The Schwan Food Co.’s Chef Collective is whipping up some excitement in the frozen food arena with new Kitchen Collaboratives, chef-led culinary innovation workshops held at the company’s Marshall, Minn., test kitchens. With a goal of delivering innovative products that satisfy customer demands from wholesome to indulgent, a July 27-28 event will focus on new snacking concepts.
Begun in 2015, Schwan's Chef Collective is a partnership with chefs from top restaurants, food trucks, cookbooks and TV shows to scout emerging ingredients, cooking methods and global cuisines. New to the Schwan’s Chef Collective in 2016 is a Food Network personality, "Cutthroat Kitchen" judge Chef Jet Tila, who is also a longtime partner of Schwan’s Home Service Inc., and owner of Los-Angeles-based StirMarket and Dallas-based PakPao Thai restaurants. Along with Chef Jet, the 2016 Schwan’s Chef Collective includes past participants Chef Todd Erickson, Chef Dana Tough, Chef Brian McCracken, Chef Katie Lee Collier, and Schwan chefs Deb Hey, Matt Horn, Craig Claude and Michael Gunn. New faces include Chef Adrienne Mosier, Chef Ann Kim, Chef Adrienne Cheatham and Chef Stephanie Cmar.
“I’m excited to partner with Schwan in its commitment to become a more chef-driven company through the Schwan’s Chef Collective,” said Chef Tila. “I’m thrilled to work and collaborate with such a talented group of chefs to develop high-quality, great-tasting foods for today’s consumers.”
Chef Jet has been working with the company since 2011, developing pan-Asian inspired foods sold through Schwan’s Home Service, and his influence is increasingly expanding into the company’s retail and foodservice businesses.
“We see the Schwan’s Chef Collective evolving to meet the ever-changing tastes and expectations of our customers. To do so, we will continue to seek chef partnerships to evolve our current portfolio and create new food concepts,” said Stacey Fowler, SVP of product innovation and development for Schwan. “We believe the upcoming Kitchen Collaborative focused on snacking ― one of the hottest trends ― will produce ideas exploring portability, healthy options and ethnic flavors for our portfolio.”
Schwan’s Chef Collective also supports the company’s ingredient simplicity initiative to provide food that's free from unfamiliar ingredients and to bring a fresh perspective to frozen foods. Popular Schwan brands include Red Baron, Tony’s, Bon Appétit, and Freschetta pizzas, Mrs. Smith’s and Edwards desserts, and Pagoda snacks and appetizers, as well as Schwan’s home-delivered foods.