Reser's Fine Foods

We are proud to employ a top-notch team of pros who create our delicious foods. Our chefs came to our innovation kitchen from a variety of different backgrounds. What they have in common is a passion for great food, sharing of ideas, and an openness to explore new trends.  

Our creative culinary chefs work constantly to develop new and unique recipes that are the tastiest around. Through rigorous sensory testing, they bring to market only the very best in performance and taste. They love monitoring (and sampling!) the latest flavor trends and crafting new recipes our consumers will love. They also work diligently with the rest of our teams to ensure that all products they develop are made with the care you trust.

What to learn more? Here’s a few highlights of some of our team members:

CHEF MATTHEW A.

Chef Matt was born just down the street from Reser’s in Oregon! His mother and grandmother were both culinary influences at home. Chef Matt started his 25-year restaurant career as a dish washer and worked his way up to Executive Chef. 

He enjoys cooking with the amazing bounty of fresh ingredients that the Willamette valley and Oregon has to offer.  As an avid outdoors fan, he has also learned to cook what he harvests year ‘round. Matt joined the Reser’s culinary team in 2016. 

COOKING TIPS FROM CHEF MATT

  • Use fresh herbs whenever possible – you can really taste the difference.
  • Rotate your spice rack from time to time: toss expired bottles and update old favorites with new varieties and flavors.
  • Buy local and seasonally when possible to ensure the freshest flavors the season has to offer. 

CHEF DYLAN A.

Chef Dylan was fortunate to grow up in a home where cooking ran in the family. His mother managed the food for a pub and a boarding school in Australia, and his grandfather owned restaurants and a banquet hall built on the side of his house. There were always plenty of people gathered for meals and parties at home.  Little did he know how much he would learn by spending time in those kitchens over the years!

After following his sister to culinary school, he worked in the hotel industry and his own catering business before joining Reser’s in 2005. When Chef Dylan is not working, you may find him exploring his passion for grilling.

COOKING TIPS FROM CHEF DYLAN:

  • Plan! Stage all needed ingredients and cooking tools prior to starting a recipe.
  • Hot, sour, salty and sweet: keep in mind that these are the attributes your sense of taste recognizes.
  • Clean as you go. You’ll be happy you did when it’s time to sit down and enjoy what you’ve made.

CHEF MARK Z

Chef Mark was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the US at just 5-years of age.  Most Filipino events and gatherings lead to a lot of cooking, and Chef Mark’s early inspiration for cooking came from helping his mom in the kitchen.

Raised in Iowa, he attended college at Iowa State University and moved to Portland to explore cooking at the Western Culinary Institute.  His 25+ years of work experience includes sous chef, line cook, and banquet chef at a variety of locations throughout the Portland area.  Chef Mark brings discipline, a joy of experimenting with food, and a range of flavors to our innovation kitchen.

COOKING TIPS FROM CHEF MARK

  • When preparing food, try to be organized—“Mise en Place”
  • Be persistent when experimenting.  View failures as a learning experience and build from there: “The only way to learn is to fail.”

CHEF TODD K.

Chef Todd is a Portland native with 30 years of experience as an Executive Chef in private country clubs, resorts, and restaurants around the Northwest.  He received his degree from Western Culinary Institute and has participated in several continuing education classes through the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, CA.  

He was the director for the culinary arts program at Linn-Benton Community College before joining Reser’s, and continues to learn and bring creative ideas to our kitchen: “one of my passions is charcuterie, curing, and whole animal butchery. I spent years studying and teaching classic and modern charcuterie methods to include salami, prosciutto, and various cured meats.”

COOKING TIPS FROM CHEF TODD:

  • Think and cook seasonally when it comes to choosing your ingredients!
  • Use your imagination in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone.

CHEF DANIEL J.

Being a pastry chef might seem like a pretty sweet job, but imagine the pressure of cooking for two U.S. presidents and one culinary legend! Chef Daniel has prepared food for Presidents Clinton and G.W. Bush, as well as Julia Child.

Chef Daniel’s passion for food and his love of feeding people started at an early age. Born in Frankfurt, Germany, he has been cooking professionally for nearly three decades. Previously, he worked as an instructor at Western Culinary and Le Cordon Bleu for almost 10 years.

COOKING TIPS FROM CHEF DANIEL

  • Play with your food! That’s how you learn.
  • Combine sweet with savory to get that “wow” factor.
  • Don’t be afraid to use bold flavors and a variety of colors and textures.

CHEF JEFF Q.

Chef Jeff Q’s culinary inspirations came from his Italian grandmother whose 6-course meals embodied sustainable practices long before they became fashionable.

When Jeff first came to Portland he was lucky enough to cook for James Beard “The Father of American Cooking”. He held the position of Executive Chef, General Manager, and Director of Food and Beverage for various restaurants, hotels and resorts in the Portland area. He went on to become the owner/chef of his own wine country restaurant for nine years. He has been a member of Reser’s culinary team since 2005.

COOKING TIPS FROM CHEF JEFF

  • Try brining poultry and pork before cooking. Start with equal parts Kosher salt and brown sugar and then build your flavors around that.
  • Add wood smoke to your meats, poultry, fish and vegetables with a small outdoor smoker to build depth of flavor to your dishes.

CHEF SEAN D.

Chef Sean was born and raised on the Oregon coast. In his family, whoever cooked didn’t have to do the dishes, so he learned a few basic items to get out of dish duty. Sean spent a year of high school in Mexico City and was shown a myriad of new flavors and textures that still influence his cooking today.

Western Culinary Institute in Portland gave him his kick-start into the food world and restaurants. He worked at several hotels and country clubs before joining Reser’s in 2010. Sean loves to create different flavors and textures in the kitchen using several key ingredients: gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder) and apple cider vinegar find their way into many of his recipes.

COOKING TIPS FROM CHEF SEAN

  • Taste as you go to see how seasoning changes and elevates flavors
  • Balance dishes with sweetness, salt, spice and acid to help achieve the best flavor possible

DIRECTOR ELISE J.

What do you get when you combine a passion for science and a love of food and cooking?   A dream job for Elise J., our Director of R&D.  Born in Dundee, Oregon, Elise joined Reser’s in 1997 after starting her career in product development on the East coast. She holds degrees in Biochemistry / Biophysics, a minor in Food Science, and a master’s degree in Chemistry. Her unique background has made her an ideal leader for an Innovation Kitchen focused on creating best in class products.   Her guidance has created a collaborative, innovative and disciplined approach. 

Shares Elise “I love working with such talented people in an energetic, fun environment…innovation becomes spontaneous and contagious!”