Food research and development is a fast growing industry that may soon be the answer to closing the wide gap between each member of a growing sustainable food system. Our team of chefs employ experience and values acquired from years of working the line alongside insight provided by science and in depth research. We aim to take a detailed look at products, our food system, processes and structure, and possibilities for the sacred meal we share with one another.
Maxime Bilet - Founder and President
Maxime Bilet is a food visionary, inventor, author, and educator. As Founder and President of Imagine Food Innovation Group, Mr. Bilet is dedicated to helping clients apply modern technology, transformative processes and formulations to deliver superior food products and experiences.
Maxime is the former Director of Culinary Arts and Sciences at the Cooking Lab, housed at the Intellectual Ventures Lab in Bellevue, Washington. At the Cooking Lab, Mr. Bilet led research and development and is co-inventor on 16 pending patents that resulted from his experiments. In 2011, Maxime co-authored the award-winning “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking,” a 2,438 page collection of scientifically detailed techniques and recipes that has been called “the decade’s most influential work about food.” Committed to extending the insights of modernist cooking beyond the professional kitchen, in 2012 Maxime co-authored “Modernist Cuisine at Home,” which Martha Stewart hailed as a book “destined to change the way we cook—and the way we use recipes.”
A winner of two James Beard Awards, Maxime is a frequent speaker on the culinary circuit and in 2014 established a pop-up events and interactive food space, Art for Food, focused on the ways food connects with the arts and sciences. Funded through a grant from the City of Seattle and the Shunpike Foundation, Art for Food planted the seeds which became Imagine Food. Earlier in his career Maxime worked with Heston Blumenthal in the development kitchen at The Fat Duck, arriving in London after a stint at Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar in New York City where he was named head chef at the age of 22. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Fine Arts from Skidmore College.
Erica Chriss - CEO
Erica Chriss is a proven leader and technology executive with a record of product innovation and business success in startups spanning transportation, games and consumer lifestyle products, and mobile advertising.
Ms. Chriss has held executive roles and led diverse teams at private and public companies, variously managing product development, sales, and business development functions. As a Technology Specialist at Bain Company, she honed skills in client engagement, business analysis and knowledge management. A veteran of five startups, four of which were acquired, she played key executive roles at Greystripe and Mobile Theory, helping lead both companies to successful exits totaling more than $125M.
She’s worked closely with leading companies and brands including and Rachel Ray/King World, Time Inc, Fox News, Hearst, and Amazon to develop successful strategic partnerships and meaningful monetization through licensing and syndication. Her work helped several major consumer brands make their debut launch on mobile. From 2009-2014, Erica was a regular fixture on “Top Women in Mobile” lists promoted by Mobile Entertainment, Mobile Marketer, and Business Insider.
Passionate about food and health, Erica was an early advisor to Maxime Bilet as he began assembling the plan for what would become Imagine Food Innovation Group. Erica is a startup investor and advisor and avid pop culture podcaster on the Digital Burrito Network.
A Bay Area native, Erica holds a BA in Art History from Barnard College at Columbia University and resides in Seattle.
Rajnish Khanna - Ph.D., Advisor - Scientist, Entrepreneur, R&D Plant and Microbial Sciences
Rajnish brings together the knowledge of agricultural, environmental and microbial sciences to improve food flavor and nutrition. Rajnish is Co-Founder of I-Cultiver, Inc., company developing microbial products for agriculture and food industries.
Rajnish has a doctorate from Purdue University in Plant Molecular Biology and has 15+ years of experience in research on the impact of environmental change on plant growth and performance. Rajnish has served as a lead scientist in biotechnology industry and has worked at The University of California, Berkeley and Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University. He is an entrepreneur and a science / technology advisor in Food and Agriculture Industry.
Rajnish is founder of a TerreLocal App, soon to launch as the digital marketplace for local enterprises and growers for direct marketing and sales to retailers and businesses.
Ron Beaver - Advisor
Dr. Beaver is an entrepreneurial executive and advisor with 25 years of experience in technology-based and IP-rich companies. He is the co-founder and CEO of Rosa & Co. LLC, the leading provider of quantitative systems pharmacology services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide. Dr. Beaver is also the founder of Rosa Market Modeling, which conducts cutting-edge modeling of market development in such areas as genomics-based diagnostic tests, chronic diseases, and various consumer and high-technology products and services. Dr. Beaver’s team’s work has fundamentally altered the development of various medical industry markets. Prior to his founding Rosa, Dr. Beaver worked with a global pharmaceutical firm to structure an open-source drug-development group, focusing on both economic and organizational issues. Dr. Beaver also co-founded the consulting business within Pharsight Corporation, specializing in clinical trial and asset strategy optimization, and was part of the management team that took the company public. He previously co-founded the Pope Street Group, a strategic management consultancy and a venture incubator in which Starmine Investor Research Solutions was developed. Dr. Beaver began his consulting career as an Associate at Strategic Decisions Group after earning his Ph.D. in Engineering at Stanford University. He also holds a BA in Engineering and Liberal Arts from Iowa State University and Simpson College.
Kitchen Internship at Imagine Food:
We are seeking individuals who are skilled and motivated to work with food and all its possibilities: art, science, food education and more! Food is one our most important means of communication, and we intend to share that.
Our Kitchen internship will provide individuals with the opportunity to substantively contribute and learn from the work we do in our interactive food space. Gain hands-on experience and work with our culinary professionals in a fast paced, energetic and creative environment.
Gain skills the fields of Kitchen Science and Technology, Research and Development, Cooking and Hospitality management. Interns will also have the opportunity to take part in recipe testing, plate presentation, technique development and in-house events.
Location: Imagine Food, 119 West Denny Ave, Suite M210, Seattle, WA 98119
Hours Per Week: Varied (subject to change)
Duration of Internship: Quarter, Semester and Summer Session slots available
Compensation: All internships begin as unpaid, with the potential of fulltime work
To be fully considered all applicants must send a resume, thoughtful cover letter describing what you hope to achieve during your internship and at least 2 professional references. Please specify which internship you are applying for, as well as your unique skills and culinary interests that you feel relate to our thematic areas of work. Please include all dates and times pertaining to availability as well as where you heard about us. All applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.