Face-to-Face: Meet Bill Earley January 2019

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.

This month meet...

Bill EarleyBill Earley, corporate research chef at Furmano Foods

  1. How did you get your start in the food industry?
    My start in the food industry was at McDonald's. I was there for more than five years, working every single station from fry cook to becoming a general manager. I decided to go to culinary school at the Midwest Culinary Institute. Chef Meg Galvin was a huge factor in my career path, encouraging me to get my bachelor’s in culinary science from the University of Cincinnati. I had a few kitchen jobs along the way, but one that really stuck with me—and still does—is working at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. I was there for a few months and absolutely loved it. Working at Charlie Trotter’s has helped to open doors.

    An important part of my career has been my mentors. I have learned so much from them and each one has provided me with a different viewpoint—from Jeff Cousminer, to Mike Bunn, and Lisa Davis. I’ve had several jobs with CPG companies including my last stint as a food technologist for a plant-based snack food company where I developed/launched several new snacks.

  2. What do you love about your job?
    What I love about my job is that I get to play with food every day! This could include developing/creating new recipes using our products and making samples to send to customers. I also love collaborating on new ideas with cross-functional teams including sales/marketing.

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job?
    The biggest challenge I face in my job is learning all the processes we have here at Furmano’s.

  4. What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job?
    I have been at Furmano’s since September 2018, so I have been exposed to the functionality of beans and tomatoes. Before starting here, I didn’t think to add beans to baked goods or use them to thicken sauces, soups, etc. One of the first things my boss Chef Paul Burkholder wanted me to do when I joined was to cook and play around with beans and tomatoes and to really think outside the box.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
    I think we will see the food industry keep evolving towards plant-based ingredients in a variety of ways because they are very versatile and have good benefits. I also think consumers are going to want CPG’s to become more transparent because they increasingly want to know where their food comes from.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    My favorite food is a tough question. I love trying new things all the time and I really can’t narrow it down to one favorite.

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