Our research chefs and food scientists bring all their expertise in food trends, consumer demands, cooking styles and methods to the table. Their insights can provide you with greater long-term competitive advantages—and a higher probability of market success.
Our research chefs bring a unique point of view to the food processing and service industries. With extensive experience in culinary techniques and flavour profiles, our researchers strive to provide great-tasting solutions that meet clients’ needs. If you are interested in showcasing an ingredient or have a product concept in mind, our chefs can help make your product ideas a reality. The Prairie Research Kitchen is embedded in the School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, allowing researchers and students to access chef and hospitality instructors to bring their extensive experience to the project.
Our expertise in food science blended with culinary arts provides us with a powerful approach to challenges from the food industry. With a knowledge of food systems, scientific methods and food safety, our food scientists elevate project results to bring feasible solutions to your innovation challenges. The scientific stream of Prairie Research Kitchen also focuses on clinical trials, plant bioactive research, and plant protein research.
Business and Marketing
Ideas and prototyping are the first layer in a long commercialization funnel. As ideas form at the top of the funnel, a larger business community is there to connect the company to resources they need – from scale-up, co-packing, investment, marketing, to product launch.
The Prairie Research Kitchen, as part of Red River College, is connected to these resources and is an active and respected part of the innovation community. Instructors and students throughout the College can bring skills in manufacturing, IT, marketing, and graphic design, and have partnerships with incubators, investors, business leaders and government.
A food company’s first step with the Prairie Research Kitchen opens the door to a network of resources motivated to see the idea reach its full potential as a new company or product line. This economic growth benefits our students and our communities.
Prairie Research Kitchen strives to train the next generation of culinary professionals and food developers by putting them to work on your research project.
From student-led recipe development and testing to technology diffusion support, our students can be a mutually beneficial solution to support your project.
“I was extremely impressed with the chef’s culinary expertise and ability to work technically on process development. We were able to develop a rapport immediately and communicate effectively to meet project goals. I look forward to working with the group again.”
– Kelly Henderson, Product Development Manager, Richardson Milling Limited
Prairie Research Kitchen’s team bring the best of the both culinary arts and food science skillsets to the table. Our collaborative team blends their expertise to find innovative solutions to industry challenges.
Mavis McRae, Prairie Research Kitchen Director
Mavis has led the development of Red River College’s Culinary Research program since 2014. With a 25-year career in food product development and project management, Mavis’ connections to the Western food and agriculture stakeholders are important in creating successful collaborations.
Her background in food science and entrepreneurship helps new clients navigate through the commercialization process, creating links to other valuable technical and business resources in the community.
Heather Hill, Research Manager
Heather has been involved in food product development for over a decade, with a focus on value-added pulse ingredients. She has completed multi-year projects funded through industry partnerships with the Canadian federal government and with several agri-food companies and organizations.
Heather holds a Masters of Science Degree in food chemistry and product development, which will help shape the science program around clinical trials, cannabis research, and plant protein research.
Kyle Andreasen, Research Coordinator
Kyle joined the team in 2018 after a successful 10-year restaurant industry career. While in industry, he worked on new food service menu items such as a vegetarian sausage for an Ottawa restaurant.
Kyle works on applied research and product development with local food manufacturing and food service companies, providing a culinary perspective to food service questions and challenges.
He’s passionate about developing recipes, troubleshooting existing products, and coming up with brand new ways to utilize ingredients.
Anna Borys, Research Assistant
Anna started working at the Prairie Research Kitchen through a co-op work placement, and now she supports food producers to come up with innovative solutions as a full-time Research Assistant.
She graduated from Red River College’s culinary program in 2020, when she won the Co-operative Education Manitoba (CEM) Co-op Student of the Year Award and the Culinary Arts Gold Medal.
With a background in photography, Anna uses her skills to elevate Prairie Research Kitchen’s food styling and photography services and coach students working on these projects.
Judy Quistberg, Administrative Assistant
Judy joined the Prairie Research Kitchen in 2019 as our administrative assistant.
With more than 30 years of experience in public sector industries, Judy has a proven track record of dependability, motivation and honesty. She has a strong ability to streamline processes, maximize efficiency, and foster professional relationships within organizations.
Judy’s philosophy centres around what role she can play in helping others find solutions.