Senior Strategic Advisor, Rethink Food
Steve Ells is the Founder, former CEO and Executive Chairman of Chipotle Mexican Grill. Ells founded Chipotle in 1993 with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast-food experience. Ells revolutionized the idea of fast food, spearheading a wave of healthy, sustainable, quality food chains: Chipotle was one of the most technologically advanced companies of its time, making sustainability and nutrition affordable.
Prior to launching Chipotle, Ells had a hands-on experience by being a sous chef under Jeremiah Tower for two years in one of the most prominent restaurants in San Francisco. This experience prompted him to fund his ultimate dream a sustainable business with his “Food with Integrity” initiative.
Ells has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People and has won many awards including a Silver Plate award by the International Foodservice Manufacturer Association and CEO of the Year from ColoradoBizmagazine.
Ells is a Board Member of the Cazoo Group Ltd, Ajax I and the Urban Land Institute. Ells attended the Culinary Institute of America and received his BA from University of Colorado. While at Chipotle, Ells has created a scholarship for CIA students those who share his philosophy for sustainability.