The Chipotle Cultivate Festival returned for the second time to Minneapolis on Saturday, Aug. 22. The festival, put on by Chipotle in three total cities this year, offers something for everyone. There was music, food and chef presentations from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Loring Park. The festival was free and open for any who chose to attend. MNM+E spoke with Scott Robinson, manager of national events for Chipotle Mexican Grill, about what exactly makes the festival so popular.
It’s a unique experience. Chipotle worked with their culinary team to create new dishes available only for festivalgoers. This year they teamed up with companies such as Surly Brewing Company and ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen. “It’s an opportunity for Minneapolis attendees to get a taste of something that they wouldn’t otherwise outside of the festival,” says Robinson.
It celebrates Minneapolis’ food community. By working with the local companies, Chipotle supports the community. “Attendees get a collective look at the Minneapolis food community that supports our mission to cultivate a better world,” Robinson says. As an added bonus, the companies they partner with have similar values, supporting local farmers in return and creating superior products.
It shares its mission in a fun way. Chipotle has been trying to change the way we think about food since the beginning, and this festival is a way to share this mission. “Whether its grabbing a beer and watching a chef demonstration of a dish with local ingredients or visiting one of our Cultivate or Partner Pop-Up experiences, attendees can have fun and learn along the way,” says Robinson. By creating a fun way to learn, they hope to achieve their mission and make festivalgoers re-evaluate their fast food choices.
It’s committed to sustainability. Chipotle doesn’t just want to share their mission though, they want to make sure they are practicing what they preach. “We take our commitment to sustainable practices seriously not only in our restaurants, but at our events,” says Robinson. Last year volunteers made it possible to avoid 75 percent of the festival waste. A single water bottle station filled 4,300 bottles worth of water during the event.
It's FREE! By not charging for the festival, Chipotle makes sure it is truly open to every person. “[It] gives us the opportunity to bring people together to think and talk about food and food-related issues in a fun and engaging environment,” says Robinson.