culinary

Team

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culinary

Team

Inspired creations begin here.

Behind every really great meal is a chef who is passionate about creating an exceptional eating experience. Blount’s diverse Culinary Team brings multiple perspectives and disciplines to the joy of crafting the organic foods that health-conscious people love to eat. 

Jeff Wirtz

Sr. Director of Culinary/Corporate Executive Chef

Jeff Wirtz has been creating soups, sides, entrées and sauces for Blount Fine Foods since 2003. A graduate of the prestigious Johnson & Wales University Culinary program, he brings his imagination, culinary skills and passion to the Blount kitchen. He infuses traditional flavors and textures to create foods that are deeply satisfying and simply delicious. Jeff believes eating well and living well go hand in hand. As Blount's chief recipe architect, Jeff has made his mark refining old favorites, exploring new taste trends and ensuring that his customers (or their customers) have the chance to eat well.

Thomas Gervasi

R&D Culinary Innovation Chef

Thomas graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a BS in Culinary Nutrition. On any given day you can find Thomas meeting with customers, refining recipes, or working with our production team to improve processes. He continually strives to stay ahead of trends by experimenting with new flavor profiles and fusions, creating innovative and unique products that are sure to become favorites.

Hillary McDonald, NDTR

Research & Dietetic Technician

Hillary is a Nutritionist with a background in Education and Dietetics. She is a registered Nutrition and Dietetic Technician through the Commission on Dietetic Registration and she also has a professional license in Nutrition and Food Service Management from Laboure College in Boston, MA. With several years’ experience in the food business as an account manager and nutrition consultant for a food marketing company, she brings knowledge of the food industry and the local market. She uses this knowledge, along with her love for delicious and wholesome food, to help aid the R&D team at Blount with refining and developing recipes, researching food trends, and procuring new ingredient

Kimberly Owens

Technical & Regulatory Specialist

Kimberly is an integral part of the product development process, communicating crucial information to marketing, sales and customers with an emphasis on labeling and regulatory compliance. She holds a BS degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Rhode Island, allowing her the ability to contribute a health and wellness-focused viewpoint to the Culinary Team. With this focus, she researches market trends to aid in the development of products that health-conscious consumers will reach for again and again.

VJ Bonda

Food Technologist, CFS

Bringing science into the kitchen, VJ is Blount's in-house Certified Food Scientist. She holds a BS degree in Food Technology from Ohio State University and is certified through the Institute of Food Technologists. By conducting shelf life studies, analytical testing, and assisting with product development and improvement, she ensures the integrity and safety of our products.

Robin Leatherwood

Technical Services Manager

Robin has a background in both Engineering and Baking & Pastry, which allows her to bring technical and creative elements to product development. She assists with her experience in both FDA and USDA regulations for labeling and claims. Her love for food science, attention to detail and passion for eating well make her a great asset to the Culinary Team.

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