As the corporate chef for the Hormel Foods Foodservice division, Tony supports the chain businesses in particular, showcasing ingredients they may not have thought of or even known about. Fifty to 60 percent of his time is spent on the road, bolstering the chain group and the company’s sales force of 130-plus people spread across 17 offices. Among other things, he creates recipes to support products and educates his team.
Tony started out at 14 as a dishwasher at a country club managed by the mother of his childhood friend. A part-time job evolved into a vocation, eventually enrolling in The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). The years that followed Finnestad’s graduation from the CIA were filled with a string of successes and culinary positions of increasing responsibility throughout the United States, including the kitchen’s top spot: executive chef.