Meet Canada's Smartest Kitchen

Not sure how to start your food business? Need help getting your food business to the next level? Are you looking for food experts? Look no further than Canada's Smartest Kitchen

What is Canada’s Smartest Kitchen?

Canada’s Smartest Kitchen is a food product development centre based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Our team of chefs, food scientists, and market experts work together with clients to bring leading-edge food products to life - from concept to market.

So you’re like a food business incubator? Where did the idea come from?

We are more active on the front end of development. We work on everything from consumer science and sensory panels to get third-party validation from real consumers to working on innovative packaging concepts with our European partners. Incubation is typically the next step in a product’s pathway to market, but we do work with clients on the scale-up of their production when they get to that stage.

Take us through the services you offer?

Food product development is an umbrella term for the concept to market services we offer. Essentially, we’re solution providers to food businesses of all sizes and sectors, we become an extension of their team. Our core services include:

Food Product Development - From bench top prototypes to product reformulation and optimization. This is our primary expertise.

Consumer & Sensory Science - We conduct focus groups and sensory panels in our state of the art sensory lab. This gives clients unbiased feedback on their products and helps our developers to refine prototypes.

Market Research - An incredibly important service that can guide the development of a product. It’s so crucial to understand the market you intend to enter and the customer you’re targeting.

Food Styling & Media - We have an in-house food stylist who is a decorated chef and product developer as well. She works with a team to produce beautiful food media for our clients.

Corporate Chef Services - Our chefs work with clients to promote their products at tradeshows and expos. They have a detailed understanding of these products so they are able to be a strong marketing and sales tool for clients.

Who should apply to Canada’s Smartest Kitchen?

We work with food, beverage, and ingredient suppliers of all sizes. We specialize in functional foods and beverages, seafood (we are an Island, after all), and artisan products. Because of the different skill sets on our team, we’re able to take on projects of any scope and size.  

What are some new innovations that have come from Canada’s Smartest Kitchen?

While we are very proud of the work we conduct, the nature of research & development limits how much we are able to talk about it. At a high level, over the past year we’ve worked on value-added seafood products, functional baked goods, packaging concepts for a brewery and an organic vegetable producer, sensory analysis of frozen retail and foodservice products, and market studies for protein snacks and seasonings.

Share with us your tips on travelling to PEI - Must visit restaurants?

Point Prim Chowder House in Belfast on the eastern end of the Island. The food is great, but the setting is incredible. There is no better, more quintessential PEI restaurant. You can eat the freshest seafood right on the water. Richard’s Fresh Seafood on the North Shore is also a great spot to hit up after the beach. There’s no shortage of fresh seafood spots on PEI.

Must visit breweries or wineries? Upstreet Craft Brewing is a favourite in Charlottetown, but if you’re up for an adventure, head 20 minutes out of town to BarNone Brewery on Thursday evenings for a really unique experience.

Food experiences you have to do while in PEI? If you’re planning to visit, September is a great time. There is a month long PEI Fall Flavours festival, which plays host to the PEI International Shellfish Festival and a month’s worth of other food events all across the Island.

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, what’s in your glass? A caesar - Island style with PEI Potato vodka and garnished with a PEI mussel.

The earth is throwing a potluck, PEI has to bring one thing. What is it? Oysters. Can we bring some grass fed PEI beef, too? We don’t think anyone will object.