Candy Lesher devoted a lifetime to the pursuit of culinary related skills, knowledge and excellence, Her culinary expertise and indispensable business savvy catapulted her into the roles of chef, instructor, writer, television personality, public speaker, consultant, award-winning author, editor-in-chief of food & life magazine plus host and executive producer of food & life television – winner of two Telly Awards in 2006.

Candy is a well known culinary expert AND Lap-band surgery patient

Candy Lesher – a well-known culinary personality in Arizona – has clearly undergone quite a transformation, having lost over 90 pounds, and still counting, after Lapband surgery. Additionally, her signature red hair is now quite silver, a surprise result of the chemo and radiation she underwent while battling cancer in 2007. Now cancer free – Ms. Lesher radiates life, health and joy even more than before.

Fascinated by early cooking programs hosted by Julia Child and Graham Kerr, Ms. Lesher began preparing meals for her parents and three younger sisters by age 11; she read cookbooks like most read riveting novels.

Though her practical career path was that of a secretary – the kitchen kept calling; she inevitably spent more time catering for employers and coworkers than typing and filing.

Living in Germany for five years as a young military wife, Ms. Lesher took every opportunity to immerse herself in western European cuisine, working as a civil service secretary to fund her culinary and vineyard escapades while developing her skills by catering soiree’s hosted by single officers.

Even when she took a 7-year hiatus from the office in order to spend quality time with her two young children, she could often be found catering a range of events for her husband’s elite military unit, the White House Communications Agency.

Candy Lesher is the director of Cooking Sudio AZ

Cooking Studio AZ is a recreational cooking school where everyday people discover how to take their food preparation skills to the next level. Taught by a revolving list of top Valley chefs, classes are held in SunWest’s stunning, live Viking demonstration kitchen, the ideal venue for Cooking Studio AZ’s ongoing culinary program. This video was shot in SunWest’s kitchen.

We are very lucky Candy has given us some of her best low calorie recipes for losing weight. Recipes that are sure to make living with the Lap-band more fun.

Candy Lesher’s recipe for lap-band surgery patients


Candy’s Favorite Fish in Parchment (serves 2)

2 large sheetsbaking parchment
1-2 Tbllemon juice
2 tspDijon mustard
1 Tbllemon zest
2 tspHerb de Provence (or your favorite herb blend)
1 tspolive oil
6 mediummushrooms, thickly sliced
1 mediumzucchini, cut into thin sticks
2 smallcarrots, cut into thin sticks
1 smallshallot, peeled and chopped (optional)
12black olives (kalamata are especially nice)
20-22haricot vert (young, skinny green beans)
2 five-ouncefish filets
1 Tblscallion (green onion), finely minced
  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Fold the parchment in half and cut a “soft-shaped” heart. Repeat with the second piece of parchment.
  2. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, half of the zest, half of the herb blend, and all the olive oil.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, shallot (if desired), black olives and green beans. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss well.
  4. Divide the vegetables between the two pieces of parchment and gently mound on one side. Place fish on top of vegetables and sprinkle with remaining zest and herb blend.
  5. Beginning on one end and working towards the other, start crimping (folding) together the edges of the parchment to seal. Place on a baking sheet and bake approximately 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Cut open the packet (use caution, there will be lots of hot steam coming out!), serve and ENJOY!