QDOBA Mexican Eats announced the addition of Katy Velazquez to its culinary team as corporate executive chef. Velazquez is recognized for being one of the most innovative chefs within the Mexican cuisine category. In her new role, she will lead continued evolution of QDOBA’s flavorful menu.

“Katy is an extremely talented chef with an impressive background and we’re eager to have her dive in to developing new menu concepts,” says Keith Guilbault, CEO of QDOBA. “We take pride in using bold flavors to create freshly prepared entrées in our restaurants every day, and with the addition of Katy we look forward to taking QDOBA to a whole new level.”

Velazquez draws inspiration for her cooking from the emotional reaction she has eating her mother-in-law’s traditional Mexican dishes and the flavors and textures she enjoys from her travels to Mexico.

“I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Yucatan several times in the past few years and fell in love. I’ve had some of the most memorable meals of my life ranging from fine dining to street tacos,” says Velazquez. “I’m excited to join QDOBA and bring that passion for Mexican cuisine to this amazing team. I have so many ideas and can’t wait to begin testing out new concepts and to create a space that is the beating heart of QDOBA flavor.”

Velazquez, an Irvine native, lived in Chicago for three years where she honed her skills with respected chef-restaurateur, Rick Bayless. Velazquez served as the kitchen director for Bayless’ hit PBS series, “Mexico – One Plate at a Time;” oversaw development of his cookbook, “More Mexican Everyday;” and was the culinary director of Bayless’ podcast, “The Feed.”  Following her move back to California in 2016, Velazquez served for three years as the executive creative chef at Puesto, a contemporary, artisan Mexican restaurant with several locations throughout Southern California.

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