Atlantic Business Magazine has named Peter Crooks, executive director of Canada’s Smartest Kitchen (CSK) at Holland College, to the Top 50 CEO list for 2017. The Top 50 CEO Awards recognize the most accomplished business leaders in Atlantic Canada. Crooks accepted the award during a ceremony in St John’s, Newfoundland recently.
Crooks is a native of New Brunswick, and a science graduate of Mount Allison University as well as Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine. He spent more than a decade in Toronto and Ottawa developing and honing his entrepreneurial skills. He left the Business Office of the National Research Council’s Institute for Nutrisciences and Health to join CSK in 2012. With financial support from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and a mandate to run CSK like a business from the college’s president, Crooks set out to build a multi-disciplinary team of chefs, scientists and business experts.
“Holland College is exceptionally proud of the accomplishments and reputation that CSK has garnered as a food product development centre of excellence,” said Holland College president, Dr. Brian McMillan, a member of the Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame. “Peter Crooks, and the talented team that he has assembled, have served as a catalyst for the development of new food products across the Atlantic region and beyond.”
In just five years, CSK has emerged as the nation’s leader in food product development, and has earned an international reputation for its unique business model. Crooks believes it’s CSK’s market and consumer-facing approach with a strong emphasis on culinary that sets it apart from the competition. He attributes the success of CSK to his team of chefs, food scientists, and market experts who strive to become extensions of their clients’ innovation teams.
“Our team is at the forefront of culinary and food trends globally, while embracing our down-home and friendly east coast culture in how we manage relationships with our clients,” Crooks said. “We really do know food, very well, and take a global approach to providing solutions to local, regional and national companies,” he added.
Crooks is passionate about corporate social responsibility and dedicates one percent of his topline, and the CSK team, to address larger food issues related to youth and nutrition on Prince Edward Island.
To date, CSK has supported over 100 companies from Atlantic Canada and around the world.