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Culinary Solutions

Create Menu Solutions With Our Team Of Culinary Experts

Culinary Solutions

From packaging and processing expertise, to consumer insights and more

With over 150 years of combined experience in the culinary industry, including foodservice, R&D and product development, our culinary solutions team can create solutions that will satisfy the pickiest palates.
As chefs, we apply our customer-centric philosophy to custom menu concepts and products. We always begin with a full understanding of your business, your needs, and the needs of your customers. We work with services and resources across Ventura Foods to take an idea to gold standard prototype to commercialization and every step in-between.
Ventura Foods has three state-of-the-art innovation centers outfitted with commercial kitchens and product, pilot, and sensory labs to create and ideate new products. The centers are located across multiple time zones to ensure a team member is there when you need them, and that we have a firsthand understanding of food trends across regions.

Meet The Culinary Solutions Team

Paul Fiorentino
Paul Fiorentino
Vice President of Culinary, Operator Support Services

35+ years of experience.

Classically trained at Johnson and Wales University, Chef Paul has done it all, from slinging hash at an upscale diner to working as the Chef de Cuisine at a 4-star French restaurant. After a long stint in the restaurant business, Chef Paul earned an MBA and began a career combining his two passions–food and business–working in Research & Development for national brands such as Carvel Ice Cream Bakery and Ore Ida.

“I love working with customers to create exciting new menu items, and the camaraderie of the team through every level of execution makes me feel lucky to do what I do.”

How do you like to approach each project? It’s all about the mise en place. Not just while cooking, but preparing for customer visits, tastings, virtual ideation, you name it.

Favorite meal/dish to cook? I love to cook breakfast for my family.

What’s your superpower? I can make food taste great.

What’s on your playlist? 90s grunge.

Credo: Life is too short to be miserable.

Greg Stuhler
Greg Stuhler
Director, Culinary Services

35+ years of experience.

“I love the focus and dedication of the Ventura team when it comes to providing custom solutions, which takes a combination of listening and executing.”

Favorite part of your work at Ventura Foods? I particularly love working with customers to develop sauces that pair perfectly with their menus.

Favorite meal/dish to cook? Barbacoa with fresh corn tortillas, chopped onions, cilantro, lime and a complete flight of fresh-made salsas.

What’s your superpower? I’d have to say sauces because they’re the foundation of cooking.

What’s on your playlist? 60s Gold, from James Brown to The Marvelettes.

Steve Logan
Steve Logan
Director, Culinary Services

30+ years of experience.

“I love that we focus on our customers and exceed their expectations with delicious food and flavors that millions of people out there get to eat and enjoy.”

Where do you find inspiration? Almost anywhere, but especially going out to eat at restaurants.

Favorite meal/dish to cook? Chesapeake Bay Maryland steamed crabs.

What’s your superpower? Competitive eating. I can really put down some food.

What’s on your playlist? I’m listening to quite a bit of blues-inspired artists such as Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Markus King Band, and North Mississippi All-Stars.

Credo: Flavor is king, each and every time.

Teresa Oncel
Teresa Oncel
Manager, Culinary Services

Years of experience: 15+

“I love sharing the passion for food and flavor with fellow chefs and customers be it through ideation sessions, new product development or dine arounds!”

Where do you find inspiration?
I look to my roots / culture for inspiration, as well as previous experiences and unique ingredients.

Favorite meal/dish to cook? Stir fried noodles or fried rice are my ultimate go-tos!

What’s your superpower? On the fly!

What’s on your playlist? Greatest hits from the 70’s until today!

Credo: Innovation starts with the heart but should be validated by the brain.

Hytham Badr
Hytham Badr
Culinary Services Manager

20+ years of experience

Chef Hytham is classically trained at the Le Cordon Bleu of San Francisco and spent 9 years cooking in some of the most sought out kitchens such as Aqua of San Francisco. Hytham loved working in the restaurant industry always pursuing the best and most busiest places to work. After 20 years of cooking and managing restaurants, he decided it was time to focus on what he loves most and that’s being creative with flavors and touching as many people as he can with his food.

“I am super thankful to have this opportunity with Ventura Foods. I always loved Saturday night dinner service at the restaurants because of how many people we served. Now with Ventura Foods, I am able to assist a customer with a menu item that can potentially reach millions of people. Driving the innovation of foods and being able to collaborate with other Chefs to create a concept is an amazing honor to be apart of.”

How do I like to approach a project?
I like to ensure I understand the customer’s needs, be organized & resourceful and anticipate issues and concerns in advance.

Favorite meal/dish to cook? It’s a toss up between anything seafood and Egyptian style street food.

What’s your superpower? I speak Chef and Line Cook fluently!

What’s on your playlist? I don’t listen to music, I’m more of an e-book/podcast kind of person.

Credo: In the kitchen, Mise en Place and hard work rule!

Trever Defelice
Trever Defelice
Product Development Chef

17+ years of experience.

My culinary adventure began at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, where I honed my skills and developed a deep appreciation for Gastronomy. From there, I ventured into the dynamic realm of the grocery retail industry, where I served as a Food Service Manager for over a decade.

“In my role, I blend my classical training with real-world experience to craft innovative culinary solutions.”

How do you like to approach each project? I approach every project with a strong understanding of what our customers need, how I can development a flavorful & addictive product, while showcasing their specific flavor profile.

Favorite meal/dish to cook? Being from an Italian American family, with my mother cooking religiously while growing up, it’s any pasta dish that she made. She opened my eyes to a world that I’m thankful that has been my entire life & career.

What’s your superpower? Flavor Creation; leaving a lasting memory with the power of flavor.

What’s on your playlist?  My playlist is all over the place, but it allows me to create bonds with all walks of life. It ranges from classic rock, jazz, new wave, rap, hip-hop, lo-fi, metalcore.

Credo: To live is to eat, to eat is to live

Our Culinary Solutions Service Is All About Execution From A To Z

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Food Trends
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Planning & Strategic Positioning
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Custom Menu Solutions
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Innovation Centers

Innovations, Inspirations & Extraordinary Foods

Develop Your Exclusive Culinary Solutions With Ventura Foods

Develop Your Exclusive Culinary Solutions With Ventura Foods