Chef Daniel Coudreaut is the senior director of culinary innovation for McDonald’s USA — the guy who knows every single fry and apple pie on the drive-thru board. He recently had a chat with a Cleveland journalist where he defended the offerings his employers put forth for 26 million Americans, saying, “I don’t see anything on the menu that’s unhealthy.”
Coudreaut, speaking with the Akron Beacon Journal, isn’t just blindly defending the food, as he says his own kids eat at McDonald’s about once a week, and that they even eat Chicken McNuggets. Which, by the way, are what culinarians would call “forcemeat,” he says. Ground white meat, shaped and tempura battered, then fried.
When asked about whether he feels a responsibility for McDonald’s perceived role in the American obesity epidemic, he says he’s more concerned with his responsibility to his two kids, ages 11 and 7, to guide their eating habits.
“I control what goes into their mouths,” he said.
He also likes McD’s, eating a Big Mac about once a week, adding that he moderates his diet when eating any other fattening food. As for those obese customers out there, he says the average fast food goer eats at McD’s about three times each month, so he questions what’s going on “with the other 87 meals.”
To Coudreaut, it’s all about choice, balance and moderation. There are healthful items on the McDonald’s menu — oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, salads, grilled chicken and low-fat milk. But burgers, fries, and milkshakes can all be factored into a healthful diet too, he said.
And hey, it’s not just McDonald’s that offers fatty food, he adds. You can eat a 2,000 calorie meal anywhere.
“I feel that if we were to close our doors of all of the McDonald’s tomorrow, the obesity problem would not go away,” he said.
One thing McD’s could do, he thinks, is move a bit faster to get things like its smoothies to customers.
“Are we perfect? Absolutely not. Are we getting better? Every day,” Coudreaut said.
Lisa Abraham: McDonald’s chef: says it’s all about moderation [Akron Beacon Journal Online]