RCA Awards

Every year the Research Chefs Association pays tribute to the most accomplished, deserving professionals in the food product development industry. These individuals are recognized during an Awards Ceremony that takes place during the RCA Annual Conference.

2021 award nominations will open later this year. 

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who has achieved industry-wide recognition, if not mainstream recognition, for their lifetime achievements in Culinology®. To earn this honor, an individual must have significantly influenced the food industry and/or the consumer market through their career. Nominees must be veterans (at least 25 years) in the food industry serving as an inspiration to others in the industry.

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

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Frank Petersen, CRC®, Product Development Consultant

View Past Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients


Pioneer Award

The Pioneer Award is awarded to an individual who has, through their own achievements, become recognized as a leader in the food industry utilizing the practice of combining culinary craftsmanship and food science (applied the discipline/concept of Culinology®) for at least 10 years. Nominee’s influence must be apparent throughout the food industry, including in education and standard practices.

2020 Pioneer Award Recipient

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Dennis Girik, MSRD, CRC®, Technical Manager, Griffith Foods Inc.

View Past Pioneer Award Recipients


Outstanding Achievement Award

The Outstanding Achievement Award was developed in 2018 to recognize product developers and educators who have demonstrated the ability to apply Culinology® skills in their work while driving innovation.

2020 Outstanding Achievement Award Winner

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Eve Lawson, CCS®, Principal Scientist, Seasoning & Flavors Innovation, PepsiCo Frito Lay R&D

View Past Outstanding Achievement Award Recipients


President’s Award

The President's Award is awarded at the discretion of the RCA President, to members whose contributions to the association or industry have made a significant impact.

2020 President's Award Recipient

Dr. Chong Li Choo
Senior Lecturer II

Taylor's University

View Past President’s Award Recipients

Culinology® Expo Product Award

Attendees of the Culinology® Expo vote on their favorite exhibitor product at the Culinology® Expo, and the winning company is presented with this award. This year, companies can pay an entrance fee to submit an innovative product to be considered for the Culinology® Expo Product Award. Attendees will be required to visit all participating booths and will submit their vote before the close of the Expo. The winner will be announced during Conference. If you are interested please contact Andrew Haigh at

2019 Culinology® Expo Product Award Recipient

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Product: Cherrywood Smoked Sugar

View Past Recipients

Culinology® Innovation Award

Is awarded to an individual or team for exceeding expectations in the development of a new and innovative product or product line, to acknowledge excellence in three categories:

  • Retail Innovation
  • Food Service Innovation and/or
  • Functional Ingredient Innovation

View Past Recipients

Other Historical RCA Awards

Through the years, the RCA has honored several members for their contributions to Culinology®, the RCA and the industry.

View Past Recipients