credibility and set yourself apart from
everyone else. Her website and blog can
be found at www.feedmeheartfully.com.
There are no specific organizations for
recipe testers, but there are professional
groups that have subgroups, such as the
International Association of Culinary
Professionals that offers a Test Kitchen
Professionals networking membership.
Joining other groups such as Research
Chefs Association or The American
Culinary Federation, can offer
networking opportunities, as well.
Gordon suggests attending trade
shows—both large ones, such as the
National Restaurant Association
Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in
Chicago, and smaller ones put on by
commodity boards—to learn about the
latest flavor and food trends.
“I spend time at local grocery stores
to see what fresh foods are being
stocked and walk the packaged food
aisle to see what new items are coming
to market,” says Gordon. “I also read
blogs to keep up on trends, such as
Food52 and The Kitchn.”
SALARY AND FEES
Salary and fees are dependent on status
of employment: full time, part time,
freelance (or contract), as well as the
type of company and the person’s level of
experience. Full-time positions guarantee
a salary and other company benefits.
For a contract position, Chalmers
recommends considering the fee
offered before accepting an assignment.
Negotiate to be reimbursed for
ingredients purchased if testing/cooking
at home and factor in the amount of time
it will take to write the recipe, submit it
to the client and make changes.
Remember that you will have to pay taxes
on the amount of money you receive, so
make a realistic estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses and time involved before
accepting a flat fee for a project.
Rob Benes, a Chicago-based hospitality
industry writer, reports on recipe
development, beverage programs, business
trends, equipment and chefs for trade,
educational and consumer publications.
opposite: Ruth Mossok Johnston.
Courtesy of Ruth Mossok Johnston.
left: Jessica Gordon.
right: Jessica Gordon tests dairy
recipes for Kraft Foods Group to
ensure customers can recreate
the dishes at home. Photos
courtesy of Kraft Foods Group.