All in a Day's Work

A day in the life of a development chef

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Philipp Weiler, development chef at ADM
Philipp Weiler, development chef at ADM
This month, ADM's Philipp Weiler talks about his inspirations and aspirations, alongside what a typical day is like as a development chef.


Philipp Weiler



Job Title

Development chef

Company and location

ADM in Berlin, Germany


B.Sc. in Nutrition and Food Sciences, and M.Ed. in Nutrition and Food Sciences from the Technische Universität Berlin.

Favourite food/drink

For me, it’s all about the combination of flavours rather than a specific food or drink. Blackberry and mint, cacao fruit and matcha, mango and calamansi, and octopus and Salsiccia are some of my favourites.

What inspired you to enter F&B?

It all started with the happiness I experienced growing up when my grandparents cooked during the holidays. It created a sort of 'magic moment' that you can only get with food. Ever since then, I’ve yearned to create similar magic moments for myself, for diners, and, now, for my customers through my work at ADM. It’s a special way to make people happy.

Tell us about your role

My first task is acting as a catalyst and source of inspiration for my clients. Together, we develop products using the ADM portfolio. Next, I spark collaboration among departments at ADM. From the plant-based team to the flavour team, to science and technology, we work together to pioneer innovative food developments and possibilities.

I like to say the doors to the kitchen are open at all times. There, we’re always playing with new concepts, like three-dimensional (3D) food printing or new savoury ingredients and foods. These ideas require the input of many so they can make their way to supermarket shelves.

What does a typical day look like?

Every day is different but it’s usually all about interaction. Interaction with customers. Interaction with colleagues. Whether we’re creating a first-mover product with a customer or it’s an internal project that we’ll take to the customer, it’s all about interaction until everything clicks into place.

How did you get to where you are today?

Passion, passion and passion. I started my career with an apprenticeship in 2005 at the Kempinski Hotel in Berlin where I was trained in the classic French technique. From there, I worked with several Michelin-starred chefs and learned everything from plate design to molecular gastronomy. Eventually, I realised I was interested in the theory of food. So, in 2013, I began to study food and nutrition.

While at university, I established a start-up with a business partner to reinvent how popsicles are made by using fluid nitrogen. We built a machine and patented the processes to accelerate production. It was during this period when I understood the important role chefs can play in product development.

I learned how to build a brand with storytelling and how to position that brand in the marketplace. I also learned the importance of having conversations with our customers to get a true understanding of what their needs are. I brought this knowledge to ADM to help support and pave the way for what’s next in the food landscape.

When you’re having a bad day, what cheers you up?

Playing with my daughter always brightens my day. She is also my toughest critic in the kitchen. It’s a competition between her school food and my food to see which is better. She always puts a smile on my face and brings such joy to my life!

What’s your favourite part about the food sector?

I like the dynamics and complexity of it. Customers demand solutions fast, and we must be ready to deliver. And it’s a different challenge every day. One day you could be working on a plant-based alternative to sausage, the next week you could be formulating plant-based prawns or a salmon alternative with skin that is texturally close to the gold-standard traditional offering.

I learned how to be fast during my time in the kitchen. You would have a menu, but then your customer would want something special and you’d have to react quickly. It’s very much the same here at ADM.

If you could change one thing about the F&B sector, what would it be?

I would like to see more openness to new things. In central Europe, the top ice cream flavours are vanilla and strawberry. I’d like to see consumers be more adventurous with flavours like you see in Asian markets. We’re certainly getting there in Europe with niche and emerging opportunities for exploratory flavours, but there’s room for growth. I’d also like to see more openness to new technologies, like 3D food printing or bioprinting. Technologies like these are important to the future of food.

What’s next for you/what’s the dream?

What I really want is for ADM to continue to lead as a go-to destination for the development of food. I want us to be seen for our pioneering technology and as a resource that can help companies across the food and beverage space – no matter where they are in the process and no matter what they are aiming to achieve.

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