grain bowl

How We Do Recipe Development Differently

With Chief Culinary Officer, Harvest Table Culinary Group, Matthew Thompson and Culinary Systems Analyst, Harvest Table Culinary Group, Jenn Needle.

At Harvest Table, we do things differently, including how we develop our recipes. Jenn Needle
Culinary Systems Analyst

1. Train. Train. Train.

The first step to creating our recipes starts with training. But it’s bigger than food–it’s learning how to share your passion with the team. Every location sends different chefs to development sessions and they come back with more knowledge and a feeling that what they’re doing makes a difference.

chefs in kitchen
The emphasis behind training is so important. Our team believes in what they’re doing and in being the best, and that’s an awesome to be a part of. Jenn Needle
Culinary Systems Analyst

2. Get creative.

Always start with a concept. Having an objective is important when it comes to recipe development. The other part? Staying inspired. We find inspiration everywhere. We go out and taste local food-trends, we seek out the hottest restaurants, we even travel the globe to provide new flavors and more authentic experiences for our guests.

Every time we look at a concept, we’re looking at where it originated from and how it can be its most authentic self. Jenn Needle
Culinary Systems Analyst

3. Find the right ingredients.

We have partnerships with several food hubs and we work directly with farmers and planters to understand what’s happening in the industry.

Our partnerships allow us to impact growing schedules, so we can talk to the food hub and forecast ingredients we could use at our restaurants. This helps us increase freshness, decrease waste, and grow together with our partners.

people talking over food

4. Get feedback.

Making sure new recipes hit the mark on flavor and nutritional needs makes a huge difference. Our chefs and dietitians work together to balance flavor and health. Once a dish is ready, we ask the students what they think, and modify until it’s exactly what they want (and need).

chef in kitchen
We try to reduce sugars and find healthier ways to make small modifications, it’s trial and error, and we keep trying until we get it right. Chef MATTHEW THOMPSON, PCIII, CEC, CCA

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