Our Story

In early 2020, the founders of Crownview Co-occurring Institute, a long-term mental health treatment center in Oceanside, CA, decided to build a commercial kitchen to increase the nutritional quality of the organization’s food program while reducing overall costs. The perfect location was found in Vista, California and construction soon began. Shortly thereafter, CCI fortuitously acquired Chef Rob Ruiz and Nutritional Health Systems was born. Rob worked tirelessly and with great enthusiasm with the planning and development of NHS’ commercial kitchen which officially opened in early 2021.

During the construction of NHS’s commercial kitchen, Chef Rob and Jeff Klein wanted to take the nutrition program to the next level. The two sought out to find a location to build a farm.

Ed Cannon “Farmer Ed” joined the team and together they found land in Bonsall, California which soon became Olive Hill Farm. After six months of hard work, Olive Hill Farm is thriving and integrating our own organic vegetables into the food program at CCI through the Nutritional Health System’s commercial kitchen. Additionally, Olive Hill Farm currently provides employment opportunities to CCI’s senior residents and graduates harvesting, washing, and packing produce.

During the restructuring of the program’s dietary plan, we came to realize we would need a lot of help. Chef Rob’s idea was to create a culinary program, teaching real-world and valuable life skills to senior residents and graduates of CCI. Within days, NHS’s classroom was constructed, and the culinary program was designed and executed. Students follow a curriculum based on the Culinary Institute of America textbook, along with real life application of techniques. Each Student receives their San Diego County food handlers’ card, chef coat, aprons, and their first knife roll. NHS Culinary Program Graduates earn a certificate of completion, and a trade skill that will offer gainful employment opportunities. Graduates of CCI now have an opportunity to attend NHS’s culinary program, followed by employment opportunities including Nutritional Health Systems.

The growth at Olive Hill farm and the NHS kitchen has allowed us to expand our team, and offer catering services to further the opportunities for our clients. Additionally, Olive Hill Farm’s catering services help fund NHS, thereby expanding the culinary program, providing more opportunities for individual success.

Chef Robert Ruiz

Chef Robert Ruiz has close to 20 years of experience in the Culinary Industry.  Training in classic French, Hawaiian, and Japanese Cuisine.  His inventiveness, mindful determination, and meticulous care has earned him recognition as one of the nation’s progressive culinary minds.  Chef Ruiz has humble roots in San Diego, CA., and a decade on the Big Island of Hawaii.

2010 he earned the title of “Chef of the Fest” at the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

2012 and 2013 Ruiz served as the Executive Chef for the Party in the Valley at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.

Ruiz also began working extensively with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 2013.

In 2014 Ruiz opened his signature restaurant, The Land & Water Co., recognized in the cities top 10, and San Diego Magazine Critics Choice Best Sushi in San Diego.

2016 Chef Ruiz worked with Slowfood, representing the USA at Terra Madre, Salon de Gusto, Turin, Italy.

2016 Chef Ruiz was recognized as “Chef of the Year” by the San Diego Union Tribune.

Chef Ruiz received global recognition for his dedication to improving seafood industry practices at the 2016 Ocean Awards, in London, presented by the Blue Marine Foundation.

October 2017 Ruiz was featured at the StarChefs annual Chefs Congress in Brooklyn, NYC.

2018 The Land & Water Co., is featured in Alice Waters book, “Truth, Love, and Clean Cutlery”.

2019 Ruiz was certified as a Leader for the James Beard Foundation’s SmartCatch Program.

2019 Featured Chef at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival.

Amanda Irrgang, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Amanda Irrgang is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a passion for helping client’s reconnect to their bodies and establish a healthy relationship with food. Amanda holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Point Loma Nazarene University and completed her postgraduate dietetic training through California State University Long Beach.

Amanda engages in continued nutrition education to stay abreast of new research in the nutrition realm to provide client’s with evidence based care. In one-on-one nutrition counseling, Amanda uses a non-diet approach to facilitate long term change in eating behaviors, providing clients with the tools and education necessary to achieve healthier eating habits.

Client care is highly individualized with consideration of any medical diagnoses and client’s stage of readiness to make changes. In group nutrition sessions, Amanda uses a hands on approach to nutrition education via cooking activities and food demos.