McDonald's — which is struggling while competitors like Burger King are growing — recently debuted a new "Artisan Chicken Sandwich," in an attempt to show that it does offer quality items. Time magazine convinced Chopped judge and celebrity chef Scott Conant to go to McDonald's for the "first time in years," to try the new menu item and assess the "artisan" claim the chain is making. Unsurprisingly, McDonald's still has some work to do.
"I'm pretty sure it's not artisan."
The sandwich (pictured below) consists of a "100% grilled chicken breast filet... crisp leaf lettuce, fresh tomato, and vinaigrette dressing" all on an "artisan roll." When the sandwich arrived Conant looked up the definition of "artisan" on his phone: "A person or company that makes a high-quality or distinctive production in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods." So by definition, Conant remarked, "I'm pretty sure it's not artisan." As for the bread, after one sniff, Contant asked, "Chemicals?" The news got worse: The lettuce was wilted and the rest of the sandwich was "unremarkable." But on the plus side, the patty was "a real piece of chicken."
Overall, like fellow Chopped judge Geoffrey Zakarian who also recently took a trip to the chain, he was less than impressed by McDonald's sandwich offerings. Conant adds: "I think of the artisan who spent 50 years of his life in the bakery kneading dough and has arthritis in his hands... How do you think he feels about calling the product ‘artisan'?"