The Challenges for McDonald's Top Chef

Dan Coudreaut, McDonald's head culinary innovator, has to incorporate new dishes into the menu without turning off a Big Mac-loving nation

The contestants on Iron Chef have it easy compared with Dan Coudreaut, director of culinary innovation at McDonald's (MCD). Sure, the TV duelists have just an hour to whip up five dishes incorporating the same ingredients. But check out Coudreaut's constraints: He's only allowed to prepare dishes that can be made by entry-level help at every one of the chain's U.S. 14,000 locations and from ingredients available in industrial quantities year-round. And, oh yeah, the food has to appeal every day to millions of customers who don't have a lot of money or time or the stomach for anything too unusual.

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