Authors Jonathan Safran Foer, Laura Esquivel to judge “Cultivating
Thought” Essay Contest for middle and high school students, offering
each of 10 winners a $20,000 scholarship
DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 4, 2015--
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) has launched the Cultivating Thought
essay contest, a writing competition offering scholarship opportunities
to middle and high school students who submit essays by May 31. By
entering original stories about a time when food created a memory,
participating students will have the chance to see their work featured
on cups and bags in Chipotle restaurants as part of the Cultivating
Thought author series.
Chipotle essay contest offers students scholarships and a chance to have their writing published on Chipotle packaging.
The essay contest allows current middle and high school students (ages
13 to 18) who are planning to attend college the opportunity to submit
an original story of up to 1,700 characters for consideration. Ten grand
prizewinners will have their stories printed and illustrated on
Chipotle’s cups and bags, and also will receive $20,000 each, deposited
into a 529 savings account, to support their continuing education. The
contest runs until May 31, 2015. Students can submit one story per
entrant on the Cultivating Thought website, http://cultivatingthought.com/essaycontest.
Cultivating Thought series curator Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely
Loud and Incredibly Close, Eating Animals) will judge the contest
along with novelist/screenwriter Laura Esquivel (Like Water for
Chocolate). Foer has served as curator of the series since it began
in May 2014, and Esquivel will be a featured author in the third edition
of the series, due in Chipotle restaurants this fall.
“When Chipotle asked me to take part in the Cultivating Thought program
both as an author and an essay contest judge, I was excited by the idea
of sharing my story through this unique channel and helping young,
inspiring writers do the same,” said Esquivel.
Ten winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: originality,
creativity, quality of composition, and use of theme. The winning
stories will be featured on the fourth edition of Cultivating Thought
packaging, slated to appear in 2016.
“The goal of the Cultivating Thought series has been to engage our
customers’ intellect and perhaps offer a moment of literary reflection
on stories written by authors with unique perspectives,” said Mark
Crumpacker, chief creative and development officer at Chipotle. “Through
the essay contest, we are offering young writers an opportunity to share
their own perspective on a one-of-a-kind platform to express their
writings about food, and a chance to receive a scholarship to help
advance their education.”
Cultivating Thought is an extension of Chipotle’s progressive approach
to food and culture, which continues to disrupt the traditional
fast-food experience. Chipotle challenges the conventions of the
fast-food industry with marketing programs that entertain, engage and
educate customers, while also sparking a dialogue about the fast-food
experience. Reaching more than 800,000 customers daily, the Cultivating
Thought author series, and the new essay contest, create an opportunity
for people to read something new from the next generation of great
The third edition of Cultivating Thought packaging, featuring Esquivel
and other well-known writers and thinkers, will be available in Chipotle
restaurants later this year. Customers also can access these stories by
For official rules and complete details, visit http://www.cultivatingthought.com/essaycontest-rules.
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea
that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast-food experience.
Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos,
burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from
fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking
methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of
Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using
ingredients that are not only fresh, but that — where possible — are
sustainably grown and raised responsibly with respect for the animals,
the land and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this
vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered
on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards.
This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our
customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within.
Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and operates more than
1,800 restaurants, including 17 Chipotle restaurants outside the U.S.
and 10 ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor
in an entity that owns and operates two Pizzeria Locale restaurants. For
more information, visit Chipotle.com.
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Chris Arnold, 303-222-5912