VALENTINO G. MENNITTO, CEC
Home: (508) 226-6309 ♦ Mobile: (508) 328-4053 ♦ [email protected]
Culinary Research & Development Professional
An extensive culinary career with 20+ years experience in food research & development from concept to restaurant execution. Accomplished menu development for two 350+ unit fast casual restaurant chains. Originated and launched a full service restaurant menu. Featured in commercials and magazines including Nation’s Restaurant News. Holds Certified Executive Chef (CEC) certification from the American Culinary Federation (ACF). Expertise includes: Product research & development Menu innovation & enhancement Quality control Product commercialization Trend research and presentation Team development/vendor relations
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS Directed, coordinated, and executed all Research & Development activities to support the achievement of EBITDA goals for 350 Papa Gino's and D'Angelo and 400 Fazoli's Company and Franchise Restaurants. Increased capacity for menu enhancement and line extension projects by 20%. Developed Bella Notte Italian Trattoria, a full service restaurant concept, from inception to launch in five months, including menu development, training, and food and equipment procurement. Served Tuscan-inspired, old-world cuisine, utilizing a wood-burning oven and wood-burning grill to create a full menu of signature dishes. Developed and launched multiple new product lines (flatbread pizzas, handheld Papa Rolls, Papa's Burgers, Hearty Bistro sandwiches, and Premium Café sandwiches). Developed the Fazoli's Submarino sandwich line in one week, which launched a new category and resulted in a 30% increase in sales. Facilitated elimination of all partially-hydrogenated oils from all menu items in Papa Gino's / D'Angelo, going above and beyond Massachusetts 2008 mandate. Starred in four national television commercials for Fazoli's Restaurants. CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS Wrote procedures, recipes, and outlines for test products. Coordinated with marketing to test new products through internal and external focus groups and in selected restaurants. Trained trainers on procedures and monitored the test execution; analyzed and presented results to Executive Committee. Reviewed and developed product specifications in conjunction with Purchasing. Developed HACCP critical control points on high-risk products. Responsible for the nutritional database and product ingredient information using the Genesis R&D SQL computer software program. Developed from-scratch and speed-scratch items for all concepts, which increased quality and led to higher guest counts. Spearheaded new induction cooking platforms at Fazoli's. Tested and evaluated new or existing products for quality, shelf life, and operational feasibility. Led the Purchasing/Research & Development Team; assigned accountability and developed project rationale, set up and facilitated meetings, and provided weekly status reports. Improved and developed product commercialization of Jr. Gino pizzas, served at non-traditional units, including Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park.
VALENTINO G. MENNITTO, CEC
CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS, CONTINUED
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Developed Papa Gino's line extensions including specialty pizzas (Super Steak, Angus Cheeseburger, Buffalo Chicken, Margherita, Sausage and Ricotta, and Chicken Alfredo). Developed D'Angelo line extensions, including Lobster Sandwiches (baked stuffed and club), Toasted Sandwiches (Italian, Reuben, and Chicken Vermont Cheddar), Premium Angus Burger subs, and salads (Greek and Antipasto). Created product improvements for Papa Gino's/D'Angelo, including Rustic Pizzas, Angus Burgers, and Premium Chicken Salad. Led the direction and early development of new products and served as an integral member of the New Product Development Team. Developed two-year calendar of test products. Designed corporate office test kitchen for Fazoli's. Networked vendor relationships to support six marketing promotions per year. Ensured product integrity and served as technical advisor during professional marketing photo shoots and commercials for Papa Gino's and Fazoli's. Facilitated team-building exercises at Fazoli's national managers' conventions (500+ attendees).
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Design Foods, East Norwich, NY Culinary Consultant Papa Gino's, Inc., Dedham, MA Director, Research & Development, Corporate Office Fazoli’s Management, Inc., Lexington, KY Director, Research & Development, Corporate Office Fazoli’s Management, Inc., Lexington, KY Purchasing Manager and Corporate Executive Chef Jerrico, Inc., Lexington, KY General Manager, Fazoli’s Hyatt Regency Lexington, Lexington, KY Gourmet Restaurant Sous Chef / Banquet Sous Chef EDUCATION Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park, NY, Associate of Occupational Studies Penn State University, New Kensington, PA, Business Administration American Culinary Federation, St. Augustine, FL, Food manufacturer tours throughout Italy FranklinCovey, Lexington, KY, What Matters Most and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People AFFILIATIONS American Culinary Federation (ACF), National Chapter Research Chefs Association (RCA) NFP Research 2012 - Present
2006 - 2012
1992 - 2006
1990 - 1992
1989 - 1990
1985 - 1989