Ignite Spotlight on Chef Robert Simmelink

September 15, 2023

When you walk into any of the Ignite Test Kitchens, you might catch a glimpse of Chef Robert Simmelink, who could be doing anything from preparing delicious recipes to consulting with culinary partners. He’s the man with a plan, whether that’s planning a new menu or advising on how to maximize profits in foodservice. As the Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Services, Chef Robert works to bring value and innovation to the table.

Before coming to Ignite, Chef Robert had a 27-year stint with Alto-Shaam as a Senior Corporate Executive Chef. He has also worked in various restaurants during his career.

Chef Robert Simmelink
Chef Robert Simmelink

From keeping an eye on operations to suggesting out-of-the-box solutions, Chef Robert’s primary drive is to offer strategies to Ignite customers that improve productivity, control costs, maximize profitability, and diversify the menu. He believes that the key to sustainable growth in the foodservice industry is constant innovation.

Now that we know a little about Chef Robert’s distinguished career, let’s find out a few fun facts.

Six Burning Questions with Chef Robert

Q: What was your first job?
A: Cutting grass at a mobile home park

Q: What do you love most about your job at Ignite?
A: Cooking with the people who purchase our brands makes my job incredibly rewarding

Q: If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: I can’t settle for just one meal for the rest of my life; I would probably die of boredom!

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?  
A: I can’t pinpoint just one piece of advice as the ‘best.’ I make it a point to listen to everyone and continuously implement good advice.

Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: When I’m not cooking, I’m usually eating, bicycling, or traveling.

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
A: Speed, like The Flash. It would make my job a whole lot easier and imagine how many dishes I could prepare in a blink!

Reach out to Chef Robert for equipment training, menu development, and more!

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