Taco Bell taking on Chipotle new menu by Top Chef Masters chef, America’s Next Great Restaurant judge

A judge from the NBC reality competition America’s Next Great Restaurant and a future Top Chef Masters cast member, Lorena Garcia, is responsible for creating new menu items at Taco Bell that aim to take on Chipotle, which was founded by another judge on that very same show, Steve Ells. That’d make for an awkward season two–if the show ever got a second season, which it won’t.

Taco Bell’s “Cantina Bell” menu will launch July 5 with “more upscale and fresh” items, including “black beans, “fire-roasted” corn salsa, cilantro rice, pico de gallo and citrus- and herb-marinated chicken that many consumers have come to associate with Chipotle,” Ad Age reports.

Garcia started working with Taco Bell in 2010, and the fast food chain said her contributions included “more ingredients per item and smaller amounts, while improving the build and presentation of the food.” Garcia told the AP “[t]hey were looking to … expand their food to offer new flavors with great taste. I saw this as an opportunity to help create diversity to the Taco Bell experience.”

Here’s an ad featuring her, which clearly was not filmed inside any Taco Bell anywhere ever:

discussion by

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.