How to Hire a Recipe Creator

by | May 11, 2024 | Nutrition, Promotion, RD Careers

Customers love recipes. Having a collection of quality recipes on your website (that includes your product of course) will help your SEO and keep users coming back for more. Offering a desirable email list opt-in with original recipes is a great way to collect customer email addresses and increase website visitors. 

But, if you are not creative in the kitchen it can be hard to create appealing, delicious recipes on your own. This means you need to hire a recipe creator who can help. Luckily, recipe developers do just that, create recipes that are original and innovative to showcase your product. 

How to hire a recipe developer
A good photo + recipe = customer engagement

What is a recipe developer or recipe creator?

A recipe developer creates original recipes from scratch. They might have formal culinary training, be a registered dietitian, or just have a general interest in cooking.

Recipe developers can work for food brands to create original recipes using their products. Or they can develop recipes to be published in cookbooks, food magazines, or on food-related websites. 

For my books, the Lupus Cookbook and The Anti-inflammatory Diet One Pot Meals, I worked with a recipe developer to create and test the recipes in the book. Without this person’s creativity, the books would only contain my boring personal dinner recipes. The recipe developers made the books delicious (and nutritious!).

A recipe developer is a critical part of any team of creators talking about food. You can’t create content about food and nutrition without showing people HOW to implement what you are talking about. People want to know how to execute the diet they are following. 

Recipes are the execution of nutrition principles. They are the instructions that make nutrition real. 

This is why as a full-service health content creation agency we must have recipe developers and food photographers on the team. Here at RWS: Content + Strategy, one of our team members Sharon Lehman, RD does an amazing job developing and photographing recipes for our clients. We can talk about research and nutrition theory all day, but Sharon makes the science of nutrition come to life through recipe development.

How to hire a recipe developer
Sharon Lehman, RD creates beautiful food photos for our recipes.

How a recipe is developed

It may seem that recipe development is simple, but it is actually quite an extensive process. The first step is coming up with a creative idea. The inspiration may come from a recipe that already exists, a cooking show, or a meal at a restaurant. It also involves keeping an eye on food trends in the market.

Then you need to do a bit of research to get an understanding of what types of similar recipes already exist. This will give the developer a general idea of the cooking methods used for this type of recipe as well as the ratio of the ingredients. If all the recipes that you review use the same ingredient, there is probably a reason for that. 

Although it is unlikely that you will come up with a flavor combination that has never been tried before, the initial research stage allows you to brainstorm ways to tweak a recipe to make it your own. This may be a different ingredient or a different cooking method.

Once you have completed your research and creatively tweaked the ingredients, this is when you start to develop the actual recipe. Usually, this starts with an initial recipe draft that you think might work, but you will still need to test it in the kitchen.

The next step, which is the most labor-intensive, is testing the recipe. First, you have to have the ingredients on hand, so you will have to go grocery shopping. Then you are ready to start cooking.

During the testing process, you will have to take notes as you cook. Sometimes you can figure out the right amount of various ingredients as you are cooking and you can adjust as needed. 

Testing can be tedious or effortless. Sometimes it can take several attempts to get a recipe just right (especially when it comes to baking), whereas other times you nail it on the first try. Most recipe developers take careful notes during the testing period to make sure the ingredient proportions are just right. 

Then of course there is the taste testing. Finally, you get to eat! Or maybe throw everything in the trash and start over, if it was a complete failure. 

Once you have the recipe right, it is time to finalize the directions and ingredient list into a coherent recipe that someone else could easily follow. 

Recipe creator
A good food photo is worth 1000 words.

How much does recipe development cost?

As you can see, original recipe development is quite labor-intensive. Executing an entire recipe development process from start to finish, including research, shopping, and testing/preparation can take several hours to develop. The cost of recipe development will depend on the experience and expertise of the developer. Hourly rates for recipe developers can vary significantly.  The cost of the food should also be accounted for in the final price. 

A good way to estimate cost has to do with the length of time and preparation required. An entree or baked good that may require more extensive testing when compared to a side dish, could be priced in this manner:

  • Research: 1 hour
  • Shopping/Testing: 5 hours
  • Writing the recipe: 1 hour
  • Food cost: $x

= Total cost for the original recipe 

If the food needs to be photographed as well, this will add another 2-4 hours to the price depending on the number of photos that are needed. Some recipe photographers will also charge an ongoing fee to license their photos. Our pricing includes the licensing fee so that you can own the photos you are purchasing.

Can I use AI to Create Recipes Photos?

Artificial intelligence is getting better and better at generating images. For many basic recipe photos, it is able to generate adequate food photography to go along with a non-branded recipe.

But, if you are a brand looking to develop recipes that include your product, AI will not be able to include your product in the images (at the moment). It may also generate some copycat images that may not represent your brand well.

Investing in a real recipe developer who can develop, photograph, and test your recipes will provide the highest quality content to you and your customers.

How to Hire a Recipe Creator

Recipe creators are highly skilled professionals with the ability to manipulate and combine ingredients to create an amazing culinary experience. 

Using a recipe developer to create original recipes for blogs, social media, or as an opt-in can help improve customer engagement and keep them coming back for more. Keeping SEO in mind when creating recipes can also boost search rankings. 

If you are a food brand, you need a recipe creator on your team. If you don’t know how to hire a recipe developer, you are in luck! We have an amazing food photographer and recipe developer on our team who can work with you to create the recipe collection of your dreams. Get in touch today for a quote.


Ana on her mobile and smiling at camera

The RWS: Content + Strategy team of content strategists and creators help you better connect with your ideal audience by leveraging our health and wellness expertise.  

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