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Focus on Flavor Fundamentals

Posted: August 24, 2009
Jack Fastag

Jack Fastag, president, SFC.

Dear Colleagues,

Right on schedule, the proverbial dog days of summer are upon us, those hot, sultry days when the blast of heat smacks you in the face the moment you step outside. Yet while we cling to the waning days of summer's respite, the new Board and Committees have been working diligently, putting together what I expect to be a very exciting year for you. As you already know, an upcoming highlight this year is the Flavor Symposium taking place October 8–9 in Princeton, New Jersey. I began my active involvement in the Society precisely by joining the previous Symposium Committee, so it is a particular honor and privilege for me to be presiding over our organization today, given that our symposiums are offered only once every five years.

What makes a great flavorist? To say that ours is a multidisciplinary endeavor is surely an understatement, as it demands the ability to integrate a truly diverse combination of knowledge and skills drawn from a multitude of fields, both scientific and artistic. To be successful, a flavorist must develop skills from both sides of the brain; scientific understanding and logical thinking need to be balanced with creativity and a sense of aesthetics. Add to the mix a good business sense and it is not hard to understand why it may take many years to master.

This may perhaps seem like a daunting task to someone just dipping their feet into the waters of this profession. The learning curve may seem quite steep, but propelled by curiosity and perseverance, you slowly gather all the tools and skills that are necessary to be successful. The Flavor Symposium strives to provide you with some of these building blocks. And even those of us who have been in the industry for some time can surely benefit from revisiting these foundations. There is nothing like listening to fellow experts to spark ideas and perhaps reignite our creativity.

Please take a moment to go to our Web site for the full Symposium agenda and registration information, and you will see that this program presents us with the unique opportunity to hear and learn from many experts in our profession, reflecting the diversity of fields I just discussed. I think you will be very impressed. Whether you just recently started your journey, or are a flavorist with several, or many, years of experience, I encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Come learn and network. Challenge our speakers and challenge yourselves.

And of course in addition to the Symposium, we have a great year in store for everyone, beginning with our first meeting on Wednesday, September 9, at the Crown Plaza at Chicago-O’Hare. All the details and registration information can also be found on our Web site calendar.

I hope that everyone continues enjoying the rest of the summer, and I look forward to seeing you all throughout the year!

Jack Fastag
SFC President 2009-2010