Research & Development Chicago, Illinois


Position at Swift Prepared Foods

Job Title:  Culinary R&D Technician

Location: Chicago, IL


Our Company, Your Opportunity:            

Swift Prepared Foods, is a company with an 80-year history of providing high quality, great tasting sliced meats, bacon, ham and ribs.  Swift Prepared Foods was recently acquired by JBS, the world’s leading provider of beef, chicken and pork, with a vision of building the company into a leader in Protein Centric Prepared Foods.  This is a unique opportunity to be in a start-up environment, with the backing of a Global CPG Powerhouse, producing sous vide cooked meat and poultry products. This is a role for someone who is looking for an entrepreneurial challenge in a company with aspirations to be leaders within the CPG world.  The position will have both strategic and tactical elements and the person may wear different hats.  This is an opportunity for people who want to think Big, dream Big and work to make Big ideas a reality.

Our Mission:

To be THE BEST in all we do.  We are completely focused on our business, ensuring the BEST products and services to our customers, a relationship of trust with our suppliers and profitability for our shareholders.  All this, we do to provide an opportunity for a better future for all of our TEAM MEMBERS.


Scope Of Position:

This position will serve as a company resource in sample testing, creation and management of sous vide proteins for the Culinary Solutions Division. This position must work closely with R&D scientists, R&D culinary team, production plants, marketing, sales, and other cross functional team members in Swift Prepared Foods to successfully develop & implement new products, optimize current products, create/manage specifications and showcase our current capabilities to the sales team. The individual reports to the Senior Research Chef and will have an invaluable role in determining the manufacturing possibilities for any new products or upcoming production innovations. He or she will provide feedback to a cross functional team consisting of R&D, production, procurement, sales, marketing, and finance. 

Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Manages sales sample creation. including requests, scheduling and delivery to ensure timelines are met
  • Produce product prototypes to be used in testing and evaluations
  • Responsibilities include general lab maintenance, including, but not limited to, ordering ingredients, maintaining stock ingredient libraries, cleaning and organizing the lab/refrigerators/storage rooms, inventory shipping supplies, manage inbound and outbound shipment of samples and ingredients, equipment maintenance and repair, overall office/lab sanitation and organization
  • Assist chefs with product presentations
  • Assist with in-house foodservice functions
  • Assists with shelf life evaluations and data collection
  • Helps the R&D team generate and manage specifications and other data management tasks
  • Effectively manages projects through planning, testing, organizing and coordination to ensure projects are completed within required deadlines.
  • Ability to manage multiple assignments concurrently, is able to prioritize projects, and possesses the ability to call out priority conflicts between a variety of business initiatives
  • Travel and support the Culinary, R&D and Sales teams as needed.
  • Maintains positive, productive relationships with Research & Development, Manufacturing, Procurement, Marketing, Procurement, Sales and suppliers.
  • Contributes to the development of departmental objectives, standard operating procedures and policies.
  • Will assist R&D Team Members in any way necessary to help deliver Productivity, Innovation, and Volume KPI targets.

Work Environment/Physical Demands

  • Able to work in chilled meat processing environment
  • Frequently works with hands to manufacture product samples.
  • Ability to work extended periods in a commercial kitchen/lab setting
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs.
  • Capable computer skills to work with word processing, spread sheets and electronic communications required


  • Ability to multitask and prioritize
  • Ability to follow formulas and standard recipes and scale them correctly
  • Professional culinary skills.
  • Understanding of food science
  • Must be able to work closely with many departments including Sales, R&D, Quality, Marketing, Purchasing, and Production.
  • Must be comfortable working and driving projects to completion with minimal oversight.
  • Proactive self-starter
  • Awareness of food product manufacturing and knowledge of GMPs
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Clear, concise written and oral communication skills required with attention to detail and accuracy mandatory, must be able to generate test reports & product updates with accurate data and records
  • Must be self-motivated, with ability to follow through and complete task in the given deadlines
  • Ability to present conclusions and recommendations to management team

Experience/Work History:

  • Reliable work history, punctuality, and dependability
  • Associate degree in Culinary Arts or Culinology or 2-3 years of industry experience

Supervisory Responsibilities:



Up to 20% (plant travel, conferences, ingredient vendors, etc)