Meet the Chef-Owner

Hello there! I’m Dawn Viola, a Functional Nutrition Educator and Certified Executive Chef with a focus on real food, from-scratch, clean eating, food as medicine — I call it Honest Food.

Using food to heal my body and reverse the damaged caused from years of misdiagnosed food allergies, I launched This Honest Food as a way to help you get back on a path to better health through better food, just like I did, using a functional nutrition and food-as-medicine approach in a few different ways:

  • Wellness Programs that help your body work SMARTER, not harder, in preventing and managing disease, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune disease.
  • Group and Individual Cooking Classes in our Teaching Kitchen that walk you step-by-step through recipes and fundamentals for healthy-easy meals you can recreate at home.
  • Free Online Resources, like eBooks, real food recipes, and natural living tips.

After a successful career as a copywriter, creative director, and documentary producer in the advertising industry, I switched my focus to food when I discovered I had multiple food allergies. I enrolled in culinary school, earning a second degree in Culinary Management, and a Master of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education. During that time, I also worked as a ghost writer and recipe developer for multiple cookbooks, and published an award-winning food blog, Wicked Good Dinner, which chronicled my food journey at the time. I’m a former culinary and nutrition instructor for the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, and also worked as an executive chef for several of the top culinary organizations in our area.


Chef Dawn Viola with Food Network’s Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, Chef Anne Burrell, and Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli.

I love participating in professional cooking competitions, but I think the most fun I’ve ever had at a competition was when I appeared on Food Network. I spent a couple of days at Buddy’s Cake Shop in New Jersey filming Cooks vs. Cons, and won the grand prize. You can read more about my Food Network adventure here, and can catch reruns of the episode onΒ  Amazon.