Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Chipotle turns to Top Chef's Richard Blais to lead its fledgling burger concept

Photo: Fox via Getty Images
Photo: Fox via Getty Images

Chipotle has seen its fortunes fall in recent years—an E. coli outbreak crippled sales and consumer confidence, and its Southeast Asian concept ShopHouse shuttered all its locations this year. Now, as the burrito chain is looking to improve the standing of its burger concept, Tasty Made, it has hired the services of one Richard Blais—restaurateur, Top Chef winner, and MasterChef judge.

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Chipotle announced the hiring of Blais, who previously was involved with the Flip Burger chain, with locations in Georgia and Alabama. Blais heads a fine dining restaurant in San Diego called Juniper & Ivy and a fried chicken restaurant called Crack Shack.

Tasty Made’s menu features just three burgers, fries, and shakes, and it currently operates only one location in Lancaster, Ohio (just outside Columbus) that has been confronted with negative reviews by customers. Blais’ job, according to the company statement, is to “revisit the restaurant with a fresh eye.”

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Watch Richard Blais’s appearance on The A.V. Club Live below when he dropped by our studio in May.

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Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.

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