Culinary Research and Innovation

Prairie Research Kitchen

Student Engagement

With the Prairie Research Kitchen, RRC Polytech’s culinary students can access training opportunities in culinary research which can lead to careers in product development and entrepreneurship, as well as hone your skills in the kitchen.

Benefits of Becoming a Prairie Research Kitchen Student-Researcher

Find out all the benefits of becoming a student-researcher at Prairie Research Kitchen. Contact us to to learn more about our student placements.

Explore and work with new and innovative food ingredients and modern equipment and processing

At the Prairie Research Kitchen, we are constantly following food trends to keep on top of what’s hot on the market. This means getting to work with industry partners on innovative new food products and ingredients.

“Gaining more knowledge on cooking has given me the ability to work with food differently as I would have, if I did not work for the research team. For example, I would probably still have a hard time cooking with beans if I did not go through those bean trials. I would not be confident in using pulse flours for baking pastries. I would not be as curious in how things work, and think outside of the box as much to solve problems efficiently. I’ve been able to apply these things I’ve learned from Culinary Research in my current position, and it has made me a better cook than when I first started my journey in this industry.”

– Aileen Lopez, Prairie Research Kitchen student-researcher 2018

Work with a blended team of food scientists and chefs

As a student, you will have the opportunity to work with our blended team of culinary research chefs and food scientists. This opens many doors into learning different methods and techniques to uncover the science of food and food ingredients, while maintaining the integrity and practicality of the culinary arts.

Access modern equipment and technology

Located on the top floor of the RRC Polytech’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, the multi-million dollar Prairie Research Kitchen’s 4,600 square-foot space is home to several high-tech and specialty pieces of equipment, such as:

  • a centrifuge
  • 3D food printer
  • charcuterie curing chambers
  • and rotary evaporator, or “Rotovap”

As a student-researcher, you will get the opportunity to learn how to use new equipment and understand its relationship to food processing.  You will use testing equipment to measure food safety features of food and you will get daily practice in good scientific methods of recording your work and reporting results to industry partners.

Network with industry partners and Prairie Research Kitchen clients

As a student-researcher, you will have the opportunity to go on site visits to learn more about food production and processes in the real world.

“During my time as a student-researcher, I got to visit several different clients on-site to get a behind-the-scenes look into their production plants, and see and learn things I would’ve never had the chance to otherwise. I also attended a few tradeshows and other commercial events that opened my eyes to many other companies and entrepreneurs in the food production and innovation sector. I learned so much and got to try a lot of tasty things along the way! This was one of my favourite parts of being a student-researcher.”

– Anna Borys, Prairie Research Kitchen Student Researcher 2018-2019

Expand your career opportunities

Working as a student-researcher will not only hone your culinary skills, but will expand your skillset regarding food safety, recipe development, food styling and photography and many other areas. These will be assets when looking for career opportunities or furthering your education in different fields.

“Even before coming to college, working in food development was something that had always interested me as a concept. Getting a hands-on glimpse into the R&D world really convinced me that this is something I really enjoyed doing. Thanks to the bagel project, I was able to secure a new job working at a bagel shop as a baker. I’ve also been using these analytical skills at home to try and improve my own home recipes.”

– Marc Fontaine, Prairie Research Kitchen Student Researcher 2020

Students in the Spotlight

Learn more about what RRC Polytech students are working on at Prairie Research Kitchen.

Pea Tempeh/Applied Research and Innovation Day

Co-op student Anna Borys developed a soy-free pea tempeh using a prairie staple, yellow split peas. With the guidance of the PRK professionals, this research project was then entered into RRC Polytech’s Applied Research & Innovation (ARI) Day, competing with several other applied research projects from varying faculties throughout the college. Anna went on to win 2nd place along with a cash prize, was featured on CBC radio as well as an article on CBC Manitoba.

Project in the media: CBC and RRC Polytech Blog

Winnipeg Harvest

Co-op students worked in partnership with Winnipeg Harvest to create dried soup mixes by dehydrating surplus vegetables from suppliers who were not able to use them during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, the students packaged 3,000 packaged soups to provide healthy, protein-packed meals for those negatively affected by the pandemic. This included recipe development, food processing and packaging, data tracking, but ultimately, teamwork!

Project in the media: CTV and RRC Polytech Blog

Ag Awareness Day

The province of Manitoba celebrates Agriculture Awareness Day, with a focus on innovations in proteins. Each year two RRC Polytech students participate in a competition showcasing innovation in two pre-selected proteins. Former student researchers Anna Borys and Peter Matkowski put their heads together in creating two appetizer dishes using yellow peas and bison.

Project in the media: RRC Polytech Blog

Beans…to salt or not to salt

Co-op students worked on a project funded by the Manitoba Pulse and Soy Growers to debunk the proper cooking techniques of the humble bean. It was determined that best bean cooking practices included an overnight salt brining step which improves in the final cooking process to achieve a creamy yet intact bean.

Project in the media: RRC Polytech Blog


Prairie Research Kitchen teamed up with local entrepreneur James Battershill of Juno Food Labs in the creation of Bump Beef + Plant Blend, an animal- and plant-blended protein fit for a flexitarian diet. Students helped in creating tasty recipes using Bump such as Jamaican Beef Patties, Kofta Kebabs, Miso Mushroom Meatballs and many others! These recipes are now used in Juno Foods’ social media and as marketing tools.

Bump is a product that you can find on many local store shelves such as select Red River Co-Ops, Vita Health and farmers’ markets throughout the city.

Project in the media: Winnipeg Free Press and RRC Polytech Blog

Events and Competitions

  • Speaker Series: Join the PRK as they invite special guests such as research chefs, entrepreneurs, and industry partners to hear and learn about the direction of food trends, Indigenous traditions and food, and the intersection between food science and culinary arts.
  • RCA Competition: At the RCA Competition, students have the chance to showcase their innovative thinking by developing a quick serve / C – store entrée food concept. This is your chance to put your skills to the test while showing how you can make an all-natural, clean-label product – ideally highlighting food from the Kentucky area – that is ready for commercialization.
  • Applied Research and Innovation Day: join industry leaders, students, instructors and researchers for the annual Applied Research & Innovation Day to celebrate student applied research and research partnerships at RRC Polytech. Students will have a chance to display research, meet potential employers, and win prizes.

Visit the Research Partnerships & Innovation blog to find out more about the most recent events at Prairie Research Kitchen.

How To Get Involved


Keep an eye on your Prairie Research Kitchen Learn module for upcoming events like our speaker series, job opportunities and more!

Social Media

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the most recent projects, contests and student engagement activities.

Co-Op Positions

Contact your co-op coordinator regarding any available co-op positions available.

Contact Us

Use the contact box to get in touch with our team and learn more about our research opportunities.

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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