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Dole Nutrition Institute Names New Director of Culinary Nutrition

Veteran culinary educator and Charlotte resident Mark Allison will train chefs, dietitians, RDs, food and medical professionals

The Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI), the nutritional research and education arm of the Dole Food Company has created and filled the new position of Director of Culinary Nutrition as part of a long-range plan to expand the culinary-focused educational offerings at its nutritional research facility at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, N.C., near Charlotte.

Mark William Allison, former dean of culinary arts at the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute and the Charlotte campus of Johnson & Wales University, will leverage his culinary education experience to equip the next generation of chefs, dietitians, retailers, social influencers and food and medical industry professionals with the recipes and other resources they need to make long-term improvements to America’s nutritional health.

The announcement was made today by DNI Director and VP of Nutrition Research Nicholas Gillitt.

Created by Dole Chairman David H. Murdock, DNI is the world’s definitive, accessible, scientifically validated resource on plant-based nutrition and health. DNI’s nutrition researchers are active in the cutting-edge nutrition research contributing to the scientific platform for why fruits and vegetables are the healthiest foods on earth. These findings along with those from other universities around the world – including the eight schools working with the Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory – are distributed via newsletters, reference materials, cookbooks and in-school, teacher education programs that reach millions.

As director, Allison will serve as the link between the enormous nutritional benefits of produce and the best ways for customers and consumers to prepare and enjoy them from a culinary standpoint. His role allows him to collaborate with plant, food and nutritional scientists at DNI and NCRC to blend scientific findings with culinary arts to motivate the public to cook healthy meals filled with fruits and vegetables while educating them on the specific health benefits they are receiving.

Since arriving at DNI earlier this summer, Allison has tested recipes to share in cooking demonstrations, the DNI’s Nutrition News e-newsletter and an integrated Dole initiative called Get Up and Grow! that challenges the public to adopt a plant-based diet. He is writing a series of books linking nutrition to the disease prevention and management. Nutrition-focused community outreach initiatives are underway, and plans are being made to launch programs for culinary professionals and registered dieticians (RDs) in partnership with supermarkets, hospitals and schools.

Allison will eventually work with DNI researchers and RDs to create culinary arts curriculum that can empower small groups of doctors, chefs, dietitians, health and culinary bloggers and retail and industry representatives to devise meal plans aligned to specific human health needs including diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, cancer and obesity.

DNI will be creating a small demonstration and teaching kitchen in downtown Kannapolis to facilitate the small-group classes which will be available to the public as a public service.

As dean of culinary arts education at the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute, Allison was responsible for development of culinary curriculum, kitchen and dining room design, hiring and staff development, new student recruiting and overall strategies for institute growth.

Allison assumed a similar role for nine years at the Charlotte campus of Johnson & Wales University, where he led 40 faculty, 20 staff and 1,400 students. His strategic initiatives, facility improvements, staff-development programs, culinary events and other work during this time helped strengthen the organization’s stature on the world culinary stage.

Allison was previously senior VP of culinary and kitchen operations for Chanticleer Holdings of Charlotte after serving on the faculty of Neath Port Talbot College in Wales, U.K., and the Full Bright Teacher Exchange Program at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. He also was an executive chef at various restaurants.

A MBA graduate of the University of Leichester at the University of Wales, he has received dozens of teaching and culinary competition awards for his work as a coach and educator. He serves on the board of the American Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, North Carolina Education Foundation and the Charlotte Chapter of the American Culinary Federation, and is a member of a number of British and European culinary organizations.

In 2003, Allison was personally honored at 10 Downing Street in London by British Prime Minister Tony Blair for dedication to the education and hospitality field in Wales.

About the Dole Nutrition Institute

Created by Dole Chairman David H. Murdock, the Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI) DNI is the world’s definitive, accessible, scientifically validated resource on plant-based nutrition and health. DNI’s nutrition researchers are active in the cutting-edge nutrition research contributing to the scientific platform for why fruits and vegetables are the healthiest foods on earth.

These findings along with those from other universities around the world – including the eight schools working with the Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory – are distributed via newsletters, reference materials, cookbooks and in-school, teacher education programs that reach millions.

About Dole Food Company, Inc.

Dole Food Company is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education and research. For more information, please visit www.dole.com.

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