To encourage product developers to look beyond the lab for inspiration, Corporate Executive Research Chef Kyle Shadix partnered with fellow culinarians at PepsiCo, Executive Chef Andrew Moltz and Elizabeth D’Cunha, and the human resources team to create the company’s prestigious Certified Culinary Scientist Training Program. Launched four years ago, the program equips research and development employees with advanced culinary knowledge to expand their professional expertise, underscoring PepsiCo’s focus on driving innovation. It has also helped transition part of the product development process to the kitchen, where PepsiCo’s chefs, mixologist and food scientists create flavor benchmarks for new products using the skills they acquired through the program.

Developed in partnership with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the rigorous program immerses employees in coursework and in-kitchen training led by CIA chefs at PepsiCo’s Culinary Innovation Centers. It culminates with an exam from the Research Chefs Association, providing product developers with official certification as culinary scientists. Here, get a closer look at the curriculum and some of the success it’s cooked up so far.

Certified Culinary Scientist

Those currently enrolled in the training program will be attending their next session this June in Valhalla, New York. To learn more about PepsiCo’s R&D program, click here.