As a certified woman-owned company, we take great pride in saluting Women’s History Month, a month that commemorates and encourages the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American History.
In honor of this month, we sat down with Madison Giacherio, Junior Food Scientist. Madison may be Edlong’s newest hire, but she’s not new to Edlong. While attending the Culinary Institute of America, Madison was a recipient of the Edlong Scholarship, in honor of former Edlong CEO, Eugene L. Rondenet. The scholarship is given to a rising junior or senior pursuing a degree in Culinary Science.
Madison, tell us why you chose to attend the CIA?
I have had a passion for cooking, and especially for baking, since high school. My first food service job was at a retirement community. I rotated between five different stations, including the deli section where I learned how to be able to work with a bench partner to complete rapid fire verbal orders. Each resident would have their ‘usual’, and I loved attempting to remember everyone’s name, preferences and stories.
But pursuing a degree at the CIA was challenging. I had to work frequent catering jobs to pay my student loan, in addition to my living expenses. I learned so much at the CIA! Not only the basic techniques, but also what is physically and chemically happening when we perform each task. I acquired the lab knowledge, kitchen skills and research abilities I needed to pursue my career goals.
How did your journey at the CIA lead you to Culinary Science?
Although I first enrolled in the CIA because of my love of baking, I became interested in flavors during a tour of a flavor factory. After speaking with fellow Culinary Science students who interned at flavor companies, I realized that a career as a flavor scientist was exactly what I wanted. The challenge of creating the perfect flavor for the customer sounds like a great way to build upon my science and food backgrounds. One of my Culinary Science class projects was to create a savory ice cream, and I attempted a Parmesan ice cream. After realizing that I would have to avoid real Parmesan cheese due to clumping and texture issues in the ice cream, I researched the flavors available to us in the lab and ended up using an Edlong Parmesan flavor which gave my ice cream both the profile and the mouthfeel character that I was looking for.
It wasn’t just the crazy experiments that fueled my love for this program. It was that regardless of whether it was a new task or if I was testing the same recipe over and over again, I never stopped learning.
What are your career goals?
My dream is to learn all the positions in a flavor lab and challenge myself with creating the perfect flavor. Starting with the knowledge I have gained at the CIA, I hope to learn more about food science and eventually work my way up to becoming a flavor chemist. Working abroad and with international clients is also something I would love to achieve during my career.