Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Darryl Holliday, B.S. ’05

Dr. Darryl Holliday graduated from Nicholls State University in 2005. Holliday says that he knew he wanted to go to culinary school because of his passion for food and cooking. After graduating culinary school, he furthered his education by receiving a Master’s and a PhD in Food Science. Currently he is a senior level food and beverage professional with expertise in culinary and food science product development, ingredient functionality, cost reduction, and business development/marketing presence.

Dr. Holliday has had the opportunity to work with many well-known chefs such as David Burke, Wylie Dufrasne, Harold McGee and Ferran Adria’. After over 15 years in the food industry, Dr. Holliday now holds the title of Assistant Professor, Director of the Food Science Program and Department Chair for Biological and Physical Sciences at the University of Holy Cross. Darryl is also an active member of the Research Chefs Association. 

Q: What interested you in this side of culinary?

A: I have always enjoyed the science side of cooking, and Food Science and Culinology give me the opportunity to combine my love of cooking with the science that is happening.

Q: How important do you think that culinary school was to your success? 

A: Culinary school laid a solid foundation for the appreciation of food which has led me to be a better food scientist. It helped me focus on waste product utilization and value-added processing which is in high demand with food companies. By understanding food from both the culinary and the food scientist perspective, I am able to create foods that not only have the shelf –life needed for retail, but also the flavors and quality customers expect.

Q: What did you learn at CJFCI that still impacts you today? 

A: CJFCI taught me to respect food, never be afraid to take on more work/responsibility, and always ask questions.

Q:  What is your current job like? What are some new things that your company has been working on?

A: My job involves teaching, working with local food manufacturers, and helping build the food manufacturing environment in the Greater New Orleans Metro area. I expect our program to grow as UHC invests in equipment and resources for our program. We are currently developing new biodegradable food packaging options and working on 3D printing of foods.

Q: What do you think is a common misconception that people have of the food science industry?

A: Food science is not the scary idea of people making foods in a laboratory but the coming together of biology, chemistry, business, culinary arts and technology to help get foods from the farm to fork in a safe, healthy, and nutritious manner while meeting the needs of the customer and expectations of the consumer.