Robert Simmelink has joined rep group Ignite as director of culinary services.
He will be based out of Phoenix, but will be working around the entire Ignite territory developing best practices and enhancing relationships with its culinary partners.
With an extensive culinary background, including a long tenure as senior executive chef for Alto-Shaam, Simmelink will cook and teach in the company’s multiple test kitchens.
He has a deep bench of experience, from his early days in fine dining and banqueting to his most recent work alongside the sales team at Alto-Shaam.
His equipment experience and time spent in product development, coupled with his knowledge base on building profitable foodservice programs, made him a “natural fit” for its continued expansion, Ignite said.
Simmelink said: “I am all about people in the kitchen being happy. Food makes the guests happy and therefore in turn makes the kitchen happy. It’s a wonderful feeling of good energy all around.
“I’ve known many rep firms over my career, and I could not think of a better fit. Ignite’s focus on long term relationships and the perpetual customer development really resonated with me.”