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Checkout Meets… Aaron Dixon, Moy Park Group Executive Chef

Published on Oct 23 2013 4:43 PM in Uncategorised

Checkout Meets… Aaron Dixon, Moy Park Group Executive Chef

Moy Park, Ireland’s number one chicken brand, continues to feed a growing demand for locally sourced chicken with its wide range of fresh, ready to cook and breaded chicken products. We caught up with Aaron Dixon, Group Executive Chef for Moy Park - the man at the helm of the company’s culinary team to explain more about his role and the success of the company, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

Tell me about yourself?My current role is Group Executive Chef for Moy Park. I joined the Moy Park culinary team over nine years ago and since then I have helped to build Moy Park’s reputation as a leading food company focusing on innovation, new product development and food quality.  I am happily married to my wife Claire and have two children, Mia and Oran. My family, without a doubt, are my biggest inspiration, helping to not only keep me grounded but to motivate me both at home and at work.

Have you always had a passion for food?I developed my passion for food at a young age - watching Delia Smith on TV - and made a decision from early on that I would pursue a career within the food industry. I was classically trained and have now been a fully qualified chef for almost 25 years. I have been fortunate to have worked in some of the top restaurants and hotels across Northern Ireland, as well as the award-winning Waterfront in the Isle of Man. As a result of being exposed to such a wide variety of culinary experiences, my interest in different flavours and passion for food from all areas has grown and developed over the years.

What does a typical day involve as Group Executive Chef at Moy Park? As a company, Moy Park supplies leading supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe with a range of high-quality chicken products. I am responsible for ensuring that my team and I continue to create new and exciting recipes in response to consumer demand. We spend a great deal of time preparing, trialling and tasting dishes and engaging with people to assess what products they want to see on shelves. We also work closely with our colleagues in production who really help to bring our culinary vision to life. The pace and ever-changing nature of the industry, and indeed of my job, means that no two days are the same and I am still being challenged and learning new things every day. What has been the highlight of your career to date?Since I joined Moy Park, my team and I have focused on building the Moy Park brand and developing an extensive range of delicious products and dishes for our shoppers. 50% of Irish households now buy the Moy Park brand – and we were delighted to play a part in this process. Working with Moy Park has also given me the opportunity to work with some of the best and most inspirational people in the food industry. I have had the pleasure of working with Jamie Oliver and his team to develop a range of higher welfare chicken products that are produced by Moy Park and sold under the Jamie Oliver brand. It is a huge thrill to work with Jamie and his team, especially since these products marked the Jamie Oliver brand’s debut in chicken.At the recent Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards, my team and I took home the top accolade of the night, winning the ‘Best New Product Award’ for the Jamie Oliver Masala Chicken casserole. This was a real high point in my career and we were delighted to receive recognition at such a prestigious event.

What can the public expect from Moy Park in the future? At Moy Park we are always looking at ways to adapt and grow in line with what shoppers want. Research is at the core of our strategy, which drives our innovation and product development. For example, we know there is a strong preference for locally sourced food and food that is healthy and quick to cook. We recently launched our new advertising campaign including our TV ad and new look packaging for all our products. We have also launched a new recipe section on our website moyparkchicken.com, so people can create their own culinary masterpieces at home.

© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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