Face-to-Face: Meet James Musetti February 2017

Ever wonder if anyone else is facing the same professional challenges as you? Or just looking to connect with some new people in your field? In IFT's Face-to-Face series, we will be introducing you to a different IFT member every month with a fun, insightful Q&A session.


James MusettiThis month meet...

James Musetti, Cheese Application Technologist, Dupont Nutrition & Health

  1. How did you get your start in the food industry?
    Actually, I got my first job in the food industry as a "sandwich artist" at Subway. It didn't last too long. I went on to culinary school after spending my time in a restaurant kitchen cooking after high school. I spent 10 years in the restaurant industry as a chef making artisanal cheeses and charcuterie for the restaurants I worked in. I made the decision to get out of the kitchen and follow my curiosity for cheese and went back to get my master's degree in food science from Colorado State University.

  2. What do you love about your job?
    I love many things about my job besides the fact that cheese is in the title of my job. I love that each and every day presents new problems and challenges to be solved, and new opportunities to learn.

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job?
    The biggest challenge I face in my job is learning to switch from an analytical problem solver to a listener when working with customers. As technologists and scientists we can often seek to only think of solutions for our customers before completely understanding the challenges our customers and their consumers face, and therefore the value in any particular solution.

  4. What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job?
    I actually just finished a book by Deepak Malhotra on negotiation that I have found useful not only in understanding how to negotiate in the business setting, but more importantly to looking at interactions with all people in all settings through a new lens.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
    I see the food industry continuing to evolve to meet consumers demands. I think there will continue to be an emphasis on providing alternative proteins and making functional foods more accessible and convenient. I also believe the restaurant industry may start to see more brick and mortar establishments open as upscale, faster, and more convenient counter service operations as consumers still seek quality food that is affordable.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    Oh jeez, this is always tough. It is always changing with the season, and often might not be politically correct. Right now we are in soup season, and I have a freezer filled with stocks I've made from just about every animal's bones or shells. The one that has me particularly infatuated is the French onion soup I've made with ox tail, caramelized onions glazed in sherry wine, crouton, and a mixture of Scharfe Maxx cheese and Muenster Cheese broiled on top. It takes no less than three days to make and is worth every minute of the wait. A true labor of love.

If you are an IFT member and wish to be profiled, please contact Kelly Hensel at khensel@ift.org or 312-604-0211.