Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dining through the Decades

Part XII: Commitment to quality, innovation and deliciousness

Oct. 11, 2017 — In 2015, Schwan’s Company launched its Schwan’s Chef Collective in support of its commitment to bring delicious, innovative foods to our customers.

Comprised of Food Network stars, “Top Chef” contestants, successful restaurateurs and distinguished corporate chefs, our Schwan’s Chef Collective helps fuel the product innovation and development pipeline across all of our businesses and supports our continued journey of creating quality foods that meet dietary needs while also using responsible, sustainable and natural ingredients.

This week, we had the pleasure of celebrating the Schwan’s Chef Collective’s completion of a two-year journey exploring regional trends with “Taste Tours.”

“Our Schwan’s Chef Collective is made up of chefs from across the country, who all have unique cooking styles and passions — and that is by design,” says Lauren Halgerson, manager of Schwan’s Chef Collective. “Through our Taste Tours that started in September of 2015, we’ve joined these chefs to discuss regional trends from across the country and take back key learnings to our test kitchens in Marshall, Minnesota. These influences have helped us create new food concepts for our customers.”

Over the last two years, Schwan’s Taste Tours have been led in Minneapolis, St. Louis, Miami, Los Angeles and New York, all in the hometowns and restaurants of the members of our Schwan’s Chef Collective. By exploring the local markets of the chef members, we’ve tapped into regional flavor trends to inspire new food innovations and develop new recipes for our existing Schwan’s products.

From New York-based Schwan’s Chef Collective member Adrienne Cheatham’s Korea Town-inspired spicy BBQ wings to Miami-based chef Todd Erickson’s grilled fish with mango-mustard glaze, each chef brought the essence of their local eateries into recipe inspiration for home cooks, ideation for new food concepts in retail and solutions for foodservice partners.

Long-time partner and member of the Schwan’s Chef Collective, Chef Jet Tila, invited our team into his Los Angeles home to see first-hand where he draws his cooking inspiration. While there, Tila created a Hawaiian pork loin rack roast recipe using oyster sauce, soy sauce and hoisin sauce.

“My food is predominantly Thai and Chinese because it was the food I was exposed to growing up,” Tila said. “And my cooking overall represents the neighborhood where I grew up in LA — between Thai Town, Chinatown, Koreatown and Little Tokyo.”

Katie Lee Collier, a prominent chef from St. Louis, Missouri, invited the Schwan’s Chef Collective to her award-winning artisan Italian restaurant, Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria, to develop recipes highlighting seasonal ingredients as pizza toppers and using them to add more flavor to dishes.

“Through the Schwan’s Chef Collective Taste Tours, we were interested in injecting fresh thinking into our innovation process,” said Stacey Fowler Meittunen, Schwan’s senior vice president of Product Innovation & Development. “By leveraging some of today’s hottest culinary talent to introduce us to trending and authentic new ingredients, cooking styles and preparation techniques, we have been able to create delicious recipes that fit the ever-changing tastes of our customers. We look forward to our next round of taste tours that will take place in 2018 and beyond.”

“Dining through the Decades is a blog series commemorating our company’s 65 years of commitment, quality, growth and service with customers, consumers and employees all across the United States. We invite you to stay tuned throughout the year as we continue to share some of our company’s best stories and highlights of how we got to where we are now.”

To view more Dining through the Decades features, visit:

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