Product Development For The Industrious Chef

When I first started cooking, I imagined myself eventually in my own restaurant serving great culinary inspired food on a nightly basis. I have gone that route before, but many years later I find myself in a much different arena, an arena still based on a solid culinary foundation, but the audience is larger than I ever imagined. This is a national audience, that hungers for the foods that only a chef can deliver; a new world that has an extensive supply of great jobs and where chefs can ply their trade in an exciting environment. This requires a move from chef to “New Product Expert”.

Moving from a classic culinary position in a restaurant or hotel, or out of culinary school, requires new skills for the aspiring chef. Product skills move from just making great food to creating product concepts. Product concepts are not menu items per se, but a consolidation of many differing skills and attributes, combined together in a way that is reproducible on a large scale. They now must appeal to millions of consumers versus hundreds.

Chefs must now gain an understanding of marketing and sales, have an intimate knowledge of their consumer and learn the language of consumer research, manufacturing and distribution. They must have a basic understanding of food science. Still, by far, the most difficult transformation is this:

The ability to transform from a chef who is passionate about an individual plate, to a culinary development expert who can look at their food objectively and be passionate about millions of plates, without losing the original culinary inspiration.

It’s a difficult journey, but one well worth the effort!
Keep cooking!!!
Tony Lagana

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786


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