Joe Pierzchajlo is working as an executive chef for Green Plate Foods in Bellaire, TX. He’s responsible for new product research and development, managing the catering staff, and menu planning. Each week, Joe and his team create new products for taste testing—then they fine-tune products that have already been developed. He also meets with contract manufacturers to begin the process of having certain products commercialized for wider distribution.
Joe is excited at the growth he’s experienced while at Green Plate Foods. When he joined the company, it was in transition. “One of [the new] goals was to take our top baked goods and produce them on a larger scale with the help of contract manufacturers. I helped lead this process and we now have around dozen items that being commercially produced and carried by food distributors like Sysco and sold in stores such as Whole Foods,” he says.
Joe, who in 2012 earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Management from The Art Institute of Houston, says that his education helped him to become a better cook and well-rounded culinary artist. The school’s chef instructors taught him the foundations of classical cooking, while his management classes helped him to gain an understanding of menu costing and accounting. “I love the fact that I am in the kitchen on a weekly basis but I am also traveling and meeting manufacturers or providing on-site catering.”