Celebrity chefs are everywhere these days. From the crowded Internet to the televised food networks, to our book stores and kitchens, innovative chefs with great stories to tell continue to capture the attention of all of us who work in the food business. And well they should with all they bring in terms of culinary knowledge and experiences, as well as creativity and innovative talent.
Leading chef and culinary stars have become more and more engaged in the business of marketing commercial brands in the food ingredient channels and helping ingredient marketers present their products to their customer companies. Chefs are used to create, prepare and present finished applications that utilize the marketer’s ingredient and showcase its benefits for customer products. R&D, food science and new product developers from customer enterprises are drawn to the chefs for their applications and the insights.
A great example of this was on display at the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) conference and expo in Monterey this summer. Celebrity Chef Robert Danhi’s appearance at the Sunkist booth created a lot of buzz on the trade show floor. Chef Danhi is well known with his involvement on the board of directors for the Research Chef’s Association (RCA) and for his travels across Asia searching out great local foods.
Chef Danhi created, prepared and served Grilled Sunkist Lemon Planks, an intriguing new use of sliced lemons grilled and presented with salmon, green tea and jasmine oils. Not only did it taste great, but it also led to engaged conversations with Sunkist customers and prospects on new and different ways to utilize lemons in their products and applications. Those types of engaged conversations will always lead to more sales for Sunkist.
Expect to see even more celebrity chefs working with the leading ingredient companies over the next year. It should make for some really terrific new samples at the food trade shows, as well as some exciting new products.