Related Stories Who gives a hoot about pretty girls as waitresses?Its no reason to block Hooters from Brooklyn Leave it to celebrity chefs to make McDonalds fast food fancy. To counter negative attitudes toward its food, McDonalds held a chef event dinner at Three Sixty restaurant in Tribeca on Thursday night featuring dishes made by nationally recognized chefs using basic McDonalds ingredients elevating the drive-thru experience to fine dining. Mark Von Holden Photography Chef James Tahhan, cooking show star on Telemundo, prepares his Tortilla Esponola with an apple and cucumber chipotle salad made with McDonalds chipotle barbecue and honey mustard sauces I just want people to think differently about our ingredients, McDonalds Executive Chef Dan Coudreaut told the Daily News. People see ingredients like a perfectly round egg on an Egg McMuffin and they think its not a real egg, but theyre fresh cracked eggs every day. I cant change what people believe. Just get to know us a little bit better. RELATED: MCDONALD’S TO OFFER FRUIT, SALAD AS SIDES Mark Von Holden Photography Chefs Aaron McCargo Jr., Jessica Foust, Dale Talde and James Tahhan pose with their fancy fast food at the McDonalds celebrity chef-dinner at Three Sixty restaurant in Tribeca on Thursday. Attendees, a mix of media and franchisees sipped mojitos made from McDonalds Mango Pineapple Smoothie base by the chains dietitian, Jessica Foust, and used forks and knives to cut into chicken nuggets and fries. The multicourse menu featured ingredients like McDonalds crispy chicken, sweet and sour sauce, chipotle barbecue sauce, hash browns, cheddar jack cheese and espresso. Mark Von Holden Photography McDonalds corporate chef and dietitian Jessica Foust served up a slow-cooked beef with blueberry pomegranate sauce and french fry gnocchi. Among the entrees was a Kung Pao Chicken appetizer made by Chef Dale Talde, a former Top Chef contender and owner of Talde in Park Slope, that uses Chicken McNuggets sweet and sour sauce served in a bed of iceberg lettuce. RELATED: MAN ORDERS MCEVERYTHING SANDWICH IN MCDONALD’S Next, Telemundo cooking show star Chef James Tahhan prepared a tortilla espanola with garlic aioli served with a zesty apple and cucumber salad, which was followed by a bold barbecue chicken dish by Chef Aaron McCargo Jr., season four winner of The Next Food Network Star, who used crispy chicken doused in chipotle barbecue sauce, applwood smoked bacon and cheddar jack cheese served over a crispy hash brown.
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But in an attempt to change negative public perception of its ingredients, the fast-food giant is hosting a New York City dinner Thursday night featuring dishes decidedly more upscale than its assembly-line burgers and Dollar Menu deals. The company invited a phalanx of media and other opinion-makers to try out a multi-course meal prepared by professional chefs using standard McDonalds food. None of the dishes will reach McDonalds drive-thrus, at least not in the near future. But company spokespeople said the exercise will help engender new ways to think about the existing menu and highlight the chain’s ingredients. At the event, dietitian Jessica Foust, who manages McDonalds nutrition and culinary division, will craft mojitos made with the chains Mango Pineapple Smoothie base. Her beef and gnocchi dish will be made with McDonalds French fries, another smoothie base, carrots and meat normally used for burger patties. As McDonalds struggles to keep sales growing at the fast clip maintained during the recession, the chain is spicing up its menu with Habanero Ranch sauce and rice wine vinegar in its McWraps bolder flavors that werent as acceptable five to seven years ago, Foust said. You can find these ingredients in grocery stores and some of the most fine dining in the country, she said in a recent interview. Were helping people understand that its food thats all it is. James Tahhan, star of cooking shows on Telemundo and Utilisima, will create tortilla espanola with garlic and saffron aioli using the fast-food companys hash browns, eggs and onions. There will also be Kung Pao chicken made using Chicken McNuggets by Dale Talde, a contestant on Bravos Top Chef show. Aaron McCargo Jr., winner of the Next Food Network Star competition and host of the Big Daddys House show on the television network, will present barbecue chicken. The ingredients? McDonalds crispy chicken, hash browns, Chipotle BBQ sauce, cheddar jack cheese and espresso.