With frozen meal options like Shitake mushroom risotto and Lean Cuisine butternut squash ravioli, food companies are employing chefs to keep their products innovative and interesting.
Over the past 20 years, food companies have experienced increasing pressure to be more flavor-competitive, especially now that Food TV-savvy Americans are demanding authentic ethnic cuisine. Food processors recognize the need to bring on culinary expertise to meet the demands of this more culinary educated consumer.
So companies began bringing in chefs to create gold standards and to help the food scientists understand how the final product should taste. While chefs brought great ideas, they didn’t always understand the food scientists’ requirements. But as the two types worked together, a new kind of food developer emerged: the Research Chef.
While the roles of research chefs in the different arenas of food product development are relatively similar, processes (and stresses) will differ depending on the area of industry focused on…