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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.

Britain Smyth
Britain Smyth
Manager, Culinary and Operator Support Services

25+ years of experience.

“I love to work with like-minded people who love food, love to laugh, and have fun while tackling new projects.”

Favorite part of your work at Ventura Foods? Discovering and creating delicious new sauces for customers’ menus.

Favorite meal/dish to cook? Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.

What’s your superpower? Awesome hair.

What’s on your playlist? Slayer, duh.

Credo: Salt needs salt.

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.

Tony Avasakdi
Tony Avasakdi
Manager, Culinary Services

35+ years of experience.

“I love working in a food solutions company, where not only do I get to be around food every day, but I get to introduce operators to exciting new ideas and products, too.”

Where do you find inspiration? I like to flip through food magazines, like Bon Appetit, Flavor & the Menu, Food & Wine, Milk Street, or Cook’s Illustrated.
Favorite meal/dish to cook? Comfort food. A really good pasta dish, or an herbed roasted chicken with fluffy whipped Yukon Gold mashed potatoes.

What’s your superpower? Kitchen magic. I take our Ready-to-Use Products and combine them with common pantry items in a restaurant’s inventory to create a really fabulous on-trend dressing, sauce, or marinade. Voilà, delicious.

What’s on your playlist? Smooth jazz from the 1970s and 1980s.

Credo: Time is a valuable resource. I try not to waste it.

Jeremy Omer
Jeremy Omer
Manager, Culinary And Operator Support Services

20+ years of experience.

“I love that the items we create reach millions of people around the world, and that I can actually impact what consumers eat on a daily basis.”

How do you approach each project? With an open mind! Every project is different because every customer is different.

Where do you find inspiration? By traveling to different cities, reading food publications, and especially scrolling through social media. There has been a huge boom in the last 10 years and it’s easier (and faster) than ever to see trends and bring them to our customers.

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