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Canada’s Smartest Kitchen ramps up for new projects

February 13, 2014


Michael Good (seated), Sarah Collins and Shane Hilderman discuss upcoming projects in Canada’s Smartest Kitchen.

Michael Good (seated), Sarah Collins and Shane Hilderman discuss upcoming projects in Canada’s Smartest Kitchen.

Charlottetown, PE Canada’s Smartest Kitchen (CSK), the research and development arm of The Culinary Institute of Canada, is preparing to undertake a number of new projects this year with the introduction of  three new skilled positions.  A food product developer, food scientist, and technical business analyst are the most recent additions to CSK’s growing team , Executive Peter Crooks announced recently.

“Over the past year, we have been successful in attracting some very big names in Canada’s food industry. These expert advisors have identified some key skills gaps that must be addressed in order for our organization to grow and to better address the innovation challenges of the regional food sector. We have strategically set out to attract some top quality talent that will broaden our service capabilities in brand and food product development to complement the strengths we already possess in the culinary creativity of our R&D chefs,” says Peter.

The new food product developer, Michael Good,  is a graduate of Holland College’s Bioscience Technology program. In addition to a strong background in science, Michael has eight years of experience in fine dining. He is a ”foodie” with a passion for food, wine, and perfect pairings, and has developed the wine program for some of PEI’s top restaurants.

“Michael will be responsible for overseeing all elements of our food product development projects, from initial concept development and recipe formulation to client liaison, to maintaining project budgets and ensuring key milestones are met,” Crooks said. “His previous experience in the pharmaceutical industry quality assurance and quality control and good documentation practices make him an ideal addition to our team.”

Sarah Collins recently joined the CSK team as their Technical Business Analyst with responsibility for business development. With over six years of experience in the bioscience, agriculture and value added agri-food sectors, an MBA in international business, and expertise in intellectual property management, commercialization, and entrepreneurship, Collins will be responsible for promoting CSK and its services to industry, identifying potential clients, strengthening the facility’s connection with industry, and assisting in the development of funding proposals.

“Sarah’s experience developing applied research projects, which connect industry partners with colleges and universities, and her experience in leveraging funding for joint industry-academic projects will be of great value to us,” Crooks said.

CSK has also hired a new food scientist, Shane Hilderman. HIlderman is a recent graduate of Holland College’s Culinary Arts program, and also possesses a degree in food science from the University of Saskatchewan.

“Growing up on a farm in the Prairies, Shane brings a wealth of experience and a great perspective that spans the entire food supply chain. His unique combination of culinary arts with food science was something of great interest to me,” Crooks said. “Shane is one of the most passionate people I have ever met when it comes to everything and anything related to food.  He will try anything, and that inquisitive mindset is a valued asset to CSKs entrepreneurial and creative food product development culture.”

Since opening its doors in 2009, Canada’s Smartest Kitchen has been providing culinary and product development services to Prince Edward Island and the broader Atlantic region’s food industry.  The creation of CSK was in direct response to a growing and emerging need of SMEs, food processors and primary producers to assist in the development of more culinary-inspired value added food products destined for retail and foodservice markets.

“CSK’s business model and services have undergone significant refinement over the past year with the addition of these new skillsets, bringing us more in line with the key innovation challenges faced by industry,” said Crooks. “We are now poised for significant growth and look forward to servicing our existing and new clients with expanded services and greater expertise.”

For food companies looking to innovate, Canada‘s Smartest Kitchen is a culinary powerhouse that delivers winning food products through a unique recipe of brand and product development expertise.


For media inquiries, please contact:
Sara Underwood
Media and Communications Officer
Tel: (902) 566-9695

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