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Jack's Top Chef

Dennis Samala joins Jack in the Box® restaurants as senior culinary manager

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 24, 2008 – For nearly 60 years, Jack in the Box® restaurants has been a leader in menu innovation. It was the first quick-serve chain to offer a breakfast sandwich, a portable salad and a 100% Sirloin Burger. To help keep Jack on top of the fast-food pack, today the company announced the addition of senior culinary manager Dennis Samala to its top-notch, product-development team.

Samala, an 18-year veteran of the food industry, will be responsible for developing and implementing innovative menu concepts and strategies for the Jack in the Box brand and managing the day-to-day operation of the quick-serve chain's research and development test kitchen and culinary lab.

Samala previously worked as research chef and culinary service manager for Ventura Foods, LLC, a foodservice company based in Brea, Calif., that manufactures branded and private-label products, including salad dressings, oils and coatings. Prior to Ventura Foods, Samala was senior technical and culinary manager for Specialty Brands, Inc., a wholesale distributor of specialty foods in Ontario, Calif.

Samala holds a bachelor's degree in biology and microbiology from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif., and is currently pursuing studies with the Culinary Institute of America.

Jack in the Box Inc. (NYSE: JBX), based in San Diego, is a restaurant company that operates and franchises Jack in the Box® restaurants, one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains, with more than 2,100 restaurants in 18 states. Additionally, through a wholly owned subsidiary, the company operates and franchises Qdoba Mexican Grill®, a leader in fast-casual dining, with more than 450 restaurants in 41 states.