About Us

The Team, The Story

Culinary Innovation is a developer of high quality, highly specialized food products and food marketing. We focus primarily on creating prepared foods, designed for a retail environment, on behalf of (or in conjunction with) third-party food companies.


We offer an array of services ranging from conceptualization of new products ideas to complete product development, including sourcing of ingredients, package design, and regulatory approval procedures. Moreover, our experience in specialty food certifications—including Certified Organic, Non-GMO, and gluten-free—allows Culinary Innovation to offer clients an opportunity to “outsource” their product needs. In doing so, not only can our clients decrease the time between product conception and product launch, but they can do so without compromising (and, in all likelihood, improving upon) product quality, while simultaneously cutting costs in the process. For small to mid-market firms without their own in-house R&D departments, these advantages are particularly pronounced.

In addition to offering specific services to third parties in exchange for specified fees (delineated later in this document), Culinary Innovation will also offer our services in what we call a “participation” model. For certain clients that have been thoroughly underwritten and analyzed for success potential, Culinary Innovation will offer to forgo a portion of its fees in exchange for some form of “participation”–either equity in the client-firm itself, a portion of ownership over the specific brand for which we develop products, or royalty rights based upon a percentage of sales of the products which Culinary Innovation has developed.

Our team has decades of experience in both the food product development and restaurant industries in Southern California, and have established strong relationships with “door openers” across the board—from manufacturing to packaging to retail placement. Moreover, with a portfolio of nearly 50 food products taken to market, our lead test chef and product designer, Paul Squicciarini, understands what it takes to get from a concept to a shelf-ready product. Having developed products for firms as small as individual restaurants to working in large corporate R&D kitchens, Paul has an intimate knowledge of our customer base and how to serve its needs. Alongside our already-existing connections within in packaged food industry and track record of successful product development, our team brings an ability to understand what drives our clients, and therefore, how to meet their needs.

PAUL SQUICCIARINI

Paul Squicciarini has been part of the culinary scene in Southern California for the past 25 years. As Executive Chef at Sorrento Grille in Laguna Beach, Food Editor, Ruth Reichl of the LA Times named Sorrento Grille one of the top 40 restaurants in Southern California. He followed up as a Consulting Chef of the Egan House in San Juan Capistrano, which was named Restaurant of the Year in Orange County within its first year of opening.

Paul was then named Executive Chef at The Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Center, where he orchestrated some of the top events in Southern California for the next decade. As a member of the Great Chefs of Robert Mondavi in Napa Valley, he worked side by side with some of the world’s top chefs, including Alice Waters, Thomas Keller, Jean George Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, Gary Danko and Charlie Trotter. For the next 5 years Paul was the Consulting Executive Chef for Constellation Wines US and Southern Wine and Spirits traveling the country teaching both food industry professionals and consumers about the art of wine and food. For the last 5 years Paul has been creating ready-to-eat meals and retail food products in the “Natural Foods” category that can be found nationally in top supermarkets and club stores.