Meat+Poultry - August 2020 - 82

CULINARY PERSPECTIVE

"I love the
intellectually
stimulating
work and
the fact that
we come up
with the right
solutions
to meet
customers'
needs. I love
the challenge."
- JOHN DRAZ

MEAT+ POULTRY | 08.20 | www.meatpoultry.com

solutions to meet customers' needs. I love
the challenge."

DECORATED CULINOLOGIST
Not only was Draz a three-day champion on the
game show Jeopardy!, he also boasts a long list
of culinary accomplishments. Last year, he was
honored by the American Culinary Federation
and the American Academy of Chefs for his
work with their local chapters. He has received
certifications from the American Culinary
Federation at the levels of Certified Executive
Chef and Certified Culinary Educator. He was
featured on the PBS television series Great
Chefs of Chicago in 1985, and he's even a
published textbook author of "The Culinary
Professional," a culinary arts textbook for high
school and technical secondary schools. In fact,
he's currently working on a second textbook.
When it comes to culinology, Draz has
served as a leader within the Research Chefs
Association (RCA) on many fronts: as a board
member and treasurer for several years, as a
Certified Research Chef (CRC) and as a mentor
to young culinologists.
"In my work, using both the principles of
meat science and culinary technique defines
my job function," he said. "The greatest thing
about the RCA is the member network and
the resources these members represent. Our
profession is very collaborative, and members
are freely giving of their specialized expertise.
I have tried to be as giving with my knowledge
as my peers have, and I derive satisfaction
from mentoring younger colleagues. The
organization is important because it is the only
group that addresses the unique challenges and
needs of food product developers."

Ed Miniat Inc.

82

For example, Miniat has created a chicken
thigh product cooked in a chili paste, Korean
style, as an Asian spicy chicken for foodservice.
Customers are also requesting clean
label products, specifically meats with no
antibiotics ever or responsibly raised, and
sometimes organic meats, which may be in
shorter supplies.
Before joining Miniat 16 years ago, Draz
was a founding faculty member/instructor
of the Culinary School of Kendall College in
Evanston, Ill., and served as a chef in several
restaurants, fine-dining establishments and
hotels in the Chicago area. He once was the
chef and co-owner of his own restaurant and
banquet facility called Plentywood.
He said he liked teaching because of the
dynamic environment of the classroom, and
he enjoyed working with the guest chefs and
lecturers at Kendall.
"I especially was excited to greet Julia
Child when she was a guest lecturer, and also
Charlie Trotter when he was a guest chef and
when several of my students later went to
work for him," Draz said. "It was an honor to
meet and later cook for Paul Bocuse, and to
travel to Lyon, France, to watch him accept
an award at his restaurant there during the
Bocuse d'Or world chef championship."
When not at Miniat, Draz enjoys spending
time with his wife at his home in Burr Ridge,
Ill., and visiting with his two children and
three grandchildren.
So, what fuels Draz's creative drive?
"I have roots here in Chicago," he said.
"Plus, I really enjoy what I do at Miniat.
I love the intellectually stimulating work
and the fact that we come up with the right


http://www.meatpoultry.com

Meat+Poultry - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - August 2020

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