My Internship at McCormick – Guess What’s New? Cross-Training!

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Being an intern at McCormick gives me the opportunity to learn different aspects of the industry by visiting other departments at our company. Last time, I talked about getting the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for Flavor University, and just last week, I went down the street and worked with research chefs at the Technical Innovation Center (TIC). On Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked alongside McCormick Senior Research professionals, Rachel Gooding and Gabby Quintana, to create a magnificent luncheon for the CEO, Lawrence Kurzius, and special guests. We put together a five-course meal that was inspired by the ideas behind our 2018 Flavor Forecast®.

It’s was a terrific experience! Here’s the menu we prepared:

1st course: West Indies Hot Pot

  • Caribbean Spiced Coconut Broth
  • Shrimp and Pork Dumpling
  • Plantain Chip
  • Garnished with Banana Leaf and Flowers

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2nd course: King Soba Salad

  • Cold Soba Noodles
  • Blistered Shishito Peppers
  • Yuzu Dressing
  • Edamame
  • Grilled King Trumpet Mushroom

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3rd course: Beet Elixir Foam

  • Beet Tincture
  • Passion Fruit
  • Spiced with Cardamom, Ginger, and Turmeric

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4th course: Duck Arepas

  • Truffled Arepas
  • Duck Ragu
  • Duck Demi-Glace
  • Baby Arugula Salad
  • Reduced Red Wine Glaze

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5th course: Berbere Sweet Potato Brûlée

  • Saffron Cardamom Sweet Potato Pudding
  • Berbere Toasted Marshmallow
  • Candied Pistachios, Cashews, and Coconut

mccormick internship cross-training Sweet Potato Brûlée

I learned so much about food and the science behind these recipes, especially the Beet Elixir course. Knowing that different McCormick spices can cleanse the palate when mixed into a beet juice was really cool to learn. The combination of fresh flavors from passion fruit and beet juice with spices that open up the senses allowed our guests to experience every dish with intention and purpose. Adding the carbonation to the beet elixir made it light and refreshing for our guests.

Not only was I given the chance to experience TIC from the kitchens, but I also got to be a part of it behind the scenes. That Thursday I worked with Angela Rosporski in the Sensory department. I learned about how McCormick tests different products and flavors through descriptive panels. Descriptive panelists undergo more than 150 hours of sensory training to perfect their sensing abilities when dealing with foods. McCormick has a way of recognizing flavors and “food notes” based on their Flavor Wheel, something I hope to master in the future.

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Having the ability to cross-train facilitates different job perspectives that will be very valuable to me post-graduation. I am finally starting to look to the future and plan for my culinary career!

By Julia Spondike

Julia Spondike