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Life at McCormick March 13, 2024

Executive Research Chef Adriana Lavin Shares the Experience of Flavor 

Executive Research Chef Adriana Lavin


Meet Executive Research Chef Adriana Lavin, who loves to uncover culinary trends and introduce new flavors across Latin America.

Chef Lavin had an unusual start to her culinary career.  She originally studied marketing, but a desire to cook paella with her mother-in-law while living in Spain inspired her to take a few cooking classes. 

Those classes turned into a culinary career devoted to creating innovative dishes and elevating the flavors of her Latin American roots to people across the globe. 

Her first chef job was in a bakery in Madrid, where she created the daily menu of baked goods. That gave her a taste for talking to people about what they liked to eat and creating new recipes based on what she learned. 

From there, she moved back to her home country of Mexico with her husband and daughters, working as an executive chef in restaurants and for an event company in Monterrey. 

After winning awards for her innovation and creativity in the kitchen, Chef Lavin joined McCormick’s LATAM Research & Development Team based in Mexico City in late 2022, a job which marries her passion for cooking, uncovering new culinary trends, and working with people to deliver the experience of flavor. 

Chef Lavin plays a key role in McCormick’s annual Flavor Forecast, a showcase of culinary trends and flavor profiles from around the world. The 24th edition of the Flavor Forecast was recently released, which named Tamarind as the 2024 Flavor of the Year.

She takes the recipes from the Flavor Forecast and infuses the flavors of LATAM in the research kitchen. She then visits McCormick’s commercial clients in the region to showcase the recipes and spices, serving as the connection between the flavors and the businesses in Latin America. She likes to present the new recipes and flavors as a culinary experience, creating a spread of food that is savored and enjoyed together. 

“I like to look into people’s eyes as they try something new and to see their reactions to the flavors,” she says. 

During these tasting experiences, she talks to clients about how they can incorporate those flavors into their own signature dishes. 

Chef Lavin is already hard at work on next year’s Flavor Forecast. She is heading out on a food safari to explore what is happening in restaurant kitchens across Mexico. During her safari, she will talk to chefs about what they are serving, what customers like, and what flavor innovation is happening in their region of the country. This culinary exploration will help guide new recipes for next year’s Flavor Forecast. While on her food safari, she may just uncover McCormick’s next Flavor of the Year.

Follow the Flavor Forward Blog and McCormick & Company on LinkedIn and Instagram for company news and updates.