Schwan’s chefs are staying on the cutting edge

Photo by Mike Lamb Chef Jamie Malone, far left, has been with Schwan’s since 2015 and the beginning of the chef’s collective.

MINNEAPOLIS — In order to continue its success in the food delivery business, the Schwan’s Food Company has enlisted help from some of the more elite chefs in the nation.

Schwan’s looks to its chefs collective to help it stay on the cutting edge of food creativity. These chefs actually spend time in a Marshall kitchen facility discussing new ideas and developing possible new food products. They also prepared the food during the Feast on the Field event held at US Bank Field Thursday night.

One of those chefs is a television personality from Las Vegas. Jet Tilakamonkul also known Jet Tila, is an American celebrity chef and restaurateur. He is currently the chef of The Charleston and Pakpao Thai. Tila has appeared on “Chopped,” “Cutthroat Kitchen,” “Iron Chef America,” and “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”

“Eight years ago I was a chef in Vegas and I partnered with Schwan’s and they flew me to Marshall, Minnesota. Since then I have been back probably 20 times,” Tilakamonkul said. “I’m from a big city and it’s so nice to have a little quiet. I love Marshall. Some of our chefs have beautiful spreads (own land and homes) there.”

Tilakamonkul says he enjoys the get-togethers such as pig roasts the chefs have in Marshall.

“Marshall plays an extremely important role for Schwan’s. Everything I have really created (for Schwan’s) has been created in Marshall,” he said.

Tilakamonkul sees the way people eat their meals changing with meal kits playing a major role.

“I really think people are going to eat more in home,” he said. “It’s funny. It’s like the Schwan’s truck will become a meal kit. People are actually cooking now and we are making it easier for them.”

Chef Jamie Malone is from St. Paul and recently opened her own restaurant in Minneapolis, the Grand Cafe. Her expertise is in French cooking.

“I have been with Schwan’s since 2015 since the beginning of the chefs collective,” Malone said. “It’s an awesome great group of chefs. It’s a group of chefs from around the country who get together and sort of offer some ideas for some of the new stuff for Schwan’s. I think the Schwan’s company sees a lot of value in teaming up with chefs who are in more of the creative end of things. To help them on the front line of trends — to stay modern.”

Malone said she has fallen in love with Schwan’s and Marshall.

“Everybody you meet, ‘how long have you worked with Schwan’s?’ It’s like 20, 30 years. It’s kind of cool,” she said.

Malone said in the first year of the collective, the chefs toured restaurants in Minneapolis to try out different kinds of pizza.

“We just talked about it. The crust, the toppings,” she said.

“Every day is a different day in the office,” chef Matt Horn told the audience at the Feast on the Field. “It’s like playing chef without worrying about labor costs and food costs.

“We are here with some of the best chef minds in the country every year. It’s like keeping my day job and having fun with some of the best talent in the country. So it’s a dream job.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today