Wixon Inc. has introduced the Wixon Foodservice Group, a new division dedicated to serving the restaurant industry by incorporating food science and technology with the culinary artistry of its chefs.

With more than 100 years of expertise in product development, the new Wixon Foodservice Group will provide market and menu trends, innovative menu ideation and creation, and completely customized formulations for its customers. The division’s capabilities also include solutions to day-to-day concerns of pricing, turn-around time, and packaging.

Wixon’s team of seasoned flavor chemists, meat scientists, technologists, and chefs examine the latest in culinary and industry trends and trade offerings to formulate the leading-edge in menu solutions. The Wixon Foodservice Group is led by Dean Antczak, director of national sales; Scott Cramer, foodservice product manager; and Judson McLester, corporate chef.

Antczak has been with Wixon for 12 years, having begun as foodservice product manager, promoted to regional sales manager, and then became director of national sales. Prior to joining Wixon, Antczak had 14 years of sales and management experience. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and completed protein-related courses at Iowa State University and Mississippi State University. Antczak is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and served as chairman of the Research Chefs Association (RCA) for the Chicago metropolitan area.

Prior to joining Wixon in 2009, Cramer served as regional business manager for Kerry Ingredients and as food technologist and director of technical sales for Total Ultimate Foods. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in food science from The Ohio State University and is a member of the IFT and the RCA.

McLester, or “Chef Jud,” as he is commonly known, joined the company in 2007. He brings to Wixon 25 years of industry experience including developing products for foodservice, retail, and industrial accounts; formulating flavor systems, recipes, and seasoning blends for topical applications of proteins; and developing marinades, glazes, sauces, condiments, and refrigerated ready-to-serve products. He is a founding member of the RCA and a member of the IFT and the American Culinary Federation. Chef Jud is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

Products for the Wixon Foodservice Group are created in the company’s Innovation Center for Culinary & Protein, a recently-constructed state-of-the-art facility designed to offer customers the latest in testing, new product development, demonstrations, and prototype food products.

“The new Wixon Foodservice Group truly demonstrates our skill of blending culinary innovation with the science of product design and development,” says Chuck Ehemann, Wixon’s executive vice president. “With nearly half of all food purchases spent on dining out in 2009, consumers are still seeking convenience while aiming to treat themselves or others. Wixon has its pulse on the latest trends – from snacking and breakfast foods to ethnic flavors and sweeteners – to deliver winning items that result in our customers’ success.”

A new foodservice-oriented micro website, WixonFoodservice.com, is designed to showcase the new division’s capabilities and provide personalized support to its customers. The Wixon Foodservice Group launch also includes new sales collateral, a product catalog, and a new logo and tagline, “From market trends to menu solutions.”

Menu Innovations, News