Michael Cheng

HeadshotInterim Dean, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Florida International University

Session: Evolution of Culinology Education: Past, Present and Future

Get to Know Michael

Dr. Michael Cheng is presently serving as Interim Dean at the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. He was previously a tenured Associate Professor and Director of the Food and Beverage Program. Dr. Cheng has subject matter expertise in food product development, introductory food science, Culinology, restaurant development, sensory analysis, facility layout and design, as well as food and beverage management. Prior to joining Florida International University, Dr. Cheng served as Department Chair, Director of Global Studies and MBA Programs, and Professor of Culinology at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Dr. Cheng received both his B.S. and M.S. in Restaurant/Foodservice Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his Ph.D. in Hospitality Management from Iowa State University. He brings over 20 years of experience in teaching and learning in Culinology and Hospitality Management, and established the world’s first and only academic discipline that blends culinary arts and food science, Culinology. The Vilcek Foundation recognized his achievements by placing Dr. Cheng as a finalist in the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in the Culinary Arts in 2010. He has been twice honored by the Research Chefs Association (RCA) with the President’s Award for his continued innovation, dedication, leadership and extraordinary contributions to the RCA community. Since the inception of the first Culinology degree program at Nebraska, Dr. Cheng has been involved with establishing other Culinology programs, including University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Southwest Minnesota State University and Taylor’s University, Malaysia. Dr. Cheng was invited by the National Restaurant Association to be on a panel of Culinology experts at the 2006 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago, has presented at various national and international conferences, such as the Molecular Gastronomy Workshop at University College Cork, Ireland, the Research Chefs Association Culinology Expo, the League for Innovation, and the National Institute for Staff and Institutional Development. In addition, he has also been invited to judge several culinary competitions in Florida, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Dr. Cheng is also a published author of several peer-reviewed articles on Culinology competencies, and has been awarded over $1million in public and private funded research. He continues to volunteer and serve on the Education Committee for the Research Chefs Association. Dr. Cheng is a native of Malaysia.