Business

Charlotte chef to research new ways to make healthy meals

View of the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis as seen from an upper window of the David H. Murdock Research Core Laboratory building.
View of the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis as seen from an upper window of the David H. Murdock Research Core Laboratory building. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Mark Allison, a Charlotte resident and former dean of culinary education at Johnson & Wales University, has been tapped for the new position of director of culinary nutrition at the Dole Nutrition Institute in Kannapolis.

Started by Dole Food Chairman and owner David Murdock, the institute is the nutrition research and education arm of Dole, the world’s largest producer of fruits and vegetables. The company is working to expand culinary-focused education at its nutrition research facility at the North Carolina Research Campus, about 28 miles northeast of Charlotte.

In his new role, Allison will collaborate with food researchers at the institute to devise ways for consumers to prepare healthy and enjoyable meals, and will educate the public about nutrition via newsletters and community outreach, according to a statement this week.

Allison will also help teach groups of doctors, chefs, dietitians, health and culinary bloggers and retail and industry representatives how to create meal plans suitable for people with health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

The Dole Nutrition Institute will create a test kitchen in downtown Kannapolis to conduct small-group classes that will be available to the public.

A former executive chef at several restaurants, Allison served as senior vice president of culinary and kitchen operations for Charlotte-based Chanticleer Holdings. He’s the former dean of culinary arts education at the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute.

Last year, Dole Chairman Murdock started an endowment that will donate $15 million a year to the North Carolina Research Campus. A firm believer of the benefits of a plant-based diet, Murdock has said he wants the facility to be the “greatest scientific center in America.”

The institute focuses on plant-based nutrition and health. Its findings are distributed worldwide through newsletters, reference materials, cookbooks and teacher education programs.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

  Comments