experts: Senior Executive Chef Tim Tesch
Our impressive team of research and
development chefs is always working to create delicious, unique dishes you’ll
want on your plate. One of their latest projects: Create extraordinary salads
that taste and look great. Let Tim Tesch, our senior executive chef, tell you
about the process.
Q: What do you do at Lunds &
A: I am the
senior executive chef of research and development with a focus on fresh deli
products. What that long title means is that I create new and exciting items
for our delis. I work with a team of executive chefs whose responsibility is to
create new, innovative and delicious prepared foods.
Q: How long have you been at Lunds
started with Byerly’s in 1996 as the kitchen manager to help open the Eagan
store. In 1997, when the two brands came together, I became the
back-of-the-house trainer to help ease that transition. I eventually became the
deli executive chef. In 2006, I moved into the role I hold today.
Q: About a year ago we debuted
several new deli salads – how were they created?
A: Our goal
was to deliver extraordinary salads that not only have the usual wholesome and
pure qualities that many people look for when they reach for a salad, but also
to create salads that surprise and delight the senses with unique fresh herbs,
grains, beans, vegetables and fruits.
culinary team works with directors to determine what products they would like
to see and then we take that idea and create a concept. The concept then goes
through a thorough set of development stages to ensure the concept can be made
into a final product that will be prepared the same way each and every time for
our customers’ enjoyment. On average, our development team goes through this
in-depth process for more than 160 new items per year!
Q: Do you have a favorite deli item
you’ve helped create?
A: That’s a
tough question since I’ve created so many items throughout the years. If I had
to pick, one of my favorites is our Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad. I never would
have imagined this salad would become so popular – so much so, in fact, it is
our number one salad with sales even exceeding our Signature Potato Salad!
Q: Where do your new ideas come
are a variety of ways in which we approach new items. Our team of chefs goes
out to food shows all around the country as well as reading dozens of trade
publications, which gives us ideas about food trends and new ingredients.
Sometimes we’ll base an entire recipe around a new, unique ingredient that
really stands out. We also closely monitor the east and west coasts knowing
that what’s trending on the coasts won’t get to us, in the Midwest, for about
four or five years.
Q: What are some current trends
A: Some of
the trends I’ve come across lately have to do with natural fat and animal
derived fat like real butters, chicken fat and full fat yogurts. Other key
trends I’m seeing is the ever-increasing search for non-GMO foods and local
products like meat. We’re also seeing harissa replacing Sriracha, millet
replacing quinoa, and, of course, anything pickled.