The Culinary Edge (TCE), a leading culinary innovation agency offering future-driven solutions for foodservice brands, announced the appointment of managing director Graham Humphreys to chief executive officer. Michael Parlapiano will now assume the role of managing director, while TCE’s founder, Aaron Noveshen, will transition from CEO to chairman to spearhead the growth of Starbird Chicken, a successful fast-casual brand created by The Culinary Edge.

“When we created Starbird, we knew it would be a success as it was the culmination of The Culinary Edge’s years of hard work and deep expertise advising some of the biggest names in the restaurant industry. But Starbird is growing faster than anyone ever anticipated it would, and so the brand now needs a dedicated CEO,” says Aaron Noveshen, chairman and founder of The Culinary Edge and CEO of Starbird. “As I embark on this next chapter, I am thrilled to pass the torch to Graham Humphreys to lead the great minds at The Culinary Edge and usher the company into a new era of growth. With Graham at the helm, I anticipate nothing but continued innovation and many successes.”

Humphreys brings 20 years of experience in brand strategy and development to his new role as CEO. Since joining The Culinary Edge in March 2019 as managing director, Humphreys has led the project team to bring dozens of brands and products to life for top companies like Starbucks, First Watch, sweetgreen, Buffalo Wild Wings, Courtyard Marriott, Aramark, Impossible Foods, and more. With the industry leaning towards a pivotal transformation over the coming years, The Culinary Edge clients are demanding approaches that begin with culinary techniques and extend into all aspects of the overall experience, brand and operations. Over the last two years, Humphreys has integrated these critical capabilities into the company’s core in order to bring a new kind of innovation consultancy to the growing industry. In his new role as CEO, Humphreys will focus on continuing to productize The Culinary Edge’s services and grow its team of food and beverage visionaries. Prior to The Culinary Edge, Humphreys worked for some of the world’s top design firms and digital agencies, including San Francisco-based fuseproject, a globally renowned design studio where he led hundreds of programs for many well-known companies including Paypal and General Electric.

With Humphreys assuming the role of CEO, TCE’s current strategy director, Michael Parlapiano, will take on the role of managing director. Over the last decade, Parlapiano has helped dozens of TCE’s clients realize their potential to build lasting models for impactful food and beverage experiences. As he steps into this new leadership role, Parlapiano will continue to spearhead the strategy team, ensuring TCE keeps its finger on the pulse of up-and-coming food trends to lead the menu innovation sector and restaurant concept evolution.

“I’m thrilled to assume the role of chief executive officer of such an innovative, forward-thinking consultancy that continues to make a significant impact on the food and beverage space. TCE has grown immensely over the last few years and I am looking forward to continuing to work with this talented team to take us to new heights,” says Humphreys. “And having spent the last few years as managing director of TCE, I can’t think of anyone better than Michael Parlapiano to take my place. Michael is a masterful strategist and, after nearly 12 years with the company, understands every moving piece of our agency and will play an important role in our future growth.”

The Culinary Edge team has worked with 30% of the top 200 food and beverage restaurants and co-created more than 25 global and regional restaurant brands. Through their unique 360’ approach that makes culinary solutions delicious, operable, and scalable, the team of chefs and strategists develop a deep understanding of the business, brand, challenges, ambitions, and experience in an effort to provide clients with impactful concepts that are shaping the future of food and beverage.

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