Contractor - R&D Chef, Tempo Meals

Location 433 W Van Buren Street
Job Locations US-IL-Chicago
Employment Type
Regular - Full Time
Scheduled Days Off
6-Saturday, 7-Sunday


Founded in 2013, Home Chef is the leading meal solutions company with both a retail and online presence. Available online at and in retail at more than 2,100 Kroger grocery stores, Home Chef is committed to inspiring and enabling more people to cook simple, delicious meals, no matter how busy they are.


Similar to our recipes, we recognize that variety is the spice of life, and therefore, our employees also bring their uniqueness and color to our fantastic team. We’re eager to work with humble team players and pragmatic next-level thinkers to innovate on Home Chef’s offerings.


Introducing Tempo, a new meal service from Home Chef! Tempo offers a rotating selection of 20 ready-to-heat meals shipped direct to your home. The meals are better-for-you versions of familiar favorites to help you save time and stress while living a healthy lifestyle. The menu includes options that are protein packed, fiber rich, cal and carb conscious, keto, and dietitian approved. 

The Research and Development Chef will work in the R&D kitchen(s) to conceive and create new recipes for Tempo, Home Chef’s new ready-to-heat offering that meet our nutritional, cost and ingredient specifications. 


R&D New Meals

  • Passionate culinarian with a great palette, sense of presentation, efficiencies and productivity
  • Conceive accessible, creative new meal and compound ingredient recipes in the test kitchen that apply to cost, ingredient, caloric/nutritional, and operational  constraints
  • Responsible for the creation of about 80 unique meals per quarter
  • Collaborate with other chefs to improve and test each other’s dishes
  • Take extensive and honest feedback every day on meal accessibility and flavors and incorporate into recipes
  • Work with cross functional partners to expand and refine RTH pantry of ingredients with a focus on customer satisfaction and operational complexity
  • Drive for higher customer ratings and satisfaction
  • Respond to directives from Culinary, Marketing, NPD, and RTH teams to develop meals that will contribute to increased sales
  • Use feedback from production teams to increase efficiency and and decrease operational complexity
  • Ability to innovate ideas and implement them
  • Creation of compound ingredients and assistance with commercialization

Evaluate Customer Feedback

  • Thoroughly understand how average customer interacts with product and strive to make meals as accessible and delicious as possible
  • Analyze customer comments on meals from menu runs and incorporate learnings into new recipes
  • Integrate learnings from various data sets to improve meal performance

Meeting Participation

  • Attend and participate in weekly RTH team meetings including Performance Board, Team Check-ins, RTH Draft, Weekly Culinary/Production Debrief, etc.
  • Visit at least one production facility quarterly to share prescribed training and to work with the local team

This position requires at least 10% travel. This position will be a 1099 Independent Contractor.


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability needed for this role. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities.

  • 5+ years experience working in a kitchen or other professional cooking environment. Able to work in a clean and organized manner.
  • Culinary degree preferred.
  • 5+ years prior recipe development experience. 
  • 2+ years of RTE/RTH product development experience
  • ServSafe or food handling certification preferred 
  • Strong sense of teamwork and collaboration
  • Demonstrated ability to excel on a cross functional team, communicate effectively, and contribute to a collaborative environment to achieve common goals and ensure project success 
  • Strong verbal communication skills
  • Willing and able to receive feedback and implement suggestions
  • Understanding of current nutrition, food and food industry trends.
  • Must be able to taste and provide thorough feedback on every meal and ingredient sample test in the kitchen, including vegetarian, pork, chicken, steak, and seafood meals. 


More About Us

How We Work Together

We are humble team players.
We are warm and gracious with team members and customers. We seek feedback to improve ourselves - and respectfully listen to and accept input.


We are pragmatic next-level thinkers.
We come up with novel and unique ideas. We explore new strategies to avoid being constrained by conventional thinking.


We take ownership.
We approach ambiguous problems, prepared to dive in, get curious, and learn more. We are results-driven, always challenging ourselves to exceed goals.


Be at Home at Home Chef

We all show up authentically at Home Chef. Our team includes individuals with a variety of identities, backgrounds, and perspectives. You can trust that you’ll be able to bring your whole self to an inclusive and enjoyable workplace.


We welcome people of all races, colors, religions, national origin or ancestry, sex (including sexual identity), age, physical or mental disabilities, pregnancy, veteran or military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, genetic information, sexual orientation, marital status, order of protection status, citizenship status, arrest record or expunged/sealed convictions, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local law.


Home Chef is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, Home Chef will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact our People team at



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