Leah Sarris, BS – Research Chef
Leah R. Sarris started her culinary career in 1999 working as a line cook, waitress and cashier in various casual-themed and fast-casual restaurant settings. Shortly thereafter, she decided to make it a career and attend Johnson & Wales University to obtain her BOS in Culinary Nutrition, an ADA accredited program. Her love for food, nutrition and Research & Development blossomed from her education at JWU and she has continued growing in
these areas since. In January 2006, Leah became a full-time Research Chef and Culinary Nutritionist at Chef Services Group.
Leah started her career at CSG by utilizing her nutrition expertise and implemented the NLEA compliant nutritional labeling services. She continues to offer nutritional analysis services to our clients while constantly organizing and growing the database. With a worthy understanding of FDA and USDA regulations, Leah has become a vital contributor to the development of health claims and healthy product formulation for both retail and foodservice industries. Her deep understanding of the nutritional side of the industry has also led to her involvement in complete restaurant ingredient analysis and the building of their unique nutritional database.
It didn’t take long for Leah to become a key project manager and coordinator in a variety of projects at Chef Services Group. Her culinary science and R&D education became an integral part of many retail development projects. She has become quite proficient in developing gold standard and manufacturable formulas and has developed an understanding of manufacturing practices and sourcing of functional ingredients through her involvement in various R&D projects. She also has an extensive understanding of functional ingredients through her intricate involvement in projects with a variety of ingredient companies with products ranging from hydrocolloids and neutraceuticals to flavor enhancers and flavorings.
A blend of culinary skills, understanding of the restaurant world, writing skills and multi-tasking skills make Leah a fundamental resource in the numerous restaurant development projects at Chef Services Group. She is now a project manager and is directly responsible for developing operational standards, recipe development, employee and management training, product selection/procurement and vendor relations.
Organizational and leadership qualities have made Leah become quite skilled in organizing booths at industry trade shows including The International Boston Seafood Show, NRA, IFT and RCA trade shows. Her involvement includes complete menu development to showcase the client’s products; planning for the appropriate amount of servings for the booth and set-up, organization, staffing and execution of the booth.
Leah has worked in a variety of restaurants ranging from chains including The Olive Garden and Schlotzky’s Deli; sole proprietor establishments such as Michelin Star-rated Le Poussin at Parkhill in Lyndhurst, England, Costantino’s and 3 Steeple Street in Providence, and a senior assisted living home in East Providence, RI.
Leah brings a fresh approach to CSG projects and quickly gets the tasks started and executed. She is an excellent cook and strategic thinker, trainer and kitchen manager. We are looking forward to more of Leah’s contributions to the CSG client portfolio in providing cutting edge menu and product development solutions and outcomes.