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Rick Bayless and Burger King - Part 1


erica
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Well, I stopped by the Burger King on my way home and plunked down $3.23 for a Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich. 

As my bubbe might have said:

"Santa Fe? More like Santa Feh !"

~bloviator

Edited by bloviatrix (log)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Okay, I put my money where my keyboard was. I too stopped at a BK tonight and got one. No camera, but mine looked worse --- fewer veggies, sauteed to partly black, with a tasteless tomato sauce. The piece of chicken breast itself was okay. My bread also was not toasted brown, but was better than I expected --- not good mind you, but better than I expected.

Now, is it better than a 99cent Whopper? Sure. Is it three and a half times better than a whopper? Probably. But if you add a drink and fries (I didn't), you could have a real sandwich or good Chinese (and lots of other decent (not organic/not necessarily local sustainable/but decent) options for lunch at about that price for the same money. I don't think I'll do it again.

The liquid smoke comment (above) is a bit scary. Can anyone verify their use of liquid smoke and any associated risks?

Well, people aren't stopped from eating Whoppers by the aesthetics (or the liquid smoke if indeed it affects the food), so the chicken sandwich could be a big hit.

This thing could give Sante Fe a bad name.

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Note that a Burger King grill is a gas grill. It's not likely to provide much flavor.

I can't tell for sure if this is the right chicken patty, but if so it does have smoke flavor added:

Boneless Chicken Breast Filets with Rib Meat, Water, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Salt, Flavors†, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Modified Corn Starch, Spices, Chicken Fat, Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Disodium Guanylate & Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dehydrated Garlic, and Artificial Flavors), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Modified Food Starch, Soy Protein Concentrate, Salt, Sodium Phosphates, Monosodium Glutamate. †Natural flavors from animal and plant sources Glazed with: Water, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Salt, Methyl Cellulose, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Modified Potato Starch, Flavors†, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Onion Powder, Xanthan Gum, Modified Corn Starch, Spices, Dehydrated Garlic, Chicken Powder, Chicken Fat, Garlic Powder, Disodium Guanylate & Disodium Inosinate, Caramel Color, Sucrose, Grill Flavor (from Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and Cotton Seed Oil), Chicken Broth, Citric Acid, Turmeric, Annatto Extract, Smoke Flavor, Soy Lecithin, and Artificial Flavors), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil. †Natural flavors from animal and plant sources Contains Soy and Wheat.

I think this here is the sauce:

Tomato and Tomato Juice, Onion, Poblano Pepper, Distilled Vinegar, Tomato Powder. Contains less than 2% Water, Garlic, Salt, Food Starch-Modified, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Natural† and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate as Preservatives, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Maltodextrin, Paprika Extract, Lactic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Red Bell Pepper Powder, Bell Pepper Juice Solids, Carrot Juice Solids, Gum Arabic, Vinegar Solids, Smoke Flavor, Corn Syrup Solids, Caramel Color, Beef Stock, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Grill Flavors (from Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil), Phosphoric Acid, Dehydrated Garlic and Onion, Paprika, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Spice, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Calcium Chloride, Tocopherols. †Natural flavors from plant sources

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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ARG!

Rickster... What are you thinking!

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

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An entire day has passed since I sent an e-mail to the Chefs Collaborative. No answer. None.

I e-mailed RB through the restaurant web site. I included a link to this thread. Nothing here either.

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

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Chefs are indeed--and always have been--"hustlers" of a sort. You hustle your product, your own image, your operation. Fine.

Many chefs hawk products they may or may not believe in to varying degrees--in order to pump capital into more close to the heart ventures (Adria, presumably Keller). Adria quote: " For six months a year, I am an artist. For the rest, I am a prostitute." (El Bulli only breaks even on receipts)

Many hawk products cause the money's good, they don't look too bad selling whatever the product is, maybe had a hand in designing the stuff, nobody ever thought they were saintly paragons of integrity anyway--and the product is fairly decent. (Emeril cookware)

They sell a branded product: (Boulud, Kunz et al)

Why not?

But to sell a product you KNOW to be utter shit..in direct contravention of your previously stated lofty principals is queasifying--it's selling out the very essence of your credibility. BK wanted Bayless and was willing to pay precisely BECAUSE he was such a prominent spokesman for "freshness" and "Authenticity"

As far as a "step in the right direction"? That's like Rob Reiner selling Pall Mall Lites.

I'm not even talking about "ethics" or "principles" as the central issue here. Chefs are rarely artists. They're not even doctors or lawyers. For me it's solely and entirely a question of "How the fuck does Bayless wake up tomorrow and look at his stupid face in the bathroom mirror and not want to projectile vomit?" It's a quality of life question. How do you live with yourself knowing you're the new "BK Guy?" I mean.."Astro -Glide" may be a fine product--but DO YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR PICTURE IN THEIR ADS? Probably not.

" Hi, I'm Alice Waters..Here to tell you about an exciting new product from Pringles!"

" Hi, my name is Susan Sarandon--Maybe you know me from such films as..and I'm here to tell you about the next generation of fighter bomber from General Dynamics.."

abourdain

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" Hi, I'm Alice Waters..Here to tell you about an exciting new product from Pringles!"

" Hi, my name is Susan Sarandon--Maybe you know me from such films as..and I'm here to tell you about the next generation of fighter bomber from General Dynamics.."

Neil Young here. I've written a new song about Mohegan Sun Casinos..." :sad:

JANE

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Note that a Burger King grill is a gas grill. It's not likely to provide much flavor.

I can't tell for sure if this is the right chicken patty, but if so it does have smoke flavor added:

Boneless Chicken Breast Filets with Rib Meat, Water, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Salt, Flavors†, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Modified Corn Starch, Spices, Chicken Fat, Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Disodium Guanylate & Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dehydrated Garlic, and Artificial Flavors), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Modified Food Starch, Soy Protein Concentrate, Salt, Sodium Phosphates, Monosodium Glutamate. †Natural flavors from animal and plant sources Glazed with: Water, Seasoning (Maltodextrin, Salt, Methyl Cellulose, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Modified Potato Starch, Flavors†, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Onion Powder, Xanthan Gum, Modified Corn Starch, Spices, Dehydrated Garlic, Chicken Powder, Chicken Fat, Garlic Powder, Disodium Guanylate & Disodium Inosinate, Caramel Color, Sucrose, Grill Flavor (from Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and Cotton Seed Oil), Chicken Broth, Citric Acid, Turmeric, Annatto Extract, Smoke Flavor, Soy Lecithin, and Artificial Flavors), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil. †Natural flavors from animal and plant sources Contains Soy and Wheat.

Does anyone else find it disturbing that it takes Burger King, by my quick count, 55 ingredients to make the CHICKEN!?!?!?!

And that among those ingredients are Smoke Flavor, Grill Flavor and the generic "Flavors†" (what the hell is that?)?

This thread may do what years of admonitions from CSPI, my mother and Weight Watchers has never been able to do - get me off of Fast Food permanently.

Bill Russell

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Everytime I'm tempted with fast food, I just remember all of the "bad" good things I want to put in my body -- ummm, bacon, bacon fat, cream, etc. -- and then I think about the things fast food places want to put in my body. I don't even know the scientific definitions of most of them. Even if I'm hungry, I find that I can just order a large Diet Coke (don't send me the ingredients; I don't want to know) and put off ordering fast food until I can eat something good.

Like the saying "Margarine or butter? I trust cows over scientists." Or something like that.

As far as Rick Bayless, I've always respected his seemingly view of authentic, quality-prepared food being utmost in priority. I understand the money aspect, but the decision was a bit short-sided on his part. Of my friends that eat fast food, they don't even know who he is. And the friends that do eat fast foods, they are shocked. Not a very good move on his part. Who will potentially buy his books anyway -- someone who loves food, or someone who will eat trash daily?

Would I do it for the money? I can be bought, but I don't know at what price. A friend in MBA class wrote a paper which he described an ethical situation -- offered $25,000 to look the other way while a contract was rewarded at a higher price than it should be. He refused. His grade - C. Not a high compliment. Another person in his class wrote a paper where she was offered over $100,000 for an unethical situation, and she turned it down. She received an A+ (actually a HP for "high pass"). The difference? His story was true; hers was fabricated. So in BUSINESS ETHICS, she received the highest grade for lying!

Edited by NolaFoodie (log)
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...Chicken Fat, Chicken Powder, Chicken Broth, Disodium Guanylate & Disodium Inosinate...

Can someone enlighten me as to exactly what Chicken Powder is?

As for Bayless, I wonder how the others on the Chef's Collaborative board would feel about endorsing a product with this ingredient list?

Cheers,

Squeat

Edited for spelling -- oops!

Edited by Squeat Mungry (log)
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Does anyone else find it disturbing that it takes Burger King, by my quick count, 55 ingredients to make the CHICKEN!?!?!?!

LOL, this is a science project, not food. :blink:

=R=

"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

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Does anyone else find it disturbing that it takes Burger King, by my quick count, 55 ingredients to make the CHICKEN!?!?!?!

LOL, this is a science project, not food. :blink:

=R=

I didn't intend to imply, by posting those lists, that I think there's anything so terrible about putting 55 ingredients in something. Those long ingredients lists tend to look worse than they are. A lot of the ingredients come down to being useful ways to maintain consistency of product: if there's not enough fat, you add some, or whatever. A lot of those things are often just fancy words for salt and sugar and shortening. Don't let the technical terms freak you out too much. Unless you're one of those people who belongs to groups like Chefs Collaborative, where the mission specifically opposes the ingredients that are commonplace in mass-market foods. Hey, wait a second . . .

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Can someone enlighten me as too exactly what Chicken Powder is?

Do you mind if I do not EVEN think about that question? :blink:

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

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Can someone enlighten me as too exactly what Chicken Powder is?

Do you mind if I do not EVEN think about that question? :blink:

I believe it's a dessert at El Bulli this year.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Can someone enlighten me as too exactly what Chicken Powder is?

Do you mind if I do not EVEN think about that question? :blink:

I believe it's a dessert at El Bulli this year.

ROTFLMAO!!

:laugh::laugh:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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But to sell a product you KNOW to be utter shit..in direct contravention of your previously stated lofty principals is queasifying--it's selling out the very essence of your credibility. BK wanted Bayless and was willing to pay precisely BECAUSE he was such a prominent spokesman for "freshness" and "Authenticity"

Hey, Tony, you could tell Burger King to pay you to shut up about their sandwich. :laugh:

But what you wrote is the essence of everything I've thought, and it is incredibly saddening to me.

Maybe Bayless will reconsider his endorsement. Maybe he'll wake up from the bad dream that supporting Burger King was a good idea.

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I had the sandwich today in West Haven, Connecticut. I'll report in a bit more detail once I've, uh, digested the information.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I had the sandwich today in West Haven, Connecticut. I'll report in a bit more detail once I've, uh, digested the information.

And you forfeited "Chick's" and "Turk's", all in the name of research?! Say it ain't so FG!!

Well what happened was it was pouring rain and my job was to wait outside with the dog in the van while my wife had an appointment in West Haven. It was a SWAT-like mission -- we were just in and out of town and the only downtime was my waiting time. It just so happens that there's a BK with a drive-thru right on the main drag in West Haven, so I was able to use the time for a little research. If I had driven any farther, I'd never have found my way back -- despite nearly a decade of marriage to a Connecticut native, I have zero ability at local navigation. Anyway . . . so I had the sandwich. As far as I can tell the chicken patty is the same chicken patty they use on the Chicken Whopper. Can anybody confirm that? It certainly looked that way. Basically, it seems to be a Chicken Whopper reconfigured on a longer bun and topped with all that faux-Southwestern crap instead of the usual Whopper crap. But, while both are pretty crappy, the standard Whopper crap toppings are a lot better than the toppings on the Southwest Chicken Baguette or whatever they're calling it. The veg and the sauce are just awful -- the sandwich is totally overpowered by the greasy vegetal taste of the green peppers and the sauce is at a very low level even for a commercial barbecue-type sauce. As for the chicken patty itself, it is totally palatable -- certainly better (though also more unholy) than a lot of dry tasteless chicken breasts I've been served in people's homes. The bread, well, it's standard-issue mass-produced fluffy white stuff without any crust or interesting flavor or texture. Nothing out of the ordinary. In other words, everything about the sandwich was okay except the Southwestern parts.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Does anyone else find it disturbing that it takes Burger King, by my quick count, 55 ingredients to make the CHICKEN!?!?!?!

LOL, this is a science project, not food. :blink:

=R=

I didn't intend to imply, by posting those lists, that I think there's anything so terrible about putting 55 ingredients in something. Those long ingredients lists tend to look worse than they are. A lot of the ingredients come down to being useful ways to maintain consistency of product: if there's not enough fat, you add some, or whatever. A lot of those things are often just fancy words for salt and sugar and shortening. Don't let the technical terms freak you out too much. Unless you're one of those people who belongs to groups like Chefs Collaborative, where the mission specifically opposes the ingredients that are commonplace in mass-market foods. Hey, wait a second . . .

Yes, experience tells me that at least a few of these ingredients are used to stabilize and standardize the product (as well as streamline the production process)...those are things that almost always send up red flags for me. I'm not a big fan of adding "flavors" or "flavor systems" to food--even though I know their use is widespread...I personally would rather have the product in question (any product for that matter) taste slightly different each time out.

=R=

"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

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