Our signature chefs play an integral part in keeping us on the leading edge. Their passion, insights and real world expertise influence nearly every part of our foodservice business, from product innovation to identifying the latest trends. Unique perspectives that keep us (and you) in-the-know about the state of our industry and where it’s heading next. Take a moment to get to know our culinary creators.
Culinary Collective Lead
With culinary interests that started in the family kitchen of his aunt’s Vermont farm, Barry would go on to become Executive Chef at the University of Iowa. His 30-year tenure gives him invaluable insights across all aspects of foodservice, but Barry’s impressive industry experience doesn’t stop there.
Barry has received countless industry awards and accolades throughout in his career, including grand prize winner of Minor’s® Flavor Expedition Recipe Contest and top honors at the Cattleman’s “Best of the Barbecue” competition. He’s also a certified barbecue judge with the Kansas City Barbecue Society and has been a National Certification Committee member with ACF since March of 2021.
Cooking is where Barry feels most at home and finding ways to connect through food is what he loves most about the foodservice industry. To him, it’s always about the people whether it’s the guests he serves or the chefs who inspire him.
What trend has Barry excited right now? Everything BBQ, from its rich smoky flavors to the meticulous cooking process needed to get it right.
Certified executive chef with American Culinary Federation
Erich has been working as a corporate chef for over 30 years. From director of culinary sales to executive research chef, there isn’t a culinary role Erich hasn’t had. And it’s his experience across so many corporate kitchens that make him such a valuable resource for our team.
In terms of chef-to-chef tips, bacon grease is one Erich’s favorite cooking hacks. He suggests adding a little when cooking eggs or baking biscuits to open up a whole new world of flavor.
Where does Erich go for culinary inspiration? He loves asking his daughters to arrange dining when they travel since they always find unexpected places that excite him.
Member of the American Culinary Federation and the Research Chefs Association
Has served 8+ years on the Research Chefs Association Board
Hormel Foods Retail
Amy started her culinary career in Italy, where she assisted with nightly five-course meals at a prominent agriturismo (a style of vacationing in farm house resorts). Beyond her time in the kitchen, Amy helped maintain and harvest olive trees and cared for 130 Sardinian goats.
Following her time abroad, Amy honed her culinary skills at restaurants in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and New Orleans. She also spent 9 years working as a business marketing manager at Columbus Craft Meats.
What does Amy rely on to keep her busy kitchen running smoothly? Music. That’s right, singing songs in her head keeps her ready and focused no matter what comes her way. As for Amy’s favorite source of food inspiration, she says she loves her Culinary Collective team. That, and Instagram.
Foodservice experience working in Italy, North Carolina and Louisiana
Specializes in butchery, food prep and food pairings
9+ years as business marketing manager at Columbus Craft Meats
With over 30 years of R&D experience at Hormel Foods, Gina rounds out our culinary team by being the voice for what’s possible. Her unique expertise and passion for food are the perfect blend of product innovation and delicious creativity.
Gina comes from a long line of hard working foodies. From Italy to Nova Scotia to Minnesota, culinary curiosity has been in her bloodline for generations. What’s her favorite Hormel Foods experience? Working the 2022 NRA Show after a 3-year Covid hiatus and seeing people face-to-face. It was magic!
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