Culinary Innovation

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Culinary Innovation

Unique requirements require a very specific set of skills

Not every Chef was created to remain in the kitchen. For a select few, their destiny is to segue into culinary innovation. These are the Chefs who blend culinary artistry with food science. Sometimes called “R&D Chefs” they create masterpieces drastically different from their colleagues in the restaurants, hotels, and clubs of the world. R&D Chefs will be found in the following types of work:

  • Menu Innovation – Restaurant, Hotel, and Foodservice companies rely on culinary innovation professionals to engineer their menus. This requires training in culinary arts, food science knowledge, the ability to process and apply consumer research, and the expertise to tie it all together. The goal is a menu and limited time offer (LTO) offerings that are appealing to the company’s target market, in line with concept, easily produced, and profitable.
  • Marketing & Sales – Manufacturers and distributors employ scientists and technologists to ensure products are safely and accurately produced. But by and large, those folks are not as proficient with application as an R&D Chef. R&D Chefs bridge the gap between production and application, advising customers how to implement products on their menus to satisfy their guests while increasing profitability and operational excellence.
  • Product Development – R&D Chefs who have more advanced knowledge of food science may work in product development for a manufacturer. In this segment, they work with the innovation, marketing, science, and operations teams to create and develop new food and beverage items. As with menu innovation, they take into account flavor and texture trends, consumer research, sensory panels, pricing, and budget targets to attain the goal of a high quality product that will sell through grocery and foodservice channels.

SHS has successfully placed dozens of culinary innovation professionals, working on assignments with a wide range of companies throughout the US. A few of our culinary innovation placements include:

  • Director of Menu Innovation, $Multibillion Quick Service Restaurant Chain (QSR)
  • Corporate Chef, High Volume Full Service Restaurant Group
  • Director of Culinary, Mid-size Food Manufacturer
  • Vice President of Food & Beverage, Major Sports Entertainment Contractor
  • Director of Beverage Innovation, Full Service Restaurant Chain
  • Corporate Chef/Director of Culinary, Cruise Line
  • Vice President, Food & Beverage, Cruise Line
  • Corporate Chef, National Full Service Upscale Steakhouse Chain


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