McDonald’s of Greater Houston Goes Gourmet with Chef Rey

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(Last Updated On: April 23, 2014)

Photo caption: l-r, Mary Redmond, Mark Moreno, Chef Rey, Victoria Guster-Hines and Ernest Redmond

McDonald’s of Greater Houston joined forces with Chef Rey, Executive Chef for the Houston Astros, to host the national restaurant chain’s first ever “McDonald’s Chef Event: “An Evening of Culinary Inspiration.”

The exclusive gathering, hosted by McDonald’s owner/operators, Mary and Ernest Redmond, members of the McDonald’s Owner/Operator Association of Houston Cooperative, was held at one of the couple’s franchise locations located at 8520 Bissonnet Street in Houston.

The invitation-only, red-carpet affair marked the first time that owner/operators from the national restaurant chain have hosted such an event.

Mary Redmond called the event an opportunity to bring guests and community leaders together to showcase the quality of the national restaurant chain’s food in a unique and unexpected way.

“We wanted to let them know McDonald’s is about good food, good people and being a good neighbor in the communities where we live and serve,” said the Houston owner/operator.

Chef Rey’s masterful culinary skills were on full display throughout the event as guests were served a selection of chef-inspired dishes from Florentine and Lorraine quiche to stuffed chicken breast to potato soup, created from McDonald’s products and ingredients.

“Chef Rey was able to take the very same products we use every day in our restaurants to create wonderful culinary dishes from McDonald’s products showcasing the outstanding quality of our produce, meats and vegetables in a creative way, giving a stamp of approval that our products are made from fresh, wholesome ingredients, and are the same products people purchase in their neighborhood supermarkets every day,” said Mary Redmond.

One of the night’s favorite dishes was a savory potato soup made from McDonald’s farm fresh, premium potatoes and masterfully pureed by the Houston Astros chef with bacon, onions and cream.  He also transformed McDonald’s 100 percent chicken products into a delectable chicken breast entree stuffed with a fresh spinach mixture and grilled to perfection.

Guests not only delighted their palates, but also learned a number of facts about McDonald’s food quality and standards, including:

– McDonald’s famous 100 percent beef burgers, all white meat chicken sandwiches, premium salads and fresh egg breakfast sandwiches, are made from the same ingredients used in home kitchens and quality restaurants across the Houston area.

– McDonald’s hamburgers are made with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef with NO fillers or additives; it’s just beef.

– McDonald’s uses all white meat chicken in its premium chicken sandwiches and premium salads.

– McDonald’s uses fresh ingredients such as USDA Grade-A eggs, a dozen types of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, blueberries, apples, low-fat yogurt and milk in our restaurants every day.

– McDonald’s chicken McNuggets are made with white chicken meat and do not go through any mechanical separation process.

With McDonald’s commitment to nutrition and health-conscious menu options, guests can customize orders to their personal preferences and tastes, such as no added salt, sugar upon request or dairy because each order is made for each individual customer.  For those concerned about calories, there are dozens of menu options and three-item meal combinations under 600 calories, Redmond informed attendees.

To top off the culinary dining experience, guests were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the restaurant’s kitchen led by Caprice Linington, McDonald’s field service manager and Samantha Gil, McDonald’s business consultant followed by a supplier chat with Nick Beach, Tyson Foods regional sales manager plus event highlights and special recognitions from McDonald’s Regional Leadership represented  by Mark Moreno, regional general manager, and Victoria Guster-Hines, vice-president of operations.

“This event allowed our guests to get a close up look behind the counter of McDonald’s to see what’s cooking in our kitchens and how McDonald’s operational procedures, products and meats are prepared daily to serve its guests,” added Redmond.

Members of the Houston McDonald’s Owner/Operator Association have plans to host additional chef events in June and August, and an Iron Chef Event in September, with similar events planned for next year.

“McDonald’s top priority is all about providing high-quality foods to our guests,” said Redmond.

McDonald’s of Greater Houston Goes Gourmet with Chef Rey