Chipotle: Steve Ells (2017)

Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle.
Connor Heckert for NPR
Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle.

Connor Heckert for NPR

In 1992, Steve Ells was a classically trained chef working in a high-end restaurant in San Francisco.

But after eating a burrito at a local taqueria, he got an idea: to sell burritos and earn enough money to open his own gourmet restaurant. The first Chipotle opened in Denver the following year.

Bringing his culinary training to taqueria-style service, Steve Ells helped transform the way we eat fast food.