Director of Culinary

Wichita, KS:United States:Chicago, IL:Minneapolis, MN:
Feb 28, 2017
Mar 29, 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

Director of Culinary-WIC03591 Working at Cargill is an opportunity to thrive—a place to develop your career to the fullest while engaging in meaningful work that makes a positive impact around the globe. You will be proud to work for a company with a strong history of ethics and a purpose of nourishing people. We offer a diverse, supportive environment where you will grow personally and professionally as you learn from some of the most talented people in your field. With 150 years of experience Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. We have 150,000 employees in 70 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. Learn more at


Cargill Protein is a leader at delivering primary processed and value added proteins into the Foodservice, Retail and Manufacturing market channels. It operates several food processing facilities located in the US and Canada. Our customers in Foodservice are comprised of large national restaurant chain operators, contract feeding companies and both national and regional foodservice distributors. Our Retail customers are comprised of primarily large national grocery retailers and warehouse clubs. Our Manufacturing customers are comprised of large branded manufacturers of retail consumer packaged goods. The customers from these channels are attracted to working with Cargill because of our demonstrated leadership in delivering innovative products, integrity, operational excellence, food safety and risk management.

Position Purpose

The Cargill Protein Group has an opportunity available for a U.S. based Director of Culinary. This role will lead a team of approximately eight chefs and culinary resources across the entire Protein Group. The position will lead Culinary as a strategic differentiator for customer and consumers, working with Sales, Business Management, Marketing, Consumer Insight, and other growth-oriented business functions in the organization. The position will manage chefs who are dedicated to business channels, segments, and customers. The main business channels for the Protein Group are Retail, Foodservice, and Protein Ingredients (Industrial). Culinary is a strategic capability for the growth of each of these channels. The position will report to the Chief Marketing Officer for the Protein Group, and participate on a Leadership Team with the Directors of Marketing, Innovation, Consumer Insight, Category Management, Sustainability, and Communication. The Director of Culinary will collaborate with customer account leaders, acting as an innovative culinary expert across customers, representing all of Cargill's product capabilities, including Beef, Turkey, and Eggs. The role will leverage consumer insight, industry information, and category data to develop innovative culinary-based solutions for customers that deliver against the business's growth and profitability targets. The ideal candidate will possess high integrity, passion, and character as personal traits. The position requires proactive leadership and outstanding written and interpersonal communication skills.

Preference for this role to be located in Minneapolis or Wichita, but we are open to other locations.

Principal Accountabilities

Develop and conduct work on high value innovation opportunities for Cargill by leading the team of chefs and directly interfacing with targeted customers' culinary and product development teams. The role will focus on the top segmented Retail, Foodservice, and Protein Ingredients accounts as identified through our customer segmentation strategy. Initiate regular and proactive communication with Sales, Marketing, and Innovation for the targeted accounts. The successful candidate will have in depth culinary experience as well as a strong business acumen to identify larger opportunities.

Coordinate with Sales, Business Management, Marketing, and Innovation to align on business strategy and portfolio needs and prioritize new product offerings based on business objectives. Lead customer food tours and develop innovative ways to introduce new food ideas to our targeted customers. Feed the front end of the innovation funnel by bringing back marketplace insight and trends, unmet customer and consumer needs, and helping to identify future capability needs. Value will be measured on revenue and earnings growth delivered annually.

Lead the Culinary Team, providing overall and individual direction for projects and deliverables. Cultivate a strong team, based on mutual respect, passion, accountability, and results orientation. Attract, develop, and retain top culinary talent, establishing the best Culinary Team in the industry. Create and implement professional development plans for each member of the team that enables them to strive for their full career aspirations and perform at their best.

Strategic collaboration with other business units: collaborate with other Cargill businesses for value-added innovation and consumer and/or customer solutions.

Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Vet.


Required Qualifications

  • Culinary Arts certification or other formal culinary training
  • Proven leadership and people management experience
  • 10 years of Culinary/R&D experience in the Foodservice industry and/or 10 years of business experience in the Chain Restaurant environment (restaurant management, sales, commercial, product development, or other customer-facing experience)
  • Experience bringing culinary solutions to foodservice and industrial customers
  • Willing and able to travel 50%
  • Demonstrated ability to build trust and strong relationships with customers
  • Demonstrated proficiency in working in complex organizations
  • Proven ability to turn ideas into value - technical acumen
  • Experience working successfully in a matrix organization
  • Excellent documentation practices
  • Demonstrated financial and business acumen
  • Strong organizational and accuracy skills
  • Experience working with cross-functional teams (Marketing, Consumer Insight, Sales, Business Management)
  • Ability to manage multiple complex projects simultaneously
  • Excellent communication and conflict management skills required
  • Good decision-making; ability to prioritize goals and work
  • Strategic thinker with ability to build effective plans to support strategic initiatives
  • Must be tech-savvy and comfortable with evolving business-critical technology

Preferred Qualifications
  • Understanding of foodservice distribution and how to effectively and successfully work with distributors
  • Understanding of the commercial side of Cargill Foodservice products: Fresh Beef, Burgers, Eggs, Turkey, Processed and Packaged Meats
  • Sales Effectiveness or other formal sales training program
  • Experience using or other sales tracking tool
Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Vet.

Job Research and Development

Primary Location US-KS-Wichita

Other Locations United States, US-IL-Chicago, US-MN-Minneapolis

Schedule Full-time

Job Type Standard

Shift Day Job