Dawn M. Viola is a holistic nutrition educator, certified executive chef, culinary instructor, and founder of This Honest Food, helping families and individuals transform their health through food and cooking.
After a successful career as a copywriter, creative director, and documentary producer in the advertising industry for over a decade, Viola 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 companies such as Food Network, Applegate Farm, and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
Soon after, Viola 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.
Viola then joined the faculty team at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts as a nutrition and culinary instructor, chef presenter, and motivational speaker before launching her own holistic health business, This Honest Food. She is currently completing the final semester of her master’s degree in Holistic Health and Nutrition Education.
Viola served on the board of directors for the American Culinary Federation Central Florida Chapter for six years and is an active member, and also served on the Advisory Board for Florida Technical College’s Culinary Department. She is a professional member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, American Culinary Federation, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, World Chefs Association, and was the first woman in the state of Florida to be inducted into Les Disciples d’Escoffier. Through these organizations, she volunteers her time offering classes and seminars about healthy food choices and cooking.