Yes, McDonald’s has a “Head Chef”  »

Meet the enemy, the anti-Tal, or, as he prefers to be called, Chef Dan. Daniel Coudreaut is the head chef at McDonald’s, officially known by the wonderfully corporate title “Director of Culinary Innovation, Menu Management,” and is in charge of their research and development lab for new menu products.

Time magazine’s profile is a rare look into the creative process behind Western Civilization’s slow walk toward nutritional suicide. For each new product innovation (notice how I’m avoiding words like “food” and “recipe”), Chef Dan works with every corporate division to get approval, from supply chain management to legal to franchise relations. I’m getting hungry already! Each new ingredient risks sending shockwaves in food markets if farmers are unable to keep up with the demand, while others pose a lawsuit risk, like stray pits from cherries. And anything he dreams up in the lab has to be easy enough for any McDonald’s employee to prepare.

Chef Dan’s crowning achievement? The Mac Snack Wrap: a “healthy” version of the Big Mac, with a wrap instead of a sesame seed bun, and 690 mg of sodium. That’s 43 percent of the US RDA of sodium. I’m lovin’ it!

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