Michael Holleman, director of culinary development for Indian Harvest, a producer and supplier of specialty grains, beans, legumes and blends for foodservice, received the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlanta-based Research Chefs Association (RCA) at the organization’s Annual Conference and Culinology® Expo in San Antonio, Texas, on March 24.  

The RCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to an individual who has achieved industrywide recognition for his or her contributions to the field of Culinology®. The recipient must have significantly influenced the food industry and/or the consumer market throughout his or her career, must be a veteran in the food industry for at least 25 years, and should be generally recognized as an inspiration to others in the industry.

Michael Holleman receives the RCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award from Janet Carver, president of the RCA and senior Culinology® group leader at National Starch Food Innovation.
Granting of the Lifetime Achievement Award is at the discretion of the RCA board to determine if nominees meet the stated criteria, and is not necessarily granted each year. Harry Crane, immediate past president of the RCA and executive chef of the Kraft Culinary Center of Excellence, was responsible for receiving nominations and working with the RCA’s board to determine the award’s recipient.

“Michael Holleman practices what we advocate,” Crane says. “He represents the ‘sweet spot’ of who the RCA really is—a mover and shaker in the food-product-development/culinary world—while still being at the tactical/development level of our industry.”

As the latest RCA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Holleman joins the ranks of such notable honorees as celebrity chef and author Jacques Pepin (2004); Paul Prudhomme (2005), owner of Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends and K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen; and Robert Okura, CEC, CFBE (2008), vice president of culinary development and corporate executive chef of The Cheesecake Factory, Inc.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Chef Mike’s recognition by the Research Chefs Association, which is an incredible milestone,” says Trevor Duininck, vice president of Indian Harvest. “As the leader of our experienced Culinary Team for many years, Mike has forged the way for innovative whole-grain solutions not only here at Indian Harvest, but in the industry as a whole. His passion for culinary excellence and the integrity he shares in bringing lesser-known grains to a wider market permeates our entire company.”

Founded in 1996, the Research Chefs Association represents more than 2,000 members including chefs, food scientists, technologists, writers, nutritionists, academicians, researchers, consultants, sales and marketing professionals, suppliers, co-packers, distributors and students. RCA is the premier source of culinary and technical information for the food industry and is committed to the advancement of Culinology®—the blending of the culinary arts and food science. For more information, visit