At Tyson Foods, culinary innovation is the secret ingredient as the company creates delicious and accessible foods that cater to diverse consumer preferences. The culinary team plays a vital role in bringing creativity and flavors from around the world to the company’s product offerings.
“We bring in a wide range of culinary inspiration and translate it into tasty products that cater to our diverse consumer base,” said Chef Alejandra Serna-Cardona, also known as Chef Ale. She is a seasoned culinary expert and a driving force behind Tyson Foods’ culinary innovation.
THE ROLE OF CULINARY INNOVATION AT TYSON FOODS
Chef Ale is part of a team of eight trained chefs at Tyson Foods, responsible for translating inspiration from various sources, such as online trends, local and international foods, and consumer preferences, into recipes that can be recreated at home or at Tyson Foods plants and enjoyed by millions of people.
“We’re trying to make delicious food that is also accessible,” she said.
Most recently, Chef Ale partnered with the Tyson brand to create new recipes using the Tyson Premium Cornish Hen. Marie Fransen, senior brand manager for the Tyson brand, explains that the Cornish Hen has historically been a seasonal product, featured during traditional holiday periods like Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, there is potential to expand its consumption throughout the year.
“We wanted to inspire families to embrace Cornish hens as a versatile, flavorful, and exciting option for everyday cooking, not limited just to special occasions. By creating innovative and easy-to-follow recipes, we hope to introduce people everywhere to new cooking techniques, like grilling and smoking, while empowering them to explore delicious possibilities with our Cornish hens,” Fransen said.
This is where Chef Ale comes in. She explains that developing new recipes begins with identifying the inspiration behind the dish, whether it is a new flavor trend, customer request, or desire to reimagine a classic. The process involves a close collaboration between chefs and food scientists, who bring their unique perspectives to the table.
“We work closely with food scientists and technologists to ensure our recipes are not only delicious but also viable for production on a large scale. The culinary team acts as translators, bridging the gap between creativity and feasibility,” said Chef Ale.
EMBRACING ADVENTURE IN THE KITCHEN
After the team refines the concept, they begin experimenting with various combinations of flavors, spices, and cooking techniques. This process involves multiple tastings and adjustments to achieve the perfect balance of taste, texture, and presentation. Along the way, feedback from test audiences and consumer insights plays a crucial role in fine-tuning the recipe.
“The process of creating recipes can vary. Sometimes we do multiple iterations, which might range from 3 to 50, depending on the product and the goal,” Chef Ale said.
For this project, the team landed on not one but three Tyson Premium Cornish Hen recipes for consumers to try. Each introduces a new way to prepare this classic, using an unexpected appliance — the grill.
Chef Ale encourages consumers to be adventurous in their own kitchens. She says cooking does not require fancy equipment or extensive culinary knowledge.
“Trust your instincts, explore flavors you enjoy, and start simple. Food brings people together, and trying new flavors expands our horizons,” she said.
CULINARY INNOVATION AT TYSON FOODS
At Tyson Foods, culinary innovation is not just about creating great-tasting food, it’s about making it accessible to many and embracing the diverse flavors the world has to offer. Chef Ale and others fire up creativity, collaboration, and excitement in the kitchen, aiming to create products that consumers will love.
Learn more about culinary innovation at Tyson Foods.