By The Grower staff

Kannapolis-based North Carolina State University has teamed with Charlotte, N.C.-based Johnson & Wales' culinary education program to connect plant breeders with the "chefs of tomorrow."

The goal of the N.C. Strawberry Project is to harvest information from the culinary industry, produce buyers and consumers that NCSU's breeding program can use to develop a better berry, according to a news release.

The project taps the expertise of chefs, since they regularly are the intermediaries between growers and consumers.

Jeremy Pattison, a strawberry breeder, will incorporate the project's findings into his program.

Students in the culinary program will learn about the best quality products and how to connect with researchers and growers in the state.

The project is supported by a $200,000 Golden LEAF Foundation grant.