Chef Suman Roy, the corporate chef at Campbell Canada, talks to Canadian Grocer about what's driving innovation in soup and what he's bringing to the table with his culinary background.
Canadian Grocer: Can you describe your role at Campbell Canada?
Suman Roy: As the corporate chef at Campbell Canada, I have a number of responsibilities. One of my favourites is working with our internal cooking team to develop recipes for our website, cookwithcampbells.ca.
The site now features over 200 recipes, from family-favourites like Green Bean Casserole to recipes that use innovative new products like Campbell’s Stock First, like our Aged Cheddar & Parmesan Mac n' Cheese recipe.
Another exciting part of my role is working with the Canadian R&D team to bring exciting new products to grocery store shelves.
Speaking on new products, how can the soup category re-invent itself?
At Campbell we are always working to develop innovative new products, ingredients and recipes that meet Canadian taste, culinary and dietary needs. Our new Stock First line is a great example – we took a close look at the ingredients our consumers are using and the calibre of meals they are creating at home.
We realized there was an opportunity to expand our current products to offer Canadians a new solution, particularly with an ingredient like Cream Stock, which is unique in the marketplace.
Much has been said about consumers looking for local at the supermarket. Are you sourcing locally for ingredients?
At Campbell Canada, we love using local ingredients – in fact, more than 31 million pounds of fresh vegetables including potatoes, carrots, celery and mushrooms come from within a three-hour drive of our Etobicoke-based soup plant.
Where do you get inspiration for new flavours and recipes?
As a corporate chef, I love to learn and experiment. I spend a considerable amount of time visiting other chefs and restaurants, and testing culinary trends through the menus they create. Given my role, I feel it is important to embrace global flavour trends and learn from what is happening in the culinary landscape.
We always keep flavour trends in mind when we are creating recipes for at-home-chefs and also consider the ingredients that are readily available locally, in their grocery stores. Lately the surge in savoury-sweet desserts inspired me to develop a recipe for a brie and chocolate tart using our new Stock First Cream stock that will be posted on our website soon.