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Best Burrito Practices

Burrito concepts are a great way to showcase fresh ingredients with bold flavors prepared fast

Thanks to the runaway popularity of Chipotle, Mission-style burritos (packed to the gills and wrapped in foil) are a hit with onsite customers. A burrito station is a natural fit for showing good food prepared fresh. FM talked to a few onsite chefs to find out how they’re making great burritos and using burrito stations to the best advantage.

Christopher Kaschak“Between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., my staff builds to order a minimum of 1,200 burritos at our Chipotle-style concept. We implemented the concept at the end of last semester, and our students can’t get enough of it.

“For a station like this, success depends on the mise en place. You need to have all the ingredients in their place and in a constant state of readiness and organization.

“We use boneless skinless chicken thighs for the Santa Fe Chicken. Thighs are a great choice for burritos because they have a little more fat content than boneless, skinless breasts or tenders, so the meat stays moist and takes on the flavor profile very well. Thighs are cost-effective too.
“Another important way to cut costs is the setup of the station. Place your highest-cost items at the end of the line. Customers will bulk up the burrito with the lower cost items first (rice, beans, salsa), allowing for less of the more costly products at the end. Believe me, it works!


“Currently the hot burrito filling choices include the Santa Fe Chicken, Mexican Beef, cilantro-lime rice, black beans, pinto beans, peppers and onions. The cold fillings include shredded lettuce, various salsas, sour cream, guacamole and Jack cheese. We plan to start offering a Tex-Mex turkey chili, roasted vegetables, grilled salmon, and perhaps any other suggestions I might receive from students.”

- Christopher Kaschak (pictured above), executive chef, Holloway Commons, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Burrito station“Our station is a ‘yin-and-yang’ concept. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s Poblano, our customizable burrito concept. And on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, it’s Noodles, an Asian noodle-house concept. Both occupy the same space. My challenge was to accomplish this without building a new station.”

- Scott Anderson, associate director/chef, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV


Deconstructed burrito“It’s basically an inside-out burrito,” says Albe Rhodes, chef, Medrad Global Center, Warrendale, PA, of the Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowl, served at the company café. Using quinoa rather than rice adds a healthful element of the unexpected.

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