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Dan Coudreaut

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Dan Coudreaut

Dan Codreaut
Born (1965-11-08) November 8, 1965
Ossining, New York, U.S.
Other names Chef Dan Coudreaut
Education Culinary Institute of America (CIA). 1995
Occupation Executive chef, McDonald's, 2004-present
Years active 1987-present

Dan Coudreaut (born November 8, 1965), better known to his colleagues as "Chef Dan", served as the Executive Chef and Vice President of Culinary Innovation at McDonald's, a position which he has served in since joining the restaurant chain since 2004.


Coudreaut started his culinary career washing dishes in a local restaurant in his hometown of Ossining, New York, a town located an hour north of New York City, at the age of 14.[1] In 1995, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). He then went to work at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in Dallas, Texas. In 2004 he joined McDonald's.[2][3]

Culinary career

After graduating from the CIA, Coudreaut was hired as executive sous chef at Café Pacific before moving on to become the club chef at The Four Seasons Hotel, both of which are located in Dallas, Texas. In 2000, he made the move to the world of chain restaurants, joining Metromedia Company’s Ponderosa Steakhouse and Bonanza Family Steakhouse chains as director of culinary product development. He joined McDonal’s in 2004, taking over as Executive Chef from Chef Rene Arend. As Executive Chef, Coudreaut's main responsibility is helping the creative team of chefs ideate and develop new menus for McDonald’s approximately 14,000 restaurants by brainstorming and testing hundreds of menu items each month. He is charged with making sure the products are on trend: bold, flavorful, and exciting.


Coudreaut's accomplishments have been recognized through many honors and accolades throughout his career, including being listed among the NRN 50:R&D Culinarians by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2003 and in 2006, he received that magazine’s Chef/Innovator MenuMasters Award. He also sang lead vocals in “Chef Dan and the Appetizers” which is a classic rock band formed by McDonald’s employees in 2008 to raise money for Ronald McDonald Charities.[4]

Menu contributions

Coudreaut was responsible for the addition of several items to McDonald's national menu, including:

  • Asian and Southwest Chicken Salads
  • Angus and Chicken Snack Wraps
  • Angus Burger line of sandwiches
  • McCafe coffee drinks
  • Oatmeal
  • Real Fruit Smoothie beverages
  • Spicy Premium Chicken sandwich


  1. ^ The most powerful chef in America -- Dan Coudreaut's decisions affect millions of diners -- not to mention the edamame industry, March 20, 2007, by Kevin Pang, staff writer for the Chicago Tribune, accessed 8/15/2014.
  2. ^ Goodman, Matthew (November 2, 2008). "Dan Coudreaut: the chef with 25m customers".  
  3. ^ "The Challenges for McDonald's Top Chef".  
  4. ^ websiteFood Is LifeDan Coudreaut ’95, Senior Director of Culinary Innovation at McDonald’s U.S. - about Chef Dan Coudreaut - at

External links

  • Chef Dan Coudreaut - We dish with Chef Dan, McDonald's Executive Chef and Vice President, Culinary Innovation, at McDonald'
  • Dan Coudreaut at the Internet Movie Database
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