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Research chef

Career Highlights

  • Culinology is the fusion of culinary art and food technology
  • Formulating flavor for convenience meal design
  • Convenience foods is a billion dollar industry
  • Tasty, healthy meals for on the go people

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Career Summary

Thanks to television romanticizing of the chef and recipe recreation, people have become more food-savvy developing a more complex food desire. Though they do not always necessarily want to separate themselves from the television to prepare it from scratch. They want to pick up a box from the supermarket so that they can heat it in the microwave oven and relish the flavor and smell enjoyed by audience participates at cooking shows. But how are these boxed creations created? Research Chefs are responsible.

culinary dishWe all love to conjure up childhood memories of the roast chicken from our yesteryears. Delivering homemade-quality convenience to consumers is a considerable challenge for manufacturers. Formulating flavor is a key element of convenience meal design. Designing products for foodservice using culinary arts and technology is a cross-cultural partnership between the research chef and the food scientist.

Winston Riley, former president and a founder of the Research Chefs Association (RCA), coined the term culinology. Culinology is the fusion of two disciplines - culinary art and food technology. Research chefs skilled in culinologists have the ability to develop economical, convenient, shelf-stable foods that have the look, taste and smell of culinary food served in a restaurant.

Research chefs and team staff members compare the flavor, texture, appearance and aroma of pre-packaged and convenience foods against the "real McCoy." In each test a list of differences are compared and objectively rated. Observations include how similar or dissimilar the pre-packaged product is to the target. One of the most important aspects of a successful product is the team work between scientist and chef. Their collaboration is the key to keeping food as close to retaining authentic flavors as possible.

To become a research chef, itís critical to work on the production side in the restaurant industry. While many research chefs and food scientists get labeled with the starry-eyed geek stereotype, the majority tends to be practical problem solvers with a passion for food.

Convenience foods are a billion dollar industry that combines art, taste, marketing and science. Designing specialty foods for consumer groups such as kids and dieters is a complex science to produce the best tasting culinary delights while also being the most attractive culinary package in the supermarket.

Convenient on the go meals are convenient to use because their packaging can be customized to specific batch sizes, consumer groups (dieters) and efficiently such as parents who drink their breakfast during the morning commute. The containers themselves are often recycled, reused or easily disposable. With research chefs behind the tasty meals, on the go people can eat healthy and delicious.




Requires a degree in:

  • Bakery & Pastry Degree
  • Culinary Degree

Career Skills

  • A passion for food.
  • Knowledge of ethnic/regional cuisines and preparation/spicing/presentation
  • Knowledge of recipe development
  • Creativity
  • Knowledge of food trends

Additional Information



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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.