Rob Sonnenberg
Rob Sonnenberg

At first glance, Rob Sonnenberg’s education might seem as though it’s on opposite ends of the spectrum. He started off with a Cook Apprenticeship at SAIT, earning Red Seal and journeyman accreditations. He continued his education here at Lethbridge College; with his interests branching off into science, he completed a diploma in Renewable Resource Management followed by a certificate in Fish and Wildlife Technology. Rob continued his education at the University of Lethbridge, earning both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree before returning to his culinary roots with Sensory Science Training through Sirocca Food and Wine Consulting.

Of course, when you take a look at Rob’s experience and research, it begins to make sense. To be the prime chef he is, Rob focused his talents on understanding the science behind the food. He has worked as an assistant forage technician with the Lethbridge Research Station and as a Master’s student with the University of Lethbridge. He also studied aquaculture at Lethbridge College with grass carp feeding trials. He continues to conduct fisheries research privately and works on sensory science research here at the college. Rob manages all of this while simultaneously teaching the next generation of cooks, which he has done for nearly three decades in the Culinary Careers program.

Areas of expertise

  • sensory science – organoleptic research
  • food research and product development
  • fisheries research

Current research project

In conjunction with researchers from the Aquaculture Centre of Excellence, Rob is involved in an Integrated Fish and Plant Systems project made possible by a $2.1 million grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Rob’s focus is on the organoleptic research side of the project, which is examining the quality and consumer acceptance of aquaponics produce. Find out more about this project.

Rob is also the PI on an NSERC Engage Grant working to determine the efficacy of nitrogen injection/gassing to prevent oxidation in prepared artisan mustard. Learn more about this project.

Publications and presentations