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Spice up Your Summer Barbecue with Doctor-Recommended Recipes

Especially for People with Smell and Taste Disorders


ST. PAUL, Minn. – The American Academy of Neurology is out with barbecue recipes sure to spice up everyone’s summer, but most importantly those with smell and taste disorders. The recipes are included in the Academy’s book, Navigating Smell and Taste Disorders, which includes 36 recipes, along with personal stories, information on how the smell and taste system works, treatments and tips for food preparation. The book was recently featured in the New York Times and is available at major bookstores and through the Academy’s online store, where people will receive a free water bottle with purchase.

Recipes include barbecue chicken wraps, barbecue ground beef, lemon pepper grilled chicken, teriyaki onion burgers and tropical fruit salsa.

“These easy and delicious recipes are really the perfect way to make sure everyone is enjoying summer barbecues, especially if your guests are among the up to 14 million Americans like me who have problems smelling and tasting food,” said author Ronald DeVere, MD, Director of the Smell and Taste Center in Austin, Texas, and a neurologist who is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

More than 200,000 people visit doctors each year for smell and taste problems, which can be the first sign of neurologic disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, head injury or multiple sclerosis. Smell and taste disorders can affect a person’s ability to enjoy food, drinks, and may cause weight loss, decreased appetite and the use of too much sugar and salt. In severe cases, these disorders can lead to depression.

“As a neurologist who has a smell disorder, it was really important to me that we create recipes and give trusted advice so people can reconnect with the pleasure of food again, especially around the summer barbecue season,” said DeVere.

The book, Navigating Smell and Taste Disorders, was written with Marjorie Calvert, an accomplished cook who worked with DeVere to create recipes that enhance flavor sensations to make it easier for people to enjoy food.


Barbecue Chicken Wraps

Serves 4 Preparation time: 45 minutes Easy Great texture (bacon, tortilla and chicken), varied temperature, and spice (jalapeno peppers and barbecue sauce) provide all the necessities for stimulation of the normal sensory system of the mouth. This recipe was given to us by a patient with total loss of smell and inability to recognize any flavors.


  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup crumbled bacon
  • 4 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup creamy deli coleslaw
  • ½ cup chopped pickles
  • ¼ cup chopped jalapeno peppers


In a saucepan, simmer chicken and barbecue sauce together for about 10 minutes. Add bacon and stir until heated through. Remove from heat. Heat tortillas as directed on package. Spoon chicken mixture into center of each tortilla. Top with ¼ of the cheese. Add a spoonful of coleslaw to each side of the tortilla, and add chopped pickles and jalapenos as desired. Fold up the bottom of the tortilla and roll it up. Serve immediately.

Barbecued Ground Beef


Serves 6 Preparation time: 1 hour Easy This recipe can be enjoyed by all. The texture is excellent, and the spices (mustard, ketchup and vinegar) can be increased for those with more impaired smell and taste.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt



Brown meat and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Serve on toasted hamburger buns.


Ronald DeVere, MD, FAAN

Author, Navigating Smell and Taste Disorders, Ronald DeVere, MD, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and of the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians and Director of the Taste and Smell Disorders Clinic in Austin, Texas. A neurologist by training and a specialist in neuromuscular diseases, DeVere has personal experience with smell disorder: in 1996, following a bad cold, DeVere lost part of his ability to smell. After seeking help, but otherwise finding little additional research done in the field, DeVere decided to open his Smell and Taste Disorders Clinic in 2002.

Marjorie Calvert

Author, Navigating Smell and Taste Disorders, Marjorie Calvert turned her lifetime passion for food and cooking into a successful career in the food and beverage industry. After a long tenure at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, where she continues to work with chefs on recipe design, Calvert joined DeVere's Taste and Smell Disorders Clinic as Food Consultant in 2004.


For more information about the American Academy of Neurology and to purchase the book, visit http://www.aan.com.


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