E-mail Interview with a Food Scientist

I thought I wanted to be a food critic when I grow up.But my mom thought I should think about other things that I could do since I want to make a lot of money when I grow up.

My mom helped me e-mail Mr. Larry Tong who works as a food scientist at McCormick & Co.I started out by writing a couple of questions,then typing them in a e-mail.Then Mr. Larry sent a e-mail back which answered my questions.He also sent me a picture of his office.

I think his job is awesome and will definitely be a food scientist when I grow up even if I have to go to two colleges.I might still be a food critic too.

Here is my interview:

Q: What's your full name? 
A: Larry Tong

Q: How old are you? 

A: 35

Q: Where do you work?  
A: McCormick & Company

Q: What is your job title? 
A: Senior Food Technologist

Q: Where did you go to school and how long were you in school?  

A: I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science from the University of Delaware and a Master of Science Degree from the University of Massachusetts.  After high school, I was at Delaware for 4 years, then 2 years at Massachusetts.  All 6 years were really fun, while I learned lots of stuff that I use in my job.

Q:What is a typical day at your work? 
A: My job is to create new products for McCormick. These products include the bottles of spices and seasonings that you see on the grocery shelf, the pouches of mixes (like Taco Seasoning), and bottles of wet sauces.  One product that I created last year was a Grill Mates Fiery Five Pepper Seasoning.  It is just coming to all the grocery stores right now.  Lots of people really like hot and spicy foods right now, and we didn't have a seasoning like that.  So I was asked to make one.  I looked at lots of recipes in cook books and on the internet for ideas.  Then I typed up a formula on the computer, gathered the ingredients, and blended the ingredients. Then I got some chicken from the store, sprinkled on the seasoning, and cooked it.  I ate it with some coworkers, but it was terrible.  Too salty, not sweet enough, and way too spicy (even for a spicy seasoning).  I kept at it for about 5 more times until I got it right.   I recommend trying to do something like this for yourself at home.  Maybe try to design a completely awesome and new chocolate chip cookie recipe?  Its a fun experiment to try different amounts of the ingredients to see what makes the cookies better.

Q: How long is your shift?  

A: 8 hours a day, typically.  It goes very fast.

Q: Do you get to eat the food experiments at your work?  

A: Yes.  One of the important parts of my job is to make sure the products I create taste good.  If they don't taste good, no one would buy them.

Q: What kinds of food do you make at your work? 
A: Right now I'm working on a new Meat loaf mix, which really isn't one of my favorites.  I do lots of things that season chicken, steak, and seafood. Sometime veggies, gravies, pasta sauces, and rice.  I used to work for the part of McCormick that sells seasonings to snack companies, like BBQ Potato Chips.

Q: How much do you get paid at your job?  

A: When someone new starts in a job like mine they typically make around $45-50,000.  As they get more seasoned (pun intended), their salary will grow and they can make up to around $120,000.

Q: Is there anything else that you think is important to know about your job?  
A: It is very important in my job to understand what people want to eat.  Like what you do on your blog, it is important for me to try new restaurants and different things, even if they aren't something that I would have picked myself.  I've learned that it is fun to try new types of food and appreciate all the work it takes people to make it.

1 comment:

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