THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ — Twenty-year culinary veteran Jonathan Rogan has been named as Director of Research and Development at Baja Fresh. In this role, Rogan will serve as the brand’s chief menu architect, developing new recipes and menu creations for the innovative quick casual chain.

Widely known throughout the restaurant industry for infusing freshness and emerging flavors into his creations, Rogan brings a unique combination of culinary creativity, hands-on kitchen operations experience, product development knowledge and training expertise to Baja Fresh. Over his 20-year career, Rogan has held culinary management positions at a variety of food and beverage businesses, including: El Torito Grill, California Pizza Kitchen, Gelson’s Markets, Good Earth Restaurants and Square One Restaurant. He also has more than 12 years of product development experience with companies that include: Huxtables’ Kitchens, Sizzler USA, Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurants, Perspectives/The Consulting Group and El Pollo Loco.

Rogan’s addition to the Baja Fresh team further enhances the brand’s commitment to solidifying its position as the industry leader for fresh, flavorful, fire-grilled Mexican favorites, served to each customer’s specifications.

“Jon Rogan has the expertise and the talent to further enhance the fresh flavors our customers crave and to bring new and exciting products to the table,” said James Walker, president of Baja Fresh. “As the Director of Research and Development, he will combine his gourmet genius with his wealth of experience in kitchen staff training and quality control to create bold and flavorful food for our customers that also fits well with our operations.”

“First and foremost, I am a big fan of the Baja Fresh brand, and I believe that it is on the cutting edge of what customers crave today: foods that are fresh, flavorful and delicious,” said Jonathan Rogan, newly appointed director of research and development for Baja Fresh. “As a leader in the fast-casual segment, Baja fresh provides our guests with what they want: bold tastes and exceptional flavor.”

Rogan currently resides in Long Beach, California. His culinary journey began in 1991 when he graduated with honors in Culinary Arts from Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. He continued his education at The Culinary Institute of America – Greystone Campus in Napa Valley, CA and Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.

Baja Fresh is a privately held company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California. The chain currently operates 298 restaurants (144 company; 154 franchise restaurants) in 18 states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington as well as the District of Columbia. Baja Fresh is unique to its category thanks to its freshly prepared menu of fire-grilled Mexican favorites that are made to order. Currently, the chain is in the midst of promoting its popular pork Carnitas burritos and Rogan is wasting no time developing several new menu additions, which will make their debut in early 2007. For more information, visit the company’s website at

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