Meet "Chef Dan" Coudreaut, Director of Culinary Innovation here at McDonald's
"Chef Dan" - as he is known to millions - has been the Director of Culinary Innovation at McDonald's headquarters for over four years. His background and training is in fine dining, and he gets huge job satisfaction being a part of McDonald's. Together with his team, Coudreaut creates up to 1,800 new recipes a year, and narrows them down to a handful of items that are wholesome, tasty, and easy for McDonald's crew members to prepare. Most recently, his innovation has produced the widely popular Fruit and Walnut Salad, as well as the Premium Chicken Sandwich line.
"Customers increasingly want higher-quality items, which is a reality that allows me to take more risks and make flavors bolder," says Coudreaut. "My fine-dining background and McDonald's desire not to stifle creativity helps me develop products customers can really enjoy."
Coudreaut began working in restaurants as a dishwasher when he was 14 years old. Before he began to fully pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a chef, he earned an associate's degree in business administration and management. Getting back into the restaurant business, Coudreaut worked in New York City at Quatorze Bis, a French bistro, as the PM Sous Chef. Later, he enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1995.