meez podcast

Innovation & Menu Development w/ Rosio Sanchez, Arielle Johnson, Ryan Chetiyawardana & Thomas Frebel

Navy image with navy background of The Chef Conference Menu Development Panel

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About this episode

#58. Dive into an exhilarating episode of The meez Podcast recorded live at The Chef Conference in Philadelphia. This special installment features a dynamic panel discussion hosted by our founder and CEO, Josh Sharkey, with four culinary luminaries, each bringing a unique blend of creativity, science, and innovation to the table.

Join us as we engage with Rosio Sanchez, the esteemed former pastry chef at Noma and now thriving as the chef and founder of Sanchez and Hija de Sanchez in Copenhagen. Alongside her, experience the insightful musings of Arielle Johnson, PhD, a flavor scientist and co-founder of the Fermentation Lab, who has advised some of the world's top chefs and authored the book "Flavorama."

The conversation also includes Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr. Lyan, a cocktail virtuoso recognized globally for his award-winning bars and innovative drink creations. Completing the panel is Thomas Frebel, former head of R&D for Noma, who has continued to push culinary boundaries as the chef of the Michelin-starred Inua in Japan and now as the creative director at Noma.

This episode delves deep into the intricacies of menu development, the blend of scientific and creative approaches in culinary arts, and the continuous pursuit of innovation. From discussing when a dish feels complete to exploring R&D processes and the essence of collaboration, this panel covers it all.

Where to find Ryan Chetiyawardana:

Where to find Rosio Sanchez:

Where to find Arielle Johnson:

Where to find Thomas Frebel:

Where to find host Josh Sharkey:

What We Cover

(04:27): Introductions

(06:05): When do you know that a dish is done?

(18:53): How do you combat analysis paralysis?

(33:22): Arielle's book and why it's important to understand why.

(42:41): How do you balance that absence of pragmatism when you're coming up with new ideas?

(59:22): Q&A from the audience


[00:00:00] Josh Sharkey:

You're listening to season two of The meez Podcast. I'm your host, Josh Sharkey, the founder and CEO of meez, a culinary operating system for food professionals. On the show, we're going to talk to high performers in the food business, everything from chefs to CEOs, technologists, writers, investors, and more about how they innovate and operate and how they consistently execute at a high level.


And I would really love it if you could drop us a five star review anywhere that you listen to your podcast. That could be Apple, that could be Spotify, could be Google. I'm not picky. Anywhere works. But I really appreciate the support. And as always, I hope you enjoy the show.

[00:00:43] Josh Sharkey:

All right, ladies and gentlemen. This is a special episode of The meez Podcast in that it was an interview that I did in person, a panel at The Chef Conference in Philadelphia run by the incredible Mike Traud. And this was a panel with four just unbelievable culinary all stars, if you will. And we talked about menu development and things related to innovation, iteration, creativity, and you know the drill.

[00:01:17] Josh Sharkey:

The things that I love to dig into. So we had Rosio Sanchez, former pastry chef from restaurant Noma, and now the chef and founder of Sanchez and Hija de Sanchez in Copenhagen, Arielle Johnson, who is this incredible, Flavor scientist. She has a PhD from UC Davis. She advises, like, some of the most incredible chefs around the world.


She's just sort of a savant and expert on why things taste the way they do, why food reacts the way that it does. She's the co founder of the Fermentation Lab. She was the science officer for Alton Brown's show, Good Eats. The list goes on. She's also the author of the new book, Flavorama, which everyone on the panel knows.


Actually, and everyone who was viewing the panel got as a gift, which is pretty incredible. And she signed the books. But we had Ryan Chetiyawardana, also called Mr. Lyan. He is this world renowned, which is sort of downplaying what he is. He's a proprietor of some of the most incredible cocktail bars in the world.


He has one best cocktail bar in the world. He's one best bartender in the world. He's one bartender. Person of the decade. He's based in UK. I were personality of the decade. Just the list goes on. He's just an incredible developer of flavors in drinks among many other things. The last guest was chef Thomas Frebel, who was the head of R&D for restaurant Noma for A decade and then open up the two Michelin star spot called Inua Japan, and now is the creative director at Noma.


So man, we had a blast and these four actually have a conversation similar to what we talked about somewhat often. And we chatted about a week before the panel. And what I heard from. All of them among praising each other was that they wished that they could record their conversations. So that we did.


And we recorded this panel live in Philly in front of an incredible audience. And we talked about everything from when does a dish feel done to their process of R&D and creativity, thinking through sort of having an absence of pragmatism when we're starting from zero to one of a new idea, how we approach collaboration, And the difference between the scientific approach and the creative approach and just so much more and we topped it off with a live birthday singing for Arielle because it was actually her birthday that day And had a delicious cake as well and just all in all Man, just an incredible experience.


And I'm so excited to share it with all of you. We did have a little issue with the audio recording, mostly on my mic. I think everybody else's was, was pretty good. So apologies if you have a little trouble hearing my questions, but that's kind of the least important part of the conversation. So we should be good.


And as always, I know it goes without saying, but I hope that you enjoy the As much as I did.


Well, I'm excited. Is everybody excited here? Very excited. Also, we spoke last week and the conversation that you're going to hear today is something that these four have fairly often. And a few of them at least said, I wish we could record this. So, now you're all miked up, outside of this, and we're gonna send you the recording.


So, we have a lot to talk about. We also need to give a shout out to a bunch of things. We have a little surprise at the end that we're gonna do, and everyone's gonna need to stay for this surprise. Everybody probably knows everyone here, but I'll do a quick background, starting backwards. Arielle, well, Fords, I guess.

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