Professor Melanie Grand has been an HRA faculty member since 1989. Currently she teaches courses in food production, safety and sanitation, banquet operations and casino management. She is also a Certified ServeSafe instructor. Prior to joining Missouri State University she held a variety of hospitality industry positions including, posts as a sous chef, the kitchen manager for Hemingway’s at Bass Pro and for Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Missouri, a deli director and a self-employed private caterer. Professor Grand is a recognized authority on new product development and testing with a specialization in institutional foods and has consulted for nationally prominent firms for the past 20 years. In addition, she operates her own consulting firm that specializes in restaurant turnaround strategies. She holds memberships in a variety of professional organizations including the American Culinary Federation, the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education, the Missouri Restaurant Association and Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society.
Grand is active in a variety of university, professional and public service activities and has received university wide recognitions for teaching, service and making a difference in students’ lives. She is also a sought after food and public affairs commentator and has made numerous appearances on both local and national radio and television outlets. In 2006, she won the Golden Acorn Award for her presentation on the history of barbecue on National Public Radio.
Melanie’s research interests center on the history and cultural impact of food, and public policy and food safety. She has conducted studies focusing on the origins and differences between Mandarin and Cantonese cuisine, African foods and their contribution to the American diet, and the impact of foods and beverages on the history of the world, to name a few. In addition, she has studied and published in the areas of student recruitment and customer service as well as control plans for the Norwalk virus.