Recipe development is a key component in how cookbooks, food magazines and websites are made. It is about creating a recipe from an idea or “from scratch.” The goal might be to replicate a dish without having a recipe or to simply enjoy the pure pleasure of being creative with food.
Some recipe developers come up with new or improved recipes for individuals with specific health or dietary concerns, others create specific recipes for restaurants or food manufacturers, and yet others develop recipes for their own websites or blogs.
What does a Recipe Developer do?
In order to cook well or become a great chef, an incredible amount of practice, time, trial and error is required. Similarly, a great recipe is not developed overnight, but through a lot of incarnations until it reaches perfection. Recipe developers create great recipes by knowing how different ingredients react with one another, how they taste on their own, and what combinations just won't work.
By trying new approaches, altering ingredients slightly, or varying cooking times, new recipes can be created. Each time a blossoming recipe takes on a new version of itself, it gets taste-tested. After much trial and error, the absolute best version is kept. The recipe may be wanted for a cookbook, a restaurant menu, a special event, or a product intended for sale.
For some, recipe development is all about altering existing recipes. For others, it is letting inspiration take over when eating at a restaurant, then heading back to the kitchen to create their own version of the food they've just enjoyed.
Following food trends and new developments is a very important element in recipe development, and recipe developers need to be able to create clear and concise recipes keeping these trends in mind. Reading publications and attending trade shows and conferences help recipe developers keep up to date with new trends, ingredients, and cooking equipment.
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Recipe developers can be chefs that create new menu items for restaurants. They may work for food manufacturers developing recipes using specific products. Nutritionists and dietitians may work as recipe developers at nursing homes, hospitals, and health organizations. Writers and food journalists can be recipe developers for food publications.
Other employment options may include creating and writing recipes for blogs, magazines, book publishers, or working in the culinary field. Recipe development jobs are typically freelance based.
If you read my recent post on recipe writing that generated dozens of comments, you’ll see that commenter Victoria von Biel, executive editor of Bon Appetit, named a blogger who’s a killer recipe developer — the only food blogger who works for her. I’m going to tell you why.
Ever wondered how a recipe goes from an idea to a finished dish? Well, today Adell Shneer is offering you a glimpse into her recipe development process, how she works from concept or assignment to finished product.