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Reinvent the Crunchwrap Supreme? That Calls for a Pro.

Crunchwrap Supreme - TBX Innovation Item 2024

When Taco Bell opened up in the ‘60s, it introduced many Americans to their first taste of Mexican-inspired cuisine. Since the introduction of its inaugural small shop in California, the fast-food chain has exploded with thousands of locations across the globe. The brand continually seeks to add innovative creations to its menu, with dishes that were smash successes when they launched on the menu. Now, an iconic one is getting a new-age makeover.

The Crunchwrap Supreme – a handheld “flour tortilla layered with seasoned beef, warm nacho cheese sauce, a crispy tostada shell, crispy lettuce, ripe tomato, and topped with cool reduced fat sour cream all wrapped in our signature Crunchwrap fold and grilled to go,” – as the website describes, was first introduced in 2005. It was so popular it became a permanent fixture on the menu a year later.

Earlier this year, Taco Bell announced its inaugural TBX Program, a venture to support and connect up-and-coming culinary talent around the country to co-create dishes inspired by their own unique cultures. Three chefs were selected to participate in the program, including Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin, a San Antonio-based James Beard Awards nominee. Dobbertin, chef at Best Quality Daughter, a restaurant that specializes in New Asian-American cuisine, is slated to reimagine the iconic Crunchwrap Supreme, which will be available in select Taco Bell locations throughout the year.

We got to speak with Chef Dobbertin about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and what to expect from her iteration of the famous dish.

What made you want to enter the TBX program?

I was approached by an agency for Taco Bell to see if I would be interested in working with a ‘big brand.’ It was a few weeks of interviews and then a day at the test kitchen. I got to know the Taco Bell team and was excited to work with them because I liked them so much.

What did it feel like to get selected as one of three chefs to participate?

Exciting and fun! Once I learned about what we’d be doing, I was all in. I love a fun project and this was right up my alley.

The Crunchwrap Supreme has graced the Taco Bell menu for a long time. Do you feel pressure to deliver on your version? What will inspire your dish?

No pressure (yet). I love this project so much because there’s no pretentiousness to it, just pure creativity while having fun. There will definitely be a mashup of Best Quality Daughter meets the Crunchwrap. All my ideas so far have an Asian spin.

What do you think makes Asian and Mexican-inspired flavors work well together?

Mexican food and Southeast Asian cuisine have overlap. A lot of cilantro, chilies and lime. Rice and starches, and I always compared a mole to a curry paste. Mexican food does a lot of the same things Asian food tries to balance: Salty, Spicy, Sour, Sweet.

If you could remix another of Taco Bell’s dishes, which would it be and why?

Definitely the Double Decker! I want to slap a spring onion pancake on a crispy taco shell so badly.


Amanda Mactas

Amanda Mactas is a NYC-based food, travel and lifestyle writer. She is currently the Food & Travel Editor at Bella Magazine and has written for publications such as PureWow, Wine4Food and The Daily Meal


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