Kettle Cuisine

Process Implementation and Optimization Chef

  • Location:   Savage, MD
  • Position Type:   Salaried Full Time

Job Summary

-         The Process Implementation and Optimization Chef is responsible for ensuring that products are manufactured to specification throughout the production process, developing changes to operations processes to improve operational efficiencies and quality, and, identifying areas that need improvement. Collaborates with the team to implement the tools required to collect and measure relevant data and identify key performance indicators (KPIs). The Process Implementation and Optimization Chef also works collaboratively with subject matter experts and cross-functional groups to gather inputs.


Role and Responsibilities

Process Implementation:

-         Create processes and documents for CQV (Commissioning / Qualification / Validation)

-         Engaged cross-functional group to drive continuous improvement either by way of process efficiency or by new additional equipment or automation.

-         Identify process improvement opportunities via product evaluation reports, customer feedback, reviewing food-related customer complaints, and direct observation.

-         Oversee follow-up yield tests after production runs as required.

-         Study product characteristics or customer requirements to determine validation objectives and standards.

-         Additional responsibilities include training production employees in processing new items, leading production trials, and troubleshooting product issues.

Culinary/Specification Assurance:

-         “Palate” in Production / Sensory Evaluation - Ability to taste, smell and see well enough to discriminate the quantity and quality of individual flavor components. 

-         Determine specifications, inspection procedures, adjustment methods, and verification processes required.

-         Performs launch process audits.

-         Collect component data during production to validate specification compliance; verify data accuracy through repetitive testing.

-         Implement and perform scientific and analytical testing in a manufacturing environment to optimize recipe performance and production efficiencies.

-         Identify food quality problems or areas for improvement and recommend solutions.

-         Ensures that samples collected are prepared, bagged, labeled, dated, and contained per process; when applicable, ensure that all products are ready and shipped completely, accurately, and on time.

-         Evaluate Recipe Compliance with Gold Standards using relevant information and individual judgment. 

-         Plan component and finished product evaluations schedules to ensure compliance.



Project management:

-         Partners with multiple operations functions (FSQA, Engineering, Planning, Culinary, etc.) to develop accurate cost and capacity projections/analysis for new concepts.

-         Facilitates practical problem-solving and troubleshooting, ensuring timely resolution for all functional process stakeholders, consistent with cost and product quality objectives.

-         Able to multi-task duties and take on additional assignments required by managers.

General Job Duties


-         Support production through documentation of requested ingredients and components. Offering product preparation support by identifying any ingredient/component callouts regarding quality.

-         Ensure quality, safety, and good manufacturing practices are followed.

-         Comply with FDA, USDA, and HACCP standards.



Qualifications (education/Experience/Skills)

-         Must have a passion for delicious, healthy food product development and high-quality assurance standards.

-         3+ year's experience in food production and quality assurance and/or commercialization and/or product development for manufacturing and/or large-volume food service

-         Certifications are a plus but not required.

-         Ability to taste, smell, and see well enough to discriminate the quantity and quality of individual flavor components.

-         Undergraduate degree; master’s degree a plus

-         Plant operations experience, Procurement exposure a plus

-         Project Management

-         Strong written and verbal communication skills

-         Strong planning and organization skills

-         Ability to build positive and constructive cross-functional relationships, including OPS team peers

-         Exposure to product development and procurement processes

-         Customer-centric mindset – both internal and external

-         Proven ability to improve results and increase efficiency.

-         Ability to stay current with food industry trends, especially regarding product development, functional ingredients, equipment technology, and regulatory requirements.

-         Key Individual Contributor – driving critical process stage across multiple functions in bringing product change and innovation to consumers.

-         Ability to work independently as well as part of a larger team.

-         High motivation to learn, develop and perform in a fast-paced environment.


Working Conditions and Physical Effort

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those a Process Implementation and Optimization Chef encounters while performing the essential functions of the job.


-        Physical Demands/Efforts

-         Work requires occasional physical exertion, including some lifting of objects weighing up to 40 pounds.

Mental & Visual Demands

-         Work performed by this position requires a high degree of mental concentration required to prioritize and effectively execute extremely complex tasks.

-         Work requires frequent visual effort for extended periods of time.

Work Environment and Hazards

-         Employee works in a manufacturing setting with some exposure to heat, cold, dust, or other factors of minor inconvenience.

-         This position has some exposure to hazards that might cause minor injury.

-         Less than 25% travel is required for this position. Travel would be to other sites via airplane.


As A Leader Within the Kettle Cuisine Team, You Are Expected To: 

-         Model and support Kettle’s Core Values and safety culture.

-         Manage performance of all team members.

-         Build a strong, committed, and collaborative team.

-         Develop individual team members & their careers.

-         Create a culture of accountability & performance.

-         Drive a focus on quality and continuous improvement.

-         Plan work, track results and resolve variances.

Required attributes

-         Self-starter able to conceptualize and drive initiatives forward.

-         Positive attitude and motivated by contributing to the overall success of the team.

-         Able to develop strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

-         Creative problem-solving skills.

-         Attention to detail, well organized and able to juggle many projects at once.

-         Comfortable moving at a fast pace and in ambiguous environments.

-         Passionate about food and process excellence.

-         Willing to address difficult situations head on with patience and respect.

-         Strong impact and influencing skills.


Kettle Cuisine takes the utmost pride in its people, products and reputation. Each employee is expected to understand and live our Core Values every day.

-         Honor Food – We create and produce the best tasting, safest, all-natural recipes that strive for perfection in every batch, from bench to kettle

-         Honor Each Other – We seek to develop trusting, respectful and mutually rewarding relationships with all our team members and business partners.

-         Honor Development – We recognize and nurture each other’s talents, strengths, and interests in order to further strengthen and grow our team.

-         Honor Innovation – We continually strive for creative and sustainable ways to achieve excellence.



Kettle Cuisine complies with all aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state disability laws.  This means we will not discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability in any phase of the employment relationship including application for employment, hiring, promotions and/or advancement opportunities, termination, compensation, training and any other conditions or privileges of employment. 


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