Donald Meints has been executive chef at CooperRiis since August of 2020 and oversees both the Farm Campus and the CooperRiis at Asheville Campus. Donald studied at the California Culinary Institute and spent much of his time working in restaurants in San Francisco before heading to Italy and Greece for a one-year stint. While abroad, he studied regional cuisine and worked in agritourism at farms and restaurants.
He came to North Carolina to work at Duke University as a culinary consultant before heading to Brevard College, NC, where he was the head of food services. This combined experience and Donald’s expertise as a restaurant owner provided the incredible skills necessary to oversee the kitchens at our campuses.
Donald focuses on nutrition and healthy eating and believes that optimal nutrition can heal and nourish the body and mind. He creates menus in collaboration with the Integrative Health Teams and features fresh, whole, and, whenever possible, local and organically grown. Much of the produce we serve is grown in our gardens, tended to as part of our Community Work & Service Program. These experiences help inspire and guide residents to better self-awareness and care for lifelong wellbeing.