As R&D Chef, I oversee the menu for nearly 2,500 Chipotle restaurants. I also run the NEXT kitchen where we create and test new menu items.

I’m proud to work for a company where all of the food is made fresh with no added flavors, colors or preservatives (except lemon and lime juices, which can be used as preservatives, though we use them only for taste). I love that we only use 51 real ingredients across our menu, which you can see displayed right on our homepage at chipotle.com. I have the best job because I get to see what new ingredients could make the line-up.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/xv63g1xb7on11.jpg

Edit: Thanks Reddit signing off now! It's lunchtime in CA, got to get a burrito.

Comments: 861 • Responses: 32  • Date: 

rmatwood406 karma

Why was the Queso so delicious in the test-market when i was in Denver, yet tasted like melted crayons when it finally came to my city?

chipotle176 karma

Yeah, this one has been a challenge! Making queso with all natural ingredients isn't easy. We don't use processed cheese, no weird melting salts, or anything like that. We use whole milk, cream, aged cheddar cheese, spices, and jalapenos/onions/tomatoes/garlic.

Lots of people like our queso today, but like all of our menu items we are listening and working to make it even better. In fact, we are testing a new queso with our Nachos (yes a nacho test!) in Denver and Minneapolis soon!

ExChipotle192 karma

When will Chipotle introduce breakfast? It seems like all you need to do is supply eggs for an amazing breakfast burrito offering.

chipotle130 karma

We are thinking about it, but nothing planned yet.

idontknowmyusernamen99 karma

Can we please get the chorizo back for good? I know it isn’t the most healthy option but it works so well with the other ingredients! I swear, chorizo has turned into Chipotle’s McRib, but it’s actually the best thing on the menu!

chipotle88 karma

Anything is possible but right now we're planning to keep it on the menu through November. It's currently my go-to burrito with white rice, pinto beans, red salsa, sour cream and mild salsa. (Pro tip: add chicken. Chicken and chorizo are amazing together)

If you love it let us know.

Tincansailorman10 karma

Are there markets where chorizo is still on the menu?

We are lacking it here in northern Virginia at locations near/around Chantilly.

You're right about chicken and chorizo being awesome together. I have a friend who has making it for years together on the grill, putting some chihuahua cheese over it, and serving it with a handful of corn tortillas. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

chipotle20 karma

Good news, Chorizo is everywhere in the US right now!

amazinggrape87 karma

Every thought about adding al pastor to the menu?

chipotle134 karma

yeah totally. I've actually been working on a recipe for about two months now. Just got to get that pineapple perfect.

_th3good155 karma

What about potatoes?

chipotle80 karma

Great idea...I'll start working on it.

JohnnySkynets72 karma

Why were corn tortillas taken off the menu?

chipotle92 karma

We loved them, but people just didn't order them enough. Maybe they'll make a comeback someday.

tangocat77768 karma

Loyalty program when?

Also, any plans to incorporate either the Impossible Burger or Beyond Burger as vegan protein?

chipotle74 karma

We are currently testing a loyalty program, it just kicked off last week. It's definitely coming...

ikonmel62 karma

What's the next menu addition we can look forward to? I was disappointed by your queso :(

chipotle110 karma

Bacon. Now you can make a BLT burrito! Also, we are testing Nachos - they are next level good!

Pandakidd8161 karma

Are there any plans to offer Jalapenos?

chipotle115 karma

Protip: Ask the crew for diced jalapenos. We dice about 12 pounds fresh each morning in each of our restaurants.

Here's where you can find them in our menu.

https://www.chipotle.com/real#//www.chipotle.com/jalapeno

ambervard55 karma

Thank you for taking time to do this! What is your proudest contribution to the menu and what is your favorite thing to order at Chipotle?

chipotle113 karma

Currently I'm in love with Chorizo, whether it be bowl or burrito.

I'm most excited about the Mexican chocolate shake that we are starting to test in Austin.

lizardpeeps53 karma

Beans?

chipotle73 karma

Beans!

toomanypotatos45 karma

Why is Guac still extra when your competitors have free guac?

Also where is the mango salsa?

chipotle68 karma

We hand mash our guac every single day from whole avocados, chopped cilantro, diced onions and jalapeños, citrus juice, and salt. That kind of care doesn't come cheap!

Codybrown2342 karma

Would you ever consider adding shrimp as an option to the menu? I think it would be delicious in your burritos.

chipotle86 karma

We have totally discussed it. Most shrimp comes frozen - but Chipotle doesn't have or use freezers. This is the biggest challenge for us.

lumosauror19235 karma

Any chance for some chimichurri?

chipotle46 karma

I love chimichurri and have definitely played around with some recipes. I think that it'd be a great salsa to go with our steak.

MROD30-0634 karma

Is Chipotle planning to role out any dessert items on their menu?

chipotle91 karma

Yes we're working on a frozen chocolate shake in NYC and it rolls out to Austin later this month. It's a frozen Mexican chocolate shake with hints of cinnamon and chipotle. Made with milk, vanilla, cocoa and cane sugar.

swooshZ069136 karma

Praying for horchata!

chipotle44 karma

This is another one of my passion projects. We've gotta find a way to make it work in the restaurant.

mugenhunt30 karma

How long did it take to get the Sofritas right?

chipotle53 karma

I didn't personally create that recipe, but it's one of my favorites. For those who don't know, Sofritas is an amazing spicy tofu that you can use as a plant-based protein in your meal. Even if you thought that you'd never try tofu, this is the one that you NEED to try.

kiwi562429 karma

What’s the best way to enjoy chipotle goodness but keep calories under 500 a meal?

kamikaze_raindrop90 karma

Save half for later.

chipotle61 karma

love this! This guy gets it

chipotle51 karma

Here's a <500 calorie bowl

Romaine Lettuce

Steak

Pinto

Green Salsa

Mild Tomato Salsa

Cheese

Here's a link to build your own bowl and get the nutritional information

Maowmaow8727 karma

Do you guys use a special kind of sour cream? Why is it so delicious?!

chipotle35 karma

It all starts with clean ingredients. We whisk it to make it super creamy. You can do the same thing at home.

Core49425 karma

What's the (in your opinion) the most interesting menu item in the R&D Department that did (or didn't) make it to menus in Chipotle Restaurants?

chipotle46 karma

SO I love hot peppers, especially Ghost and Habanero. Still trying to find a way to get the flavor without all the heat.

S_Jeru18 karma

You meet a guy named Moe in a dark alley. What’s your go-to takedown move?

chipotle65 karma

Haha, we keep it clean at Chipotle (ingredients). But I'd sweep the leg.

delcaek18 karma

When are you guys coming to Europe? We need you.

chipotle27 karma

We're there! UK, France, and Germany - check them out! Road trip!

Kickflip90016 karma

Burrito or bowl ?

chipotle37 karma

BURRITO FTW!

ChaoticDarkrai14 karma

As a cook elsewhere, Id like to know about how your got your beginnings in the culinary field and and how you came to be in your current position?

chipotle49 karma

So, I started cooking when I was 14 in a little restaurant in Brighton, Michigan. I knew that it was something that I loved, so I worked to get myself into the CIA (Culinary Institute of America - not the other one). I really wanted to work for Daniel Boulud - at the time he was running the hottest restaurant in NYC. I would come down to the city on the weekends and work for free just to get my foot in the door. Finally he let me join the team! From there I spent some time in Paris then at El Bulli in Spain. Now I'm loving it here at Chipotle!

brandonfrombrobible13 karma

What’s your dream protein option to add to the menu that just isn’t possible as a big chain restaurant?

chipotle45 karma

Lobster. But is anything really impossible?

JoshChris5 karma

I would love to see more options for tortillas and sauces. What are some of the worst ideas for new options that y'all have tried that didn't work out?

Has anyone made what sounded like a terrible suggestion that actually did work out?

What are some ideas y'all have for new options that we can get excited about?

Finally, my wife is on an extremely limited diet (called Auto-Immune Paleo) where she can only have lettuce and carnitas at Chipotle (and technically the carnitas is "cheating" because it has black pepper and juniper). What are some options y'all have looked at for those on Paleo, Whole 30 and Keto diets?

chipotle8 karma

One of my favorite things about Chipotle is the ability to customize. So no matter what program you are on, there's always something flavorful that you can feel good about.

Check this out for a start:

https://www.chipotle.com/dietary-options

We are working on other lifestyle-specific combinations that you can order online. Stay tuned!

Also, on our website, we've listed all 51 of our ingredients for everyone to see. That's truly all we use to make our food - nothing hidden.

BrainArrow5 karma

What is your favorite condiment of all time anywhere?

chipotle27 karma

Sambal Olek - I love this stuff! Spicy and Garlicy. Sometimes I sneak it into Chipotle for my burritos.