Adam Wilson misses two of my calls because of mushroom burgers.
Wilson, the senior culinary manager at Vitamix, lost track of time while working away in the company’s test kitchen in Cleveland. “We have an event tomorrow, so we were busy making mushroom burgers!” he says. His pep radiates through the phone. I guess it’s hard to be unhappy when you get to blend things for a living.
Fourth-generation family-owned Vitamix is often considered the cream of the blender crop, the most premium appliance of its kind. The form, function, and sheer power of a Vitamix machine means that it’s possible to make anything from pizza dough to almond butter. And chances are, if you’re using a Vitamix recipe, it was created by Wilson and his crew. “I run a team of two other chefs and an assistant, and we produce recipes and do trainings for the entire company, which is a worldwide organization,” he says. “We go to Germany and Milan for trade shows, we produce cookbooks for our machines, we produce recipes for our bloggers and for our digital platform, things like that. We have a breadth of knowledge on culinary techniques for both household and commercial use.” Running the test kitchen at company headquarters, Wilson’s job is to create recipes that show people what the machines can really do. It’s a mix of the basics (smoothies, of course) and the more advanced (spreads, sauces, batters).
Really, though, the beauty of a Vitamix is that nothing is too advanced to do yourself. While the smoothie is largely seen as the gateway drug into blending, it doesn’t take that much more to find yourself with hot soup or frozen dessert. The company’s latest cookbook, which comes with the sleek new Ascent Series Blenders, features these ideas and many more. “With the Ascent Series, it’s the technique,” Wilson explains. “Other cookbooks were just straight recipes. With this cookbook, we focused on giving more information on herbs, or what could I add to a smoothie, or how could I do a smoothie just off the cuff, mix and match.”
Wilson got his culinary start by working in the fine dining scene in Atlanta, and eventually moved back to his home state of Ohio, where he worked at chain restaurants before taking a job at a Viking culinary centre. When he heard about the Vitamix job, he was so excited that he sent in his resume that same night. “I was the first person to apply for it,” he says. Now four years later, he seems just as jazzed on the company and his role within it as he was at the start. “Our CEO is very passionate; if you ever see her talk you’ll think, ‘Wow, I want to jump through a wall now!’” says Wilson. “People have a purpose for what they eat, whether they want to lose weight or have a better workout regimen—it’s personal to each person, so it helps to make that personal connection with them to meet their goals and help their wellbeing. Some people might have that morning smoothie before their workout, some people make margaritas for their friends at a dinner party, some parents make baby food and it’s fresh and only has one ingredient.” It’s the versatility and utility of a Vitamix that helps it stand out.
After all, as Wilson says: “We’re not always trying to make smoothies. We’re making other things, too.”
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