judy and her husband, Larry, ran a macrobiotic health and wellness center in Florida prior to their involvement with Kushi Institute.
Judy studied with Michio Kushi and now hosts Kushi Institute’s Way To Health program in addition to counseling and lecturing in southwest Florida. In 2009 she received the Aveline Kushi Award. Her recovery through macrobiotics was one of the case studies presented by Kushi Institute to the National Institute on Cancer.
Warren Kramer, Macrobiotic Teacher and Lecturer, is known world-wide with bringing the macrobiotic approach to health and wellness to organizations and institutions including the United Nations Macrobiotic Society, Whole Foods Market, Barnes & Nobel bookstores, hospitals, nursing homes, churches, temples, health conferences and tennis clubs (Warren is a former tennis professional).
Additionally, he has experience traveling throughout the world working in individual homes as a private macrobiotic counselor, assisting people in recovering their health. Warren teaches in the Macrobiotic Leadership Program.
Amber Maisano, Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Teacher, has been formally studying macrobiotics for almost a decade which includes graduating from Kushi Institute’s Macrobiotic Leadership program in 2006. Macrobiotic teachers she has studied under include: Charles Millman, Lucci Barranda, John Kozinski, Bettina Zumdick, Ed Esko, Carrie Wolf, Alex Jack, Diane Avoli, Bob Carr and Naoki Sakaguchi. In addition to teaching; Amber is currently the Kushi Institute’s Kitchen Manager and Head Chef. Other experiences and qualifications include:
- Working for Kushi Institute’s Summer Conference every year from 2003 to 2011 with roles including team leader for the café and co-team leader for the cooking classes.
- Personal macrobiotic chef and catering experience
- 2007 graduate from The Academy of Massage & Bodywork in Bear, DE
Amber also enjoys singing, dancing, prayer, meditation, nature and hiking.
Chris Jenkins, Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Teacher, originally from Long Island, New York, went to study at Kushi Institute in Massachusetts in 1997. He then worked as the kitchen manager for two years. Between 1999 and 2001, Chris worked at two Japanese restaurants – one in Asheville, North Carolina, and one in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He returned to work as chef and manager of the KI kitchen from 2002 to 2012. Chris completed the Macrobiotic Leadership Program in 2003, and started teaching at Kushi Institute in 2005. He has worked as a personal chef in the US and abroad. He taught classes at the 2012 KI Summer Conference in New Jersey, and at the Kushi Institute of Europe’s Summer Conference in August 2013. You can read some of his recipes and thoughts on healthy eating at sixflavors.blogspot.com