Meet The Chefs

We Inspire New Tastes!

Our skilled culinary team has its pulse on the latest food trends throughout the world. It is connected via Kitchencounters™, our new culinary digital network. Experienced in working with top chefs throughout the world, our culinary team taps into the newest tastes, flavors and textures to create a truly unique food experience. Our chefs use quality ingredients as well as the best spices, herbs, flavors and other key components from all over the world to create customized and truly unique seasoning systems.

Chef Mark Sobczak

Newly Weds Foods, Director of Culinary, Chicago, IL

    Chef Mark Sobczak

      • Kendall College, Evanston, IL
      • Calling himself a “meathead,” Chef Mark “Sobby” is steeped in the old-school traditions of charcuterie, and modernizing those traditions for today’s foodservice
      • A wealth of knowledge of proteins, and an intangible passion for butchery and deli operations
      • A former inventory control specialist for the United State Air Force
      • Formerly the R&D manager and corporate chef, Vienna Beef, Chicago and Kraft Foodservice and Kraft Food Ingredients
      • Favorite dish to cook at home: pepper-encrusted beef brisket with sweet and spicy barbecue sauce
    View Chef Mark Sobczak's Expert Video
    See Mark's Favorite Recipe

    Brisket

    Pepper Encrusted BBQ Brisket

    Serves: 6 – 8

    1 Whole Brisket (3 – 5 pound), uncooked
    ½ cup Sea Salt
    ¼ cup Black Pepper
    ¼ cup Crushed Red Pepper
    ¼ cup Sugar
    20 ounces BBQ Sauce

    Directions:
    • Rub: Combine all the dry seasonings and rub generously over the entire beef brisket.
    • Pre-Grill: Get the grill extremely HOT. Place the brisket on the grill and begin charring, turn the brisket over only after it has been blackened. For best results, char or blacken all 4 sides.
    • Wrap and Cook: Remove brisket and wrap in 2 layers of foil with no vent or way for juices to leak out. Place in an oven-safe pan with 2 cups of water in pan, in order to prevent scorching. Place into a pre-heated oven at 350° F for 2½ to 3½ hours, adjusting cook time depending on oven and/or size of the brisket.
    • Basting Sauce: Remove brisket from oven; unwrap from foil and save ALL the natural juices in the foil. Add the natural juices to the BBQ sauce, slice the brisket and serve.

    Note: For a less spicy BBQ Sauce, add less natural juices.

    Chef Claire Olsen

    Newly Weds Foods, Senior Corporate Chef, Chicago, IL

      Chef Claire Olsen

      • Kendall College, Evanston, IL
      • 14 years with Newly Weds Foods in R&D—an exciting field where no two days are the same, learning something new each day
      • Her first job out of culinary school was at a small, family owned Italian restaurant- where she learned all of the “secret” family recipes
      • Experience in the catering business, front and back of the house
      • Learning how food is farmed and processed is her new found passion
      • Some of her fondest memories as a child were spending time with her mom cooking, singing, dancing in the kitchen.
      View Chef Claire Olsen's Expert Video
      See Claire's Favorite Recipe

      Salmon

      Honey Walnut Crusted Salmon

      Serves: 4

      4 (6 ounce) Salmon Fillets
      ½ cup Walnuts, chopped
      1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
      1 tablespoon Honey
      1 tablespoon Flat Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
      1 tablespoon Lemon Zest
      To taste Salt and Pepper

      Directions:
      • In food processor, process walnuts, panko, lemon zest, parsley and salt and pepper, using pulsing action until crumbly.
      • Brush tops of salmon fillets with honey. Divide crust mixture evenly among fillets; press onto honey.
      • Place salmon fillets on baking pan.
      • Bake at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until salmon flakes with fork.

      Chef Mathew Freistadt

      Newly Weds Foods, Corporate Chef, Chicago, IL

        Chef Mathew Freistadt

        • New York native and 1994 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Started in kitchens at the age of 13.
        • He earned his kitchen chops under acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson at Aquavit Minneapolis and Chef Mark Baker of Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.
        • Attained his first Executive Chef position with Bon Appetit Management. Regional Corporate Chef opening flagship accounts in Palo Alto CA, Minneapolis and Fort Worth.
        • Appointed Global Corporate Chef of American Airlines, LSK SKY CHEFS, and redesigned menus for all flagship in-flight services around the world.
        • Twelve years of hands on experience in formulation and product development ranging from flavors, protein processing, seasoning systems, kettle manufacturing and product development of global brands.
        • Sixteen years in competitive BBQ around the nation.
        • Relentless and tenacious when it comes to project work.

        Chef John Bloch

        Newly Weds Foods, Sr. Corporate Chef, Horn Lake, MS

          Chef John Bloch

          • The Culinary Institute of America; Hyde Park, NY: AOS, Associates of Occupational Studies
          • University of Cincinnati; Cincinnati, OH: B.S., Culinary and Food Science
          • A forever student, driven by curiosity and etymology of food, it all began in my mother’s kitchen with brisket and evolved through the family catering/restaurant business, world travels, AmeriCorps, and culinary school
          • Extensive experience commercializing gold standard products (soups, sauces, dressings, proteins and side dishes) from bench top through production

          Chef Jeff Basalik

          Newly Weds Foods, Senior Corporate Chef, Chicago, IL

            Chef Mark Sobczak

            • 30 years in the hospitality industry
            • Held various positions including Line Cook, Banquet Chef, Garde Manger Chef, Baker and Corporate Chef for multi-unit chains and food manufacturers
            • Favorite food memories are learning to cook breakfast from his grandmother and preparing seafood & pasta dishes for Fest of Seven Fishes during Christmas
            • His passion for desserts has led to continuing education classes at CIA and French pastry schools
            • When not in the kitchen, you can find him on his bicycle. Chef Jeff has a love for being outside on the open roads or trails
            See Jeff's Favorite Recipe

            Seafood Pasta Salad

            Seafood Pasta Salad

            Serves: 4 – 6

            5 each Uncooked sea scallops
            Sea Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
            2 Tbsp. Olive oil, divided
            4 each Uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
            2 cups Baby arugula
            2 cups Bow tie pasta, cooked, drained
            1/2 cup Creamy Caesar Dressing or Romesco sauce
            1/2 cup Grape tomatoes, cut in half
            1/2 cup Fresh mozzarella balls, cut in half
            1/2 cup Yellow peppers, roasted, cut into thin strips
            1/3 cup Sun-dried tomatoes, drained, sliced
            1/3 cup Red onions, thinly sliced, lightly sauteed
            1/4 cup Pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
            1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
            1/4 cup Fresh basil, chiffonade
            1-1/2 Tbsp. Thin garlic chips, lightly pan fried
            1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese

            Directions:
            • SEASON: scallops with salt and black pepper. Saute in 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil on medium-high heat 2 to 3 min. on each side or until opaque. Remove from skillet; cool. Meanwhile, season shrimp with salt and black pepper. Saute in separate skillet in remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil, about 2 to 3 min. on each side or until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp from skillet; cool. Use same pan to lightly pan fry garlic and saute onions. Use remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil.
            • CUT: scallops into half or quarters, then cut shrimp in half; place in large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients except cheese; toss to coat. Season with salt and black pepper; cover. Refrigerate up to 1 hour.

            For each serving:
            PLATE 1 cup of the salad; sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. cheese

            Note: Cooked scallops and shrimp can be stored in tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 24 hours before being cut up and mixed with remaining ingredients as directed.

            Use any pasta or dressing/sauce you like. I often switch these two ingredients up to keep things interesting.

            Chef Daniel Bell

            Newly Weds Foods, Culinary Development Chef, Ossett, UK

              Chef Daniel Bell

              • Studied at the culinary school of Arts in Oxford
              • Worked for multiple 5 star hotels in Oxford and Barcelona, and Yorkshire, up to 3AA Rosette
              • Cooked around the world for a Formula 1 Team, supplying the team in 18 different countries a year
              • Became the head chef of Malmaison hotel in Oxford
              • Oversaw 2 hotels in the Malmaison hotel group
              • Fell in love with cooking while traveling in Australia
              See Daniel's Favorite Recipe

              pozole

              Loin of Venison Wellington, braised baby beetroots Truffle Jus vinegarette

              700g trimmed loin of venison (see tip, below)
              1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra
              1½ tbsp English mustard
              50g butter
              1 large shallot, finely chopped
              1 garlic clove, crushed
              400g chestnut mushrooms, very finely chopped in a food processor
              1 tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves
              1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
              2 tbsp brandy
              12 slices prosciutto
              plain flour, for dusting
              375g pack all-butter puff pastry
              2 egg yolks, beaten

              Directions:
              • Dry the venison with kitchen paper, then season well. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the meat all over for about 8 mins. Brush with mustard, leave to cool, then chill for 20 mins. Reserve any juices for the gravy.
              • Melt the butter and soften the shallot and garlic. Add the mushrooms, herbs and seasoning, and cook for 10 mins until you have a paste-like mixture. Add the brandy and cook until it’s evaporated. Leave to cool.
              • Overlap 2-3 sheets of cling film on a clean surface and lay the prosciutto in 2 rows, slightly overlapping each slice. Spread the cooled mushroom paste all over the prosciutto, creating a thin, even layer.
              • Place the fillet in the centre of the mushroom mixture. Using the edge of the cling film, carefully draw the layer of prosciutto and mushroom around the meat.
              • Roll into a sausage shape, twisting the ends of the cling film as you do, to form a tight log. Chill for 30 mins to firm up.
              • On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to a rectangle a little larger than a magazine, and trim the edges to neaten.
              • Carefully unwrap the prosciutto parcel and lay in the middle of the pastry.
              • Fold over the bottom half of the pastry. Lightly brush the rest of the sheet with beaten egg.
              • Roll the whole thing around the meat to encase. Neatly fold under the shorter edges to create a parcel.
              • Transfer to a baking sheet and, using your hands, smooth the pastry around the meat, pressing it firmly to avoid any air being trapped. Brush the pastry all over with beaten egg yolk.
              • Chill for at least 30 mins or up to 24 hrs. Then, using the back of a knife, mark the pastry, being careful not to cut all the way through. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
              • Lightly oil a non-stick baking tray and heat until hot. Put the Wellington on the tray and bake for 30 mins (35 mins for well done). Remove from oven, brush with extra egg and rest for 20 mins.
              Soy Glazed Baby Beetroots

              4 baby red beetroots
              4 baby golden beetroots
              4 baby candy beetroots
              4 baby white beetroots
              20ml of Kikkoman soy sauce
              venison jus
              35g of caster sugar

              • For the baby beetroots, add to a pan and cover with salted water. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender. To avoid staining, cook the beetroots in separate pans 2.Once cooked, refresh in iced water and gently peel off the outer skin by hand. Heat the soy sauce and sugar in a small pan. Add a tablespoon of the venison sauce and bring to the boil, add the beetroots and coat in the sauce to glaze. Set aside in a warm place
              Truffle Jus Vinegarette

              Venison reduced red wine sauce
              Truffle (grated)
              Sherry vinegar

              Chef Hayden Williams

              Newly Weds Foods, Executive Chef, New South Wales, Australia

                Chef Hayden Williams

                • Over 25 years hospitality experience
                • NZTCB -Certificate in Professional Cookery
                • NSW Chef for Unilever, Food Solutions Divisions
                • 10 consecutive years as a Head Chef at several businesses
                • Creates leading edge products and concepts
                • Works closely with global partners in the QSR segment
                View Chef Hayden Williams' Expert Video
                See Hayden's Favorite Recipe

                Scallops

                Seared Scallops with Smashed Avocado & Bacon Dust

                Serves: 4

                3 Bacon Rashers (Canadian Bacon)
                1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds, toasted
                2 Long Red Chilies, seeds removed
                2 Avocados
                ¼” Red Onion, finely chopped
                1 Tomato, seeds removed, chopped
                ½ bunch Coriander, leaves chopped
                1 tablespoon Lime Juice, plus wedges to serve
                1 tablespoon Olive Oil
                12 Scallops without roe
                4 Sourdough Bread Slices, toasted
                Small Coriander leaves, to serve

                Directions:
                • Preheat oven to 375° and line a tray with baking paper.
                • Lay bacon on tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and quite dry.
                • Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and cool. Place bacon and coriander seeds in a small processor and process to a fine dust (alternatively, chop very finely).
                • Thinly slice 1 chili and set aside to garnish, then finely chop remaining chili and place in a mortar or large bowl with avocado, onion, tomato, coriander leaves and lime juice.
                • Mash with pestle or a fork until you have a coarse paste.
                • Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Season scallops, then cook for 30 seconds on each side or until just opaque. Spread avocado mixture on toast. Top each with 3 scallops, then scatter with the bacon dust, sliced chili and herbs.
                • Serve with lime wedges.

                Chef Zhao

                Newly Weds Foods, Executive Chef, China

                  Chef Zhao

                  • Jingsong Professional Culinary School
                  • Extensive background in Chinese, German and Western cooking
                  • Experience as a product development manager for multiple QSR concepts
                  • Specializing in Chinese, German, Italian and BBQ cuisine
                  • Impressive work as a team leader and executive chef in several hotels
                  See Chef Zhao's Favorite Recipe

                  Chef Zhoa Recipe

                  Chicken Breast in a Maple Lemon Sauce

                  Serves 4

                  4 (3-4-ounce) Chicken Breast Fillets
                  Salt and Pepper to taste
                  2 teaspoons juice squeezed from Fresh Ginger
                  Oil for frying
                  2 small Red Peppers
                  as needed Starch
                  1 ½ Lemons
                  ¾ cup Water
                  3 to 4 tablespoons Maple Syrup
                  2/3 teaspoon Salt
                  1 tablespoon Starch
                  3 tablespoons Water

                  Directions:
                  • Cut the chicken breast fillets into bite-size pieces and season with salt, pepper and fresh ginger juice. Pat dry, coat with starch, and deep fry in oil heated to a moderate temperature.
                  • Cut the red peppers into bite-size pieces and deep fry briefly.
                  • Squeeze the lemons and set the juice aside. Remove the rind of the lemon and place it in a pan with ¾ cup of water. Simmer until the water has taken on the color and scent of the lemon. Remove the lemon rind.
                  • Add the lemon juice, maple syrup and salt to the water from (3) and bring to a boil. Dissolve the 1 tablespoon of starch in water and add to the pan. Once it has thickened, add the fried chicken and peppers to heat through. Pour the lemon sauce over the chicken and peppers and garnish with julienned lemon rind or julienned ginger as desired.

                  Chef Brian Brindza

                  Newly Weds Foods, Product Innovation Executive Chef, Bangkok, Thailand

                    Chef Brian Brindza

                    • Graduate from Robert Morris University
                    • Discovered his passion for food as an R&D lab technician at Newly Weds Foods®
                    • 10 years experience with Newly Weds Foods® in Chicago
                    • <Studied at Apicius International School of Hospitality, Florence, Italy
                    • Certificate for NRAEF Hospitality and Restaurant Management competence, and Certificate in ServSafe Food and Alcohol Management
                    • Follow his Thailand trip on our blog.
                    View Chef Brian Brindza's Expert Video
                    See Brian's Favorite Recipe

                    Ragu

                    Wild Boar Ragu with Paparedelle Pasta

                    Serves: 8 – 10

                    5 Cloves Garlic, smashed and finely chopped
                    3 Carrots, coarsely chopped
                    3 Celery Ribs, coarsely chopped
                    2 Large Onions, coarsely chopped
                    2 pounds Cremini Mushrooms
                    Extra-virgin Olive Oil
                    1 Bone in Wild Boar Shoulder, about 5 pounds, cut into ½-inch chunks*
                    1 cup Tomato Paste
                    3 cups Red Wine
                    3 cups Beef Stock
                    5 Bay Leaves
                    5 Fresh Thyme, sprigs
                    To taste Kosher Salt

                    Directions:
                    • In a large cast-iron pot, add the boar meat and sear the meat in small batches. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside once brown.
                    • Sauté the onions, carrots and celery in the same cast-iron pot for about 5 minutes.
                    • Add tomato paste, mushrooms, garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.
                    • Deglaze the pot with wine, and add the boar meat back in and let the wine reduce by half.
                    • Add beef stock, bay leaf, thyme and salt.
                    • Simmer on low on the stovetop, and stir occasionally for at least 4 hours.
                    • Serve over the fresh papparedelle pasta and top with grated cheese. Accompany with some crusty Italian bread and a good Italian red wine.

                    *Bone in Pork Shoulder can be substituted for the Wild Boar.