Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Rick Bayless and Burger King - Part 1


Recommended Posts

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?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

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"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo


Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin::laugh: Amen.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...