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Rick Bayless and Burger King - Part 1


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#1 erica

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 11:48 AM

I was at a Burger King press conference this morning in NYC, and they announced that Rick Bayless will be endorsing their new line of fire grilled chicken sandwiches in TV commercials. He didn't play any part in developing the sauces or anything, he's just endorsing the product.

It's not even Mexican cooking. Unless the Southwest sauce on the sandwich counts, which it shouldn't.

Is this a huge disconnect for anyone else? Bayless is known for his committment to artisinal preparations. He's even chairman of Chefs Collaborative 2000, in support of environmentally sound agriculture.

Question to those in the fine dining community: What will do to his reputation? Has Bayless sold out?

#2 Chris Cognac

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 11:50 AM

That suprises me....He is very well respected, I have always believed that he was about authentic preperation and all that....hmmmm, be interesting to see what is behind this.
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#3 FoodMan

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 11:52 AM

ditto, I would be very surprised and unhappy to see him endorsing such junk.


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#4 Bicycle Lee

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 11:55 AM

gotta make that paper....
even if it means your sweet ass gets violated.
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#5 guajolote

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 11:56 AM

More here


#6 bilrus

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 12:02 PM

I don't get this in general. Why would he do it, sure?

But is he really that well known by people who would frequent Burger King?
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#7 haunted_chef

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 12:04 PM

hmmm big food, big sports, Rick Bayless, Tiger Woods...(Nike = Woods) (Bayless = Burger King) Geez whats next? Captian Kirk hosting The Iron Chef American style...lol....see everyone does have a price.
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#8 Mark Sommelier

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 12:17 PM

hmmm big food, big sports, Rick Bayless, Tiger Woods...(Nike = Woods) (Bayless = Burger King) Geez whats next? Captian Kirk hosting The Iron Chef American style...lol....see everyone does have a price.

Here's Rocco and Ronald McDonald !
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#9 Bicycle Lee

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 01:21 PM

not like it can get any worse than that hack Emeril...he who whores his own name shall be banished to the darkest part of hell where the only faire is low quality Vegas buffet....
"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

#10 fifi

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 01:23 PM

Oh pain! Oh sorrow! My idol has feet of clay! :sad:
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#11 sherribabee

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 01:31 PM

More here

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:laugh:
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#12 SobaAddict70

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 02:12 PM

Having worked in a BK, I can tell you first hand that the piece of equipment that will most likely be used for these sandwiches will be the same piece of equipment that the burgers go through -- and that the chicken will be steamed along with said baguettes, until an order is placed. And THAT prospect is probably scarier than Rick Bayless appearing in an ad with something that's his polar opposite.

Soba

#13 Sweet Willie

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 02:44 PM

I was at a Burger King press conference this morning in NYC, and they announced that Rick Bayless will be endorsing their new line of fire grilled chicken sandwiches in TV commercials.

Is this a huge disconnect for anyone else?

welcome to eGullet. Heck of a first post.

huge disconnect, no, but a disconnect yes.

It is $, pretty plain and simple why someone would want more. I would prefer not to hear the "I am more holy because EVERYTHING in my life has been not about the $" bullshit line.

I'm surprised that BK offered $ to Bayless. I would believe that the "average" BK patron really does not know Bayless and if the feedback from this board is typical, the quality food sensitive person is not going to try BK just because Bayless endorsed it.

This will not change my going to his restuarant.
"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"

#14 FoodMan

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 02:49 PM

Famed chef Rick Bayless will also appear in ads for the Santa Fe Chicken sandwich, Klein said.


What is he thinking??? Does he really need the money that bad??? BURGER KING for God's sake!!!!!!!

What's next Alice waters doing a Subway commercial with Jared, Ripert endorsing Long John Silver's exquisit fish, or Keller having a McMuffin for breakfast on national TV.

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#15 Bicycle Lee

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 03:07 PM

I can't hate on burger king....
they got their mise en place down pat and barring some gross human incompetence your food is consistent.
"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

#16 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 03:41 PM

I'm really disappointed and confused by this news. As Willie mentioned, it's doubtful that the regular BK customer will even know who he is or care if they are so informed. Those who do know Bayless' work (e.g. us) will raise an eyebrow at the very least. Also, there is no true connection between Bayless and the product. That said, who am I to judge him? It's a business decision pure and simple. If he wants to make more money, it's really not my concern.

How his peers feel about him after hearing this news is another matter entirely. Still, even if they shun him, it will likely have very little impact on his bottom line. Look at Rocco...the guy's as hot as they get right now and he made a far bigger ass of himself than it's likely Bayless will. If RB ever comes out and says something to the effect of "I tried this product and I liked it", the whole issue will be moot IMO.

Will this keep me from patronizing his establishments? Probably not, but because there is a plethora of choices, it's already hard enough to decide where to go...all things being equal, this is probably a check in the "negative" column for Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. But...unless they start serving BK products at his restaurants, I'm still going to hit them with the same regularity I always have.

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#17 hjshorter

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 03:48 PM

Maybe he's got kids to put through college?

He can't be making the big bucks doing shows for PBS, and how lucrative are the restaurants and packaged goods? I only see them at Whole Foods, so they aren't mass market yet.
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#18 tommy

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 03:58 PM

I can't hate on burger king....
they got their mise en place down pat and barring some gross human incompetence your food is consistent.

you sorta respect BK but you think Emeril Lagasse is a hack. :unsure:

#19 sladeums

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 04:25 PM

The only thing I can tell myself to reconcile this is: at least it wasn't fuckin' McDonalds.
...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#20 Steve Klc

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 07:12 PM

Do you think over on eGulletFashion they're dissin' Isaac Mizrahi for taking the Target dollars?

Let's try to approach this from another angle--and this is purely speculative, but all this respect being shown to Bayless on this thread might just mean he's a pretty good judge of what's capable at a given price point and scale. Maybe this endorsement means nothing more than BK is doing it just about the best that it can be done given its customer base, price and volume--and surely real reductions in fat in popular BK sandwiches will have more actual influence in more people's lives than any Alice Waters piece in Saveur. What if part of his agreement is that he'll continue to consult, continue to effect positive change? What if the BK support includes charitable contributions for some of these other Bayless interests like Chef's Collaborative?

Can't smart talented people multi-task and succeed on several levels simultaneously? So he's going to appear in a few print ads in magazines such as Cooking Light and Shape and Parenting endorsing the Santa Fe Chicken sandwich--it might actually be a good sandwich. Why not publicly support a fast food chain trying to improve the status quo? Why would this in any way compromise any dish his staff serves in his restaurants? Does it undue his books or his writing? They will still either be every bit as good, every bit as consistent, every bit as "authentic" or they won't. It might be that what he says in the ad is nothing more than he supports BK trying to change, trying to improve, but that change has to happen slowly. Funny, but that might be the very same message he sends at the Chefs Collaborative meetings.

Actually, BK is playing catchup--McDonalds has already rolled rolled out good salads with frisee and mache and baby lettuces.
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#21 docsconz

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 07:18 PM

The only thing I can tell myself to reconcile this is: at least it wasn't fuckin' McDonalds.

:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :laugh: Amen.
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#22 Chris Cognac

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 07:42 PM

I saw that they are now for sale at my local BK..I am gonna go get one this weekend and see for myself if its any good....Which is exactly what BK wants me to do....oh well, I am just do damn curious now!
Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!
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#23 Stone

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 07:48 PM

Maybe he likes the sandwich?

#24 Jinmyo

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 07:51 PM

Pimp.
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#25 Rachel Perlow

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 10:29 PM

Geez whats next?

Isaac Misrahi for Target.

Edit: Damn, Klc beat me to it.

Edited by Rachel Perlow, 18 September 2003 - 10:30 PM.


#26 erica

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 06:55 AM

Save yourself the trouble of trying the sandwich. Though BK says it is focusing on "flavor from fire grilling, not from fat," what they mean is flavor from salt. I had half of the BBQ sandwich and was sucking down water for the rest of the day because it was so incredibly salty.

Really, it's not a very good sandwich, even as far as fast-food sandwiches go. I'd take a Subway sandwich over it, no question.

BK is focusing more on healthier foods (according to CEO Brad Blum, they're working on entree-sized salads now), but it's not a benevolent attempt to crusade against fat or make America slimmer. It's where the money's at, plain and simple.

#27 Bicycle Lee

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 08:48 AM

I can't hate on burger king....
they got their mise en place down pat and barring some gross human incompetence your food is consistent.

you sorta respect BK but you think Emeril Lagasse is a hack. :unsure:

Better believe it, pal....


remember I'm a discordian pope and therefore infallible. hehe
"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

#28 Coop

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 08:51 AM

Perhaps Chef Bayliss see this as an opportunity to work from the inside. Maybe he will be working developing new BK menu items that uses true artisinal type products. The Whopper featuring Laura Chenel goat cheese, The flame grilled Wagyu beef burger, all served on a La Brea bakery bun. Soon truckers will be looking for 30 year old balsamic vinegar to dip thier Twinkies in. It's a brave new frontier, perhaps Chef Rick is the one to open this door.

Sell out I don't think so.
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#29 Bicycle Lee

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 09:04 AM

Perhaps Chef Bayliss see this as an opportunity to work from the inside. Maybe he will be working developing new BK menu items that uses true artisinal type products. The Whopper featuring Laura Chenel goat cheese, The flame grilled Wagyu beef burger, all served on a La Brea bakery bun. Soon truckers will be looking for 30 year old balsamic vinegar to dip thier Twinkies in. It's a brave new frontier, perhaps Chef Rick is the one to open this door.

Sell out I don't think so.

I know that sarcasm isn't easily detected over the web, but....are you serious?
I highly doubt that BK is going to turn pseudo-haute anytime in the near future...perhaps post-2012, but surely not until Timewave Zero has come to fruition.
"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

#30 Coop

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 09:38 AM

Anyone who has eaten a Burger King Onion Ring and some Laura Chenel goat cheese in the same lifetime would know wether my post was sarcastic.
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