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Mark Cerkvenik

Food for Life Instructor

Mark Cerkvenik

Mark Cerkvenik
Let’s Eat Great Food

Growing up in the Chicago area, through most of his early adult life, Mark ate a diet consisting of roast beef, cheese burgers, fried chicken, french fries, veggies cooked in butter and salads swimming in dressing. Mark struggled with his weight throughout his life and tried many approaches to improve his health.

For almost 15 years he worked in leadership roles at Loyola University Health System and Northwestern Medicine training and coaching clinical leaders whose departments saw thousands of patients dealing with chronic illnesses. He often thought there must be a better way to treat and prevent diseases besides frequent doctor visits and a lifetime of prescription drugs. In addition to his own health issues his parents, in-laws and close friends suffered from acute or chronic health issues largely as a result of their food choices.

Mark was a pescatarian (eating cheese, fish and veggies) for over 25 years, but not until he adopted a whole food plant-based diet in 2018 did he see tremendous improvement in his health and a path to maintain a healthy weight. Through the evidence based research by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) he learned an approach to improving his health and preventing and/or managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer and now is focused on sharing this knowledge in his community.

Mark has taken his passion for cooking,  guided by celebrity chefs he considers mentors, Jacques Pépin, Lidia Bastianch and Paul Hollywood,  and creates gourmet whole-food plant based, no-oil dishes throughout the United States on tours to locations such as, Charleston,  South Carolina, Asheville, North Carolina,the coast of Maine, Glacier National Park, Yosemite and Santa Fe,  New Mexico. In 2024 he’ll be on tour in the Lake District in England.  He customizes regional recipes and prepares delicious entres such as, Mushroom Etouffe, Hopin John, Johnny Cakes with Blueberries, “Crab Cakes” with roumalade, “Lobsta” Rolls, She “Crab” Soup and a twist on hummus, Roasted Cauliflower hummus. 

You can find Mark at ,on Facebook @letseatgreatfood or upcoming tours with Mark at

Serving cities and surrounding areas of The greater Chicagoland area including the south and southwest suburbs of Chicago, Naperville, Aurora, Joliet, Kankakee, and northwest Indiana

Upcoming Classes

None scheduled

Contact Mark Cerkvenik Visit Mark Cerkvenik's Website