Ep. 026 – Tis’ the Seasoning with Stephanie Ronquillo, Food Scientist at Newly Weds Foods

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Stephanie Ronquillo is a Cal Poly alumni, and perhaps she could be described as one of my first influences in getting me involved in college. She was the ideal academic student. With the 4.0 GPA, president of the food science club, she’s smart.

After college, she went straight into industry and works at Newly Weds Foods as a food scientist where her focus is on seasoning blends.

In this interview, we focus a good chunk on strategies to make your college experience meaningful, childhood heroes, and interview tips.

About Stephanie Ronquillo

Stephanie Wrote:
“I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area (Fremont, CA) and my only exposure to food science was watching Good Eats on the Food Network. I had no idea it was a possible career path until I was a senior in high school trying to find a major to choose. I stumbled across food science on collegeboard.com and thought that I might like it because I liked food and science separately. I ended up going to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and studying food science. I knew right away I made the right decision. From there I got involved in the Food Science Club, IFT College Bowl competition, and the Food Science department as a whole.
The summer after my third year I interned at Leprino Foods in Tracy, CA working on making their milk receiving process more efficient. The summer after my senior year I interned at Del Monte Foods in Walnut Creek, CA working with the canned tomato group. One of my co-workers at Del Monte forwarded me a job posting for an Associate Food Scientist at Newly Weds Foods in Modesto. I applied and got the job and have been working there for the past 4 years. I am now a Food Scientist II, and I develop seasoning blends for other food companies to use in their finished products. The products I work on vary from snacks, meats, side dishes, pretty much anything you can season. Newly Weds Foods also makes coating products like batters and breaders used in fried products like onion rings and mozzarella sticks. I have really enjoyed working at Newly Weds Foods and feel like I have learned a lot.”

About Newly Weds Foods

At Newly Weds Foods, we understand how important it is for your brand to stand apart. That’s why we search the world for flavors and culinary techniques that inspire customized ingredient creations. See what makes us a one-of-a-kind partner.

#1 In Food Ingredients

In the food processing and foodservice industries, Newly Weds® Foods is recognized as the premier global purveyor of customized breaders, batters, seasonings, and functional ingredients. Whether you’re developing products for retail or foodservice success, you’ll find our integrated resources are one of a kind.

Key Take Aways

  • What’s harder to work with? A big company or a small company?
  •  Falling in love with Food Science
  • What is really hot about seasoning
  • Irradiation
  • The secret to good spaghetti sauce

What We Talk About

Episode 8
Seasoning blends
White Label or Contract Manufacturing
UC Davis
Cal Poly SLO
IFTSA competitions, college bowl, etc
Leprino Foods
Del Monte Foods
Most Important Skill for the Job: Having good taste buds
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?: I don’t know
Food Trends and Technologies: Naturally perceived treatment of spices
Steam processing
Cold Pasteurization
The biggest challenge the food industry has to face: being clean and balanced, but make sense
Who inspired to get into food: Alton Brown
Good Eats
A A Milne: Winnie the Pooh
Favorite Quote: You are brave than you believe, stronger than you see, smarter than you think
Tao of Pooh
Favorite Book: Harry Potter
Favorite Kitchen Item: Kitchen Aid
Favorite Food: Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Advice to get into the food industry: Don’t be afraid to have a bad interview, if you can show growth, you can still get the job
Any Advice: Don’t worry about grades too much. Do something fun. Takes risks, be brave.

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