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Chef Dale Talde talks to members of the press.  (Filipino Reporter photo)


In line with McDonald’s commitment to promote and provide nutritious meals to the public, the world’s leading fast food chain gathered four of America’s celebrated chefs, among them Filipino-American Dale Talde of Bravo’s “Top Chef” fame, to whip up healthy gourmet dishes out of McDonald’s basic ingredients.

This one-of-a-kind culinary event held Sept. 26 at Three-Sixtyº on Desbrosses Street in Downtown Manhattan was attended by foodies, franchisees, bloggers and members of the press, including the Filipino Reporter, who were invited to try out the fancy dishes.

McDonald’s executive chef Dan Coudreaut, who was the night’s master of ceremonies, said the four topnotch chefs — Talde, Telemundo cooking show star James Tahhan, Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House” host Aaron McCargo Jr.; and McDonald’s nutrition and culinary manager Jessica Foust —  were given “full access to McDonald’s pantry and refrigerators to elevate the McDonald’s experience to fine dining.”

Chef Dale Talde’s appetizing “Kung Pao Chicken” was first served that night.

A self-confessed McDonald’s fan since childhood, Talde — currently executive chef and co-owner of the famous “Talde’s” and “Pork Slope,” both in Brooklyn, N.Y. — chose the Chicken McNuggets and mixed them generously with sweet and sour sauce, rice wine vinegar, peanuts and served with iceberg lettuce and sliced oranges.

Its delectable taste, aroma and presentation was unmistakably Asian, and it looked more fancy than your ordinary Chicken McNuggets.


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Chef Dale Talde’s “Kung Pao Chicken.”  (Filipino Reporter photo)


“I had so much fun doing this because McDonald’s always brings back a lot of memories of my childhood,” Talde, a former sous chef at the popular Buddakan NYC, told the crowd.

“McDonald’s became part of me growing up so this is really special to me.”

Entree One was Chef James Tahhan’s divine “Tortilla Española with Garlic and Saffron Aioli” using McDonald’s hash browns, eggs and onion; and “Apple and Cucumber Chipotle Salad” featuring apple slices, cucumbers, red onion, chili lime tortilla, fresh limes, spring mix, chipotle BBQ and honey mustard sauce.

Next was Chef Aaron McCargo Jr.’s scrumptious “Bold BBQ Chicken” featuring McDonald’s crispy chicken, hash browns, chipotle BBQ sauce, espresso, cheddar jack cheese, onions, eggs, applewood smoked bacon.

Salad includes cucumbers, red onions, tomato, fresh lime, cilantro lime glaze and grill seasoning.

Entree Three was Chef Jessica Foust’s succulent “Slow-Cooked Beef with Blueberry Pomegranate Sauce and Mac Fry Gnocchi,” featuring McDonald’s french fries, eggs, blueberry pomegranate smoothie base, carrots and the 100 percent beef ground for hamburger patties.

For the grand finale, Chef Jessica prepared the luscious “Pumpkin Spice Biznut” (biscuit-donut) showcasing McDonald’s biscuit mix, pumpkin spice latte syrup, praline topping, cream cheese and whipped cream.

McDonald’s Chef Event was such a delightful treat with all the jazzed up fare washed down with smooth red wine, in an elegant table setting at Three-Sixtyº, which also boasts a spectacular 360 degree-views of the Downtown Manhattan skyline.

Sadly, none of the dishes served will soon make it to McDonald’s popular menu.

At least for now.

But it’s a great start as McDonald’s looks at all possibilities in developing healthier, exciting meals as it fulfills it’s commitment to offer improved nutrition choices, especially to McDonald’s No. 1 consumers — the children.


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Chef Aaron McCargo Jr.’s “Bold BBQ Chicken.”  (Filipino Reporter photo)


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Celebrity chefs (from left) Aaron McCargo Jr., Jessica Foust, Dale Talde and James Tahhan with their innovative dishes at McDonald’s 2013 Chef Event at Three-Sixtyº in Tribeca on Sept. 26.  (Photo by Mark Von Holden)