Dawn Viola is a holistic health and nutrition advocate, helping people cook healthy meals at home using a food-as-medicine approach to better health. She is an award-winning certified executive chef and culinary instructor with a master’s degree in Holistic Health and Nutrition Education.
After a successful career as a copywriter, creative director, and documentary producer in the advertising industry, Chef Dawn switched her focus to food when she discovered she had multiple food allergies. She enrolled in culinary school, earning a second degree in culinary management, and worked as an independent food writer while completing her externship at America’s Test Kitchen in Boston. During that time, she was also a ghost writer for multiple cook books, and worked as a freelance research chef, recipe developer, and contributing editor for health-centric companies like Applegate Farm and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
Soon after, Chef Dawn joined Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida as Executive Chef and Community Kitchen Director. While there, she assisted in building their 2000-square-foot commercial kitchen space that would become the home of three new lines of business she created, launched, and managed: a culinary training program with job placement assistance for at-risk adults; a full-service farm-to-table catering and events operation; and a contract community meal production program that provided meals to school-aged children. She also laid the groundwork for the development of a signature food product for consumer and wholesale markets just before her departure, initiated the accreditation process for the culinary training program, and developed the structure for a collegiate-level cooking and nutrition course to be integrated with the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine programs.
Chef Dawn then joined the faculty team at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts as a culinary and nutrition instructor before launching her own holistic health business, This Honest Food.
In addition to being a decorated professional chef with multiple gold and silver medals for her cooking, she recently won Food Network’s newest cooking competition, Cooks vs. Cons, for her innovative spin on Scotch eggs, landing her the grand prize. You can catch the episode on Food Network and Amazon.