At the opening dinner in New Orleans on March 4, Mark Allison, a Master Chef of Great Britain, will provide insights into how the new generation of culinarians are being trained to be much more than great chefs—and how club and resort properties can benefit by making full use of their knowledge and abilities.
Mark Allison, Dean of Culinary Education for the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in Charlotte, N.C., will deliver the keynote address to open Club & Resort Business’ 2012 Chef to Chef Conference, which will be held from March 4-6 at the Royal Sonesta in New Orleans.
Allison will provide Conference attendees with insights into what Johnson & Wales— the only culinary school in America with university after its name—is doing “to educate the new generation of culinarians.”
The distinction of “culinarian” from “chef” is important, Allison notes. “Culinarians today need to be foodservice entrepreneurs who assume many other roles beyond Chef—including Artist, Marketing Manager, Human Resources Manager, Customer Relations Manager, Operational Engineer, Protector of the Environment and Sustainability, Chief Financial Officer, Nutritionist, Career Counselor, Celebrity, Part-time Pot Washer, and Community Supporter.”
In his keynote address at the Chef to Chef Conference, Allison will outline what “culinary schools are offering the chef/student of today, to make them successful by leaving college with the right skills and the confidence to succeed.”
Allison joined Johnson & Wales in 2004 as Associate Professor for the College of Culinary Arts, teaching courses in garde manger, French classical and international cuisine for four years, before he was promoted to his current position in 2008.
Originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne in England, Allison has earned several culinary certifications. In 1996, he earned a Certification in Education from the University of Wales and in 1998 he earned an M.B.A. from Leicester University, U.K.
A Master Chef of Great Britain since 1999, he was recently elevated to Fellow of The Master Chefs of Great Britain —an accolade bestowed to chefs considered to be at the top of their profession. Allison is one of only 25 Fellows in the United Kingdom. He is also a Master Craftsman of the Cookery and Food Association (Craft Guilds of Chefs) and holds memberships with the Hotel Catering International Management Association (HCIMA), Council on Hotel Restaurant & Institutional Education (CHRIE) and La Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Allison moved to the United States in 2004 from West Glamorgan, Wales, UK, where he was a senior catering lecturer at Neath Port Talbot College. While there, he led student teams to two unprecedented consecutive wins in 2001 and 2002 at the distinguished Toque d’Or competition. He also achieved fame at Neath Port Talbot College by winning Restaurant Magazine’s “Best College Restaurant” in Wales and the South West of England competition in 2004.
Allison also coached Johnson & Wales’ Charlotte Culinary Team for three years and led it to victory in the Intra-Collegiate Competition in 2007. Allison’s team was also one of the main attractions at the 2007 “Skills for Chefs Conference” held in Sheffield, England.
Allison’s honors include the 2011 JWU Research and Publishing Award; the 2009 JWU Community Service Award; the 2008 JWU Teacher of the Year Award; the 2006 JWU Outstanding Service Award; and the 2003 Neath Port College, U.K. Teacher of the Year Award. In 2003 he was personally honored by Prime Minister Tony Blair for his dedication to the Education and Hospitality field. In that same year he received the Craft Guild of Chefs Education & Training Award, which is considered nationally the ultimate achievement in culinary arts education in the U.K.
Allison’s industry contributions do not end in the classroom. He is on the Board of Directors for the American Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, as Matthew, his middle son, has type 1 diabetes. He also believes strongly in healthy eating for children in school and in the home. Allison is also on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Education Foundation and is a board member of the American Culinary Federation’s Charlotte Chapter.
He is currently working on International exchange programs with students, colleges, and chefs associations in the UK; he has recently organized scholarships for the Craft Guilds of Chefs Association and the Master Chefs of Great Britain, as well as setting up student work placements for JWU students in the UK.
He is a frequent lecturer and judge at colleges in France, Spain, Italy as well as Alaska and Singapore. He was a Judge for the Nestle′ Toque d’Or Competition, the Caterer and Hotelkeeper Magazines Catey Awards, and is a national judge for ProStart.
Allison is also a frequent writer for numerous culinary publications and previously had his own recipe column in the South Wales Evening Post. He has also appeared live on TV and Radio in the UK and US, most recently the Cooking Channel’s “Cooking School Confidential,” which featured JWU students. He is the author of “150 Projects to Get You into Culinary Arts” and is currently writing a diabetic cookbook, “Eat Sensibly with Diabetes,” with local Charlotte radio host Stacey Simms.
Allison’s keynote address will follow a reception and dinner that will open Club & Resort Business’ Fourth Annual Chef to Chef Conference on Sunday night, March 4, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans. A two-day conference will follow, featuring live cooking demonstrations from a number of top club chefs, as well as presentations from general managers and executive chefs involved with some of the industry’s most successful and innovative food-and-beverage programs.
A full agenda and registration information for the 2012 Chef to Chef Conference can be found at www.cheftochefconference.com. Registration discounts are available for registrations received by December 31.