Chef Alonzo Villarreal joined the faculty of his alma mater, Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in 2008. He is an instructor in the Culinary Nutrition department at the Providence Campus where he teaches courses including Nutrition and Sensory Analysis and Designing Healthy Desserts.
A native of Austin, Texas, Chef Villarreal discovered his passion - both professionally and personally - as a student at James Bowie High School where he became interested in the world of culinary arts and Christina Hernandez, a classmate who would later become his wife and colleague at JWU. At the early age of 16, he was a banquet cook the The Driskill Hotel, a landmark of legendary Texas hospitality. He then pursued his education at JWU's Providence Campus where he earned an associate's degree culinary arts in 2001, continuing on for a bachelor of science degree in Culinary Nutrition in 2003. In keeping with the university's career focus, he completed internships and worked at some of Providence's notable restaurants. In addition, he was a teaching assistant and fellow, supervising and evaluating students at the university's Radisson Hotel Bistro style restaurant.
Villarreal returned to Texas to study at Texas State University where he completed a dietetic internship towards becoming a registered dietitian. While there, he was a graduate assistant teaching a food science lab class and he completed an internship at the Lake Austin Spa.
He gained industry experience with Sodexho Healthcare Services as Executive Chef/Operations Manager at North Austin Medical Center. He then joined the staff of the Texas Department of Agriculture in 2005 as a compliance monitor, later becoming a nutrition coordinator where he led trainings and conducted reviews of the School Meal Initiative in 1,200 school districts throughout the state.
His heart remains deep in Texas and since joining the faculty of JWU, he uses his summer vacations to teach culinary techniques courses to school foodservice employees, incorporating healthy recipes. He is currently pursuing an MBA degree at the Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School at JWU.