• 66°

10 to watch: Vivian Ray

Vivian Ray

Vivian Ray is cooking up something unique at Livingstone College.

Ray, a highly trained chef with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, was hired to head up Livingstone’s hospitality management and culinary arts program.

Not only does she lead the program, but she developed its curriculum, as well.

“My platform that I always teach my classes from is healthy concepts,” she said. “I feel like it’s my baby.”

The program was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in May 2012, and has already attracted more than 100 students.

The program is now permanently housed in the old Holiday Inn on Jake Alexander Boulevard.

According to Ray, Livingstone is the only historically black college with a four-year bachelor of arts program in hospitality management, two-year culinary arts program and one-year certificate.

Ray was born and raised in Chicago and has degrees in restaurant management and culinary arts. She has her master’s degree from North Carolina A&T University in nutrition and food product development. Ray will receive her doctorate degree in March.

She said that very few chefs have their doctorate degrees, which will give her – and Livingstone – a special advantage.

Ray worked at Red Lobster, country clubs, catering businesses and hotels for a number of years, as well as in higher education positions at Purdue University and the University of Central Florida.

She’s studied at La Varenne in France and did a three-year apprenticeship in New Orleans, which she refers to as the “cooking capital of the world.” New Orleans is where she developed an affinity for Creole and Cajun cooking.

•  •  •

Job title: Director of Livingstone College’s hospitality management and culinary arts program

Age: 58

Address: Kannapolis

If you won $1 million in the lottery, what would you do? “I would probably take some students to Europe and do a culinary tour of the world.”

Favorite hobby: Dancing – Ray is a Chicago Stepper, which is a particular kind of dance — and cooking

Who should play you in a movie? Halle Berry

What would you choose for your last meal? I would choose a red fish burgundy with a grit cake and a medley of Brussels sprouts and sautéed bacon, shallots and cranberries

Who will you watch in 2015? “I will be watching my boss (Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, president of Livingstone College). He is a visionary.”

Biggest challenge in 2015: To “create a nationally recognized brand” with a reputation for quality graduates and completing her doctorate degree in March.

Biggest hope for 2015: Ray hopes to have 350 students enrolled in Livingstone’s hospitality management and culinary arts program by the end of 2015. She also wants to create a healthier environment in local middle schools.

Reaction to making the list “I was excited. I didn’t realize anyone recognized that I was there at Livingstone.”

Comments

Crime

Man faces kidnapping, assault charges after woman escapes at Webb Road Flea Market

Local

Natoli promoted to assistant county manager, will retain human resources director title

Education

Attendance restriction lifted for RSS graduation ceremonies

Business

Rowan Chamber of Commerce will host in-person Power in Partnership on Thursday

Business

Rowan EDC will undergo name change, alter board requirements with updates to bylaws

Nation/World

Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive

Nation/World

Supreme Court to take up major abortion rights challenge

Nation/World

Biden boosting world vaccine sharing commitment to 80M doses

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May