Ep. 065 – From Chef to Consultant: How to Find and Implement Culinary Trends with Dan Follese, Owner of Follese Culinary Consulting

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In this episode we have Dan Follese, the owner of Follese Culinary Consulting, where he goes to clients with the latest trends and brings new innovative concepts to life.

Dan’s main clients are fast food companies and we go through a lot of talk about how he views new trends and his opinion on certain fast food restaurants. For example: a debate on which is better: taco bell or Chipotle.

But this is a really fun episode. Dan is a wealth of knowledge and we talk about amazing resources to make you more innovative. For example, he’s told me research programs I’ve never thought of, how to communicate better as a food science person, and just his experiences as a chef, food photographer, and consultant were really a treat to hear.


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. Just go to foodgrads.com

About Dan

With nearly 30 years in the business of preparing food, Chef Dan has forged his own path to create a robust background unlike any others. Chef Dan brings vision of collaboration, innovation and on trend concepts steeped in classic culinary ideology that will make your consumers crave more. An extremely motivated and detail-oriented culinary professional with diverse and progressive experience in multiple environments. Chef Dan has prepared white cloth gourmet meals for celebrities, appearances on “Best of Wine & Food” TV Food Network, collaborates alongside food scientists, converts recipes to formulas for mass production, leads nationwide food trend tours, directly supports onsite sales & has created some of today’s biggest LTO’s. Having worked directly with some of the largest food manufacturers he understands the necessities in food production. A Minnesota native Chef Dan has worked and traveled his way around the globe. Spending nearly thirty years in South Florida where he met his wife. They have settled down for the simple life of Green Bay, Wisconsin where they raise their family. Chef Dan’s passion for food and beverage will translate into your Gold Standard of success

Key Takeaways

– The Big 3 Fast food empires
– Olive Garden used to make their own pasta
– Why we need Cheese Experts
– The sad story about people stealing steaks in restaurants
– Dan’s opinion on taco’s. Taco Bell versus Chipotle

Question Summary

What do you tell them in a sentence or less: I create concepts out of food products for mass or restaurant chains. I work for all sorts of companies including start ups and kitchen manufacturers
Background: Chef, Johnson and Wales, Food Styling and Photography
How long did you get into full-time consulting?: Most people in the culinary field don’t know about commercialization. Culinary schools are now teaching food science
How to Start Consulting: Answer good basic, culinary trade information
Most food has already existed, but you have to evaluate how the customer will react to it
What should young people do to be good at their job?: You have to do what you love
Why are restaurant fail rates so high?: The dream and glamour can go to your head
Staff steal steaks from restaurants all the time
My Food Job Rocks: I get to experiment with new food ideas and implement them to large companies
How to Find and implement new trends:

Look at local markets
See the hottest restaurants on yelp and see what they do
More importantly, what appeals to me?

How to train sales people on new products: Demonstrate the simplicity of the product. The top 3 items comparing why it’s different, very basic applications
Most Food Scientists don’t want to be customer facing
Food Trends and Technology: Health and Wellness: Gluten-Free
Biggest Challenge the Food Industry has to face: Food Safety
One thing in the food industry you’d like to know about?: Food Science!; Cannabis in the Food Industry
Inspired to Get into Food: A Restaurant Job in high school
How do you get promoted?: Be someone to show up for any task asked for them. The spirit.
Favorite Book: Le Repertoire De La Cuisine
Favorite Quote: If there’s time to lean there’s time to clean
Favorite Food: My wife says pizza but I say Chimichanga
Taco Bell vs Chipotle
Any advice for anyone in the food industry?: Love food
What’s Next? Where can we find you?: Trade Shows
Expo West
I go and represent customers

Kitchen Aid stand mixer
Smoked Gouda
Arby’s Smoked Gouda special
Snacking Innovation Summit – Food Navigator
Burger King
Big Mac into 3 different version
American Cheese
Sunflower Seeds and Butter
Pea Protein
Whey protein
Naked Chicken Chalupa

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