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NY Times Spotlights Charlotte’s Culinary Evolution

In the 1990s, Charlotte was known as a bland food town filled with crowd-pleasing corporate chains.

Not any more, writes the New York Times’ Kim Severson: “The odd pairing of the local food movement and the punch delivered by the financial crisis has done much for the character of a city used to playing it safe.”

Charlotte’s food scene has come a long way, thanks in part to JWU’s influence, notes the NY Times’ Kim Severson.

JWU + Charlotte: a Culinary Match
JWU is one reason Queen City denizens are eating better, writes Severson: “The food rally was certainly helped by a Johnson & Wales campus that opened in 2004 and small, delicious strides in locally made food like cheese and chocolate.”

And Charlotte cuisine isn’t all barbecue and fried chicken, emphasizes Mark Allison, the Charlotte Campus’ dean of culinary education. As he told Charlotte News 14, “The food scene in Charlotte is going to explode in the next 10, 15 years. We’ve got some great up-and-coming chefs.”

Next Generation of Chefs
Many of them are JWU alumni, including:

  • Trey Wilson, chef/owner, Customshop
  • Pete Nowak, executive chef, The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Tara Goulet, managing partner, Birdsong Brewing Company
  • Thomas Condron, owner, The Liberty

As JWU Charlotte chef-on-assignment Peter Reinhart told Creative Loafing, “We love it when one of our graduates makes a statement locally. Many come from this area and have a vested interest in staying around. ... Little by little we’ve created a talent pool in the Charlotte area for the future.”