Meet Nicholas Thompson,
Head R&D Chef at Brett Anthony Foods
Nicholas – Nick – testifies to our company’s salient characteristics: rock-solid people, strategic food manufacturing processes with a strong strain of innovation. As the head of the R&D Division, Chef Nick is tasked with ensuring our clients’ ideas are perfected and transformed into marketable prepared food products – a task that requires extensive knowledge, experience, and culinary passion.
Chef Nick has a lifelong passion for food, inspired by his mother’s cooking skills and uncle’s “love of food.” His cooking trajectory started with cooking classes at high school, then at Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, one of the top culinary schools in the USA, laying the foundation for extensive training and on-the-job experience while building a lucrative cookbook collection.
During culinary school (2002-2004), Nick worked part-time for a catering company where Brett Stein was executive chef. It was, therefore, a natural fit for Nick to join the Brett Anthony Foods team when the opportunity came his way. This trust relationship does not preclude differences of opinion. On the contrary, Nick says that he and Brett are both strong-willed individuals with definite points of view, which both agree is a good thing in their business. Food can be very subjective – “everybody has an opinion on food, and the more you’re able to explore that, the more you’re able to understand it.” Understanding food and customer expectations bring innovative and customized product lines without compromising flavor and quality.
Uniqueness is important to Nick and marks Brett Anthony Foods’ approach as a food manufacturing partner for their clients. The Research and Development division manifests this in that they “work from both ends” – they offer their clients various prepared food products but are also able to develop anything clients could possibly want to “fit into their menu options and what they are looking for”.
Nick has the drive and passion for reinventing past skews (from the team’s “repertoire” of close to 10 000 recipes) and adapting them to meet the ever-changing needs or to start from scratch and create something brand-new for, and on behalf of, Brett Anthony Foods’ valued client base. What elevates the uniqueness of Chef Nick’s team is that all this is done in near-incredible turnaround times.
Research and Development involve extensive brainstorming involving the entire team (Nick, Ted, Brett, Don, and others), mostly “Kendall “graduates, which is a common thread within the Brett Anthony Foods business. These innovative sessions spark a multitude of creative ideas which, at any given time, flow throughout the company and nurture the culture of the “taste of innovation.” Everyone is part of the family; as Nick says, “coming to work is more like going home than going to work” – there is such a level of camaraderie and owner support for personal expression that is instilled in the company’s culture.
Brett Anthony Foods consistently maintains high quality while producing high-volume foods – which Chef Nicholas Thompson and his team pride themselves on and will continue to reach new heights in this sphere of food manufacturing.
When asked to describe his time at Brett Anthony Foods, his answer… “a hell of a journey.”