Culinary Council

Maeve Webster


Menu Matters Arlington, Vermont

Maeve Webster, President of Menu Matters, is a leading consultant and thought leader for the food industry. Over the past 20 years, she has spearheaded hundreds of major industry studies and today runs a private consultancy focused on working with food professionals to analyze, understand, and leverage trends in food and consumer behavior. Maeve’s expertise is in the areas of trend analysis, market assessment, consumer and operator behavior, product testing, menu effectiveness, and brand optimization. What Maeve excels at is helping her clients find the critical relevant meaning within data and insights and using those findings both tactically and strategically.

Prior to launching Menu Matters, Maeve was Senior Director at Datassential. During that time, she helped develop several of Datassential’s new products and programs including the company’s publications group and TrendSpotting package, headed the company’s health & wellness group, and participated in several industry initiatives including The Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) Healthy Menu R&D Collaborative.

In addition to her consulting work, Maeve owned a café in Bennington, VT, for four years running the kitchen and designing the menu. This was a labor of love and brought to life the issues from both a consumer and operator point of view that she has consulted on for two decades.

She is a regular speaker at top industry events such as Flavor Experience, Research Chef’s Association, CIA World of Flavors® and World of Healthy Flavors®, National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, and NRA New Products Conference, and is a regular contributor to several industry publications including Flavor & the Menu, Prepared Foods, and Food Management. Maeve earned her MBA at the University of Illinois and holds a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago.

Culinary Tips

For the crispiest oven roasted potatoes ever, par-boil quartered potatoes then “rough them up” by putting them in a bowl or bag and shaking/ banging it around until the potatoes are covered in mashed potato bits. When they roast, they’ll be shatter-crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.