We have a great guest today as Tiffany Tong, Strategic Initiatives lead at Canada’s Smartest Kitchen, enters the scene and brings with her an amazing story about doing what you should do, versus doing what you want to do.
See, Tiffany didn’t start in food. Not for a long time. She was actually in the ever stable and lucrative oil and gas industry. Her switch to food seemed easy on paper, but as we dive deeper in the interview, you realize that the journey had its challenges. I really appreciate Tiffany for sharing her story, and along with that, we talk a lot about how to strategize your company’s target clients, how to apprentice for a celebrity chef, and some really cool food jobs we found on the internet. Like… Chief Adventure Officer
An insatiable learner, Tiffany’s background ranges from supply chain management and organizational change management in the oil and gas industry to food media. To compliment her Bachelor of Commerce in Business Process Management, Tiffany received a Culinary Arts diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. As the Food Media Developer for one of Canada’s best-known chefs, she managed the production of two cookbooks, including the recipe development. As the newest member of the Canada’s Smartest Kitchen team, Tiffany brings a unique blend of business and culinary experience combined with creativity and energy.
About Canada’s Smartest Kitchen
For food companies of all sizes, Canada’s Smartest Kitchen’s team of chefs and scientists develop customized solutions to create better tasting food products tested by consumers. Their proprietary SMART Advantage Process for food product development supports startups and multinationals alike with a customizable suite of services that can inject value at any stage in a product’s pathway to market.
This episode is sponsored by FoodGrads, an interactive platform for the Food & Beverage Industry, which focuses on closing the gap between students and employers with a broader mission to attract and retain people to a meaningful career in food. From Food Scientists to Farmers, Chefs to Plant Managers, QA Technicians to Dieticians, or Marketing and Sales, no matter what your passion–there’s something for everyone in Food—and they will help you find it.
Join FoodGrads for support, mentorship and guidance to start your career. You’ll see an amazing new website in Spring 2017. Just go to foodgrads.com
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- How Tiffany rebranded the company and found out their 4 major client bases
- How volunteering landed her a gig with a celebrity chef
- Tiffany’s great resources for food tech and food jobs
One Sentence or less: I have a very fancy title
Title: Strategic Initiatives Lead at Canada’s Smartest Kitchen
How do people visit you?: Referrals, website
What does a Strategic Lead do?: Big ticket items such as funding applications, rebranding, service line extensions and expansions
Innovative Ingredient Suppliers
Career Timeline: Business Bachelors of Commerce at University of Calgary, to Supply Chain Oil and Gas, then organizational change management Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, to culinary arts, Moved to the Island to apprentice with Chef Michael Smith as a food media developer,
How did you apprentice with Chef Michael Smith?: I found a post on the internet. And I volunteered at a trade show with a TV personality.
Most Important Skill for your job?: Adaptability. There is something new every day
How do you become more adaptable?: The ability to be ok with not knowing. Be ok with the uncomfortable and come in with a fresh set of eyes.
Worst Thing You’ve Tasted In Your Job: Bugs
Best Thing You’ve Tasted In Your Job: Prime Rib
Dream Job Title: Not really a job title, but opportunities.
What Do You Think Makes a Good Job?: Good learning opportunity and to be involved in everything
Food Technologies: Food and Future Collab
Biggest Challenge: Our Food System
Who Inspired you to get into food?: I’ve always loved food. The people who supported me were my parents and partner
Favorite Quote: Henry David Thoreau Quotes. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
What does that mean to you?: Dream big
Favorite Food: Japanese food, Chinese food, Pizza, Bahn Mi
Advice for anyone in your field?: Taste everything, do it with an open mind
If you were to tell yourself something in the past: Trust your gut. The right thing to do versus what you love to do