Chef Joel Holland of Chipotle Mexican Grill - Biography

New York, NY

July 2012

Joel Holland’s fine dining résumé includes national standard-bearers Spago, Chinois, and Nobu in Las Vegas, and Restaurant Terroir and Koshu, both in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But it’s his current work with national chain Chipotle, where he’s exploring the unconventional and forging new innovations in quick-serve dining.

Holland joined Chipotle in 2005 as a chef-consultant, bringing 15 years of precise, professional expertise to the roots of a fairly young, distinctly casual company. As time went on, Holland took a more hands-on approach to the restaurant chain as part of its Culinary Development Team. In 2007, Holland was part of the team that began incorporating pork from Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, into the menu at local Chipotle outlets. He made regular trips from his Denver home to oversee the menu development. As he told Charlottesville News and Arts, “The flavor is really good; it’s just much more alive, almost more fresh tasting.”

As Holland and co. began to unlock the magic (and overcome the logistical and financial hurdles) of serving pristine pork to the masses, his role at Chipotle continued to grow. Currently he’s assisting in the opening of the European market for the restaurant, with new stores in London and Paris. He also helped develop ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, the company’s new quick-serve Thai concept that debuted in Washington, D.C., last year. As the Chipotle empire expands and new projects like ShopHouse endeavor to stay true to the company’s evolving philosophy of sustainability, Holland will no doubt continue to grow into his role, showcasing culinary finesse and environmental consciousness.