Senior Research Chef

Research & Development Chicago, Illinois


Position at Swift Prepared Foods

Job Title: Sr. Research Chef

Location: Chicago, IL



Our Company, Your Opportunity:    


Nearly 150 years ago, Gustavus Swift founded Swift & Company. He was a true pioneer whose passion and innovative spirit transformed the meat industry. This commitment to transformation mirrors that of Swift Prepared Foods today. Swift Prepared Foods (formerly Plumrose USA) is the prepared foods arm of JBS USA, one of the world’s largest meat companies. This is a unique opportunity to be in a start-up environment, with the backing of a Global CPG Powerhouse. 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.


Our Values:


Scope of Position:

The Sr. Research Chef will lead culinary and R&D product development on our fully cooked, protein centric business team, developing fully cooked meats for retail and foodservice sales. Leverage culinary knowledge to link the business/sales/marketing team to the product development, R&D, and the customer. Projects will be heavily focused on meats cooked utilizing sous vide technology.


 Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Utilize culinary, restaurant and trend knowledge to help the team develop the strategy and pipeline of products we will take to market
  • Execute benchtop gold standard product development with our R&D scientists
  • Work in tandem with the scientists to scale up and commercialize items in manufacturing operations
  • Help develop product specifications
  • Maintains accurate and complete records
  • Utilizes a working knowledge of plant processes and facilities
  • Will need to participate in onsite monitoring and technical assistance to operations when testing/manufacturing new products.
  • Works with cross-functional team members to flawlessly implement formulations, manufacturing processes, and commissioning new equipment and manufacturing lines
  • Identify and lead projects to drive revenue and margin growth for the organization

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. May perform other duties as assigned.



Pro-active self-starter, willing to accept responsibility for completion of business tasks. Must be a driven individual who can take ownership of projects and R&D responsibilities and complete all the relevant tasks required for the job with minimal oversight.

  • Demonstrated technical competence with well developed palate and excellent articulation of flavors, textures, and product attributes
  • Demonstrated motivation and creative problem-solving skills
  • Ability to interact with others in a manufacturing, lab, and office environment 
  • Must be able to work closely with many departments including Sales, Regulatory, R&D, Quality, Marketing, Purchasing, and Production
  • Hands-on, autonomous self-starter who is accountable for delivering exceptional project results. Must be self-motivated with ability to follow through and complete tasks in the given deadlines
  • Excellent collaboration and organizational skills
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize
  • Must be able to work in a food manufacturing environment and be able to flawlessly transition products and processes from R&D to operations
  • Clear, concise written and oral communication skills required with strong attention to detail and accuracy 
  • Computer skills which include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions.

Experience/Work History:

  • Culinary Arts/Science degree or similar qualifications
  • 8+ Years of culinary/food product development
  • Sous Vide product experience is a must
  • Reliable work history, punctuality, and dependability
  • Extensive background in culinary product development or food service industry experience
  • Familiarity with USDA guidelines and regulations for safe food manufacturing
  • Strong working knowledge of food science (food manufacturing) is a plus
  • Project Management experience - understanding of stage-gate and cross-function timeline management process

 Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • None at this time

Work Environment:

  • Office and small-scale kitchen lab
  • Plant working environment
  • Food manufacturing operations environment


50-60% - Customer, Vendors, and plant locations

If interested, please apply at

We offer a full range of benefits including health care, life insurance, and a 401 (K) plan.

Swift Prepared Foods is an equal opportunity employer.