Kagome Chefs Lead with Innovation

Bringing partnership and innovation to the forefront in 2020, Kagome USA, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Corporate Chefs David White and Natalie Cervantes. Working hand in hand with Kagome’s food scientists, sales and creative teams, Chefs David and Natalie will lead the exploration into unique flavors and signature recipes, while keeping a keen eye on the trending desires of today’s hungry consumers.

Since 1989, Kagome has been delivering the benefits of vertically-integrated production across the U.S. from their headquarters in Los Banos, California, and facilities in California and Arkansas. With an emphasis on convenience and back-of-house cost savings, Kagome continues to develop custom sauces, spreads and dressings for global brands and restaurant chains across the country.



Chef David White

Chef David White’s unique career path began in foodservice as a dishwasher while still in high school. With a deep interest in food and a flair for the creative, White attended Johnson & Wales University and received his associates in Culinary Arts. Between 1980-1992, he earned his way to Sous Chef and Executive Chef positions at highly regarded restaurants along the Eastern Seaboard. Like many, family has a way of putting crossroads in life’s path and Chef David’s is no different. For 11 years, White took on the role of stay-at-home-dad to raise his three children.

In 2004, he returned to school for the food science side earning a degree from Rutgers University. With first-hand experience in the kitchen in his pocket, White earned high honors for his studies and quickly found positions on the manufacturer’s side of the food industry. In the 14 years prior to joining Kagome, White led teams in culinary innovation for FGF Brands, Dunkin’, ConAgra Foods and Campbell Soup Company, bringing his creative approach to R&D and menu strategy for their customers. Grateful for every step in his path, Chef David brings his varied experiences to creating unique solutions for Kagome’s customers.



Chef Natalie Cervantes

Chef Natalie Cervantes holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Notre Dame de Namur University. She zigged and zagged through career exploration in bio-tech and physical therapy before falling into an opportunity developing new breads for Milton’s Baking Company. Later, Cervantes created best-selling flavors for Lara Bar, Justin’s Nut Butter and 34 Degrees Crackers with Fresca Foods, before going back to school at Johnson & Wales in Denver earning an additional bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition.

After graduation, a detour into Quality Assurance and Operations led her to roles at Custom Made Meals, Udi’s and, ultimately, Lineage Logistics where she moved back into an R&D position creating new bread varieties for the company’s primary customer, Subway. Accolades in that role opened doors for her at Kagome.

Today, Natalie draws on her experience in QA and R&D, and brings her desire for great-tasting yet clean and simple recipes to Kagome’s customers.





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Kagome Asia

With 10 facilities and growing, Kagome has aggressively expanded operations from its base in Japan to Taiwan, China, and Malaysia. Kagome Japan has an exceptional commitment to quality, teamwork, science and technology. Kagome Japan is home to the world's largest privately held tomato seed bank with 7,500 varieties. It is also where many of our proprietary processes were nurtured and brought to fruition. Kagome Japan's core values are shared across its family of companies.

Capabilities in Asia include a colorful variety of fruit and vegetable products such as sauces, drinks, ready-to-eat meals and probiotics.

Kagome Australia

Kagome Australia is expanding into sauce production from tomato farming and processing. The opposite growing season in Australia gives us added flexibility. It will be the first fully vertically integrated operation in the Kagome family.

Kagome Europe

HIT, a Kagome subsidiary in Portugal, is based in a superb tomato growing region. These tomatoes are highly prized for their color and sweetness, which HIT turns into unique tomato ingredients and products. A newly established Agricultural Research Center studies new seed varieties and processing technologies in collaboration with other Kagome teams.

Kagome USA

Kagome USA has manufacturing and R&D facilities on both coasts, in California and Arkansas. Capabilities have evolved from pouched tomato sauces to include cream sauces, compound butters, margarines and spreads, and portion pack. With unmatched access to consistent tomato crops and other raw materials, the US operation is highly scaled, flexible, and efficient to meet global demands. United Genetics, a seed company based in California, recently joined the Kagome family.