Being part of a team is a beautiful thing - like kicking a perfect pass in a football game, which scores that crucial goal. It is an amazing feeling.
I get the same feeling when I'm working in a great kitchen. When we bring a dish together through perfect planning and timing and then see the smile on a customer's face, it quite simply makes me cry knowing all the hard work and effort that's gone into it!
How many development chefs can say that they see this perfection, feel this passion or even feel that they are part of a team? The answer is: not that many, due to the fragmentation of their role.
At the end of the day, chefs in any food business support most other business functions.
It's a fact that, as a development chef, you can only offer support as your discipline dictates. But development chefs will never expand out of that role unless they take the initiative and make changes under their own steam!
Passion equals success in food manufacturing. But eventually that vein of passion will be bled dry when one project after another is discarded to make way for the next project brief.
Ironically enough, as our industry continues to fight its way through hard times and develops business strategies to work through this, the role of the chef is changing from one of flamboyant provider of creative ideas to a more strategically minded business individual.
Not an easy transition to make, although one that's needed, if you are to survive in today's environment.
There are a number of development chefs in the industry that are concerned about the security of their roles. My advice to them would be to take stock of their ability and use the changing environment as an opportunity to develop their roles and skills.
It is a case of embracing the change - regain your passion and evolve or die!
Mark Rigby is senior business development chef for Premier Foods