2017 Grill Master Challenge

We're excited to bring back our annual Grill Master Challenge and take you behind the scenes for the first time.  The cooking competition has been around for two decades and pays tribute to the grilling expertise that put El Pollo Loco on the map more than 30 years ago.  We have over 1,400 cooks in our restaurants and only one will win the coveted title as Top Grill Master at El Pollo Loco. Follow the action here and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at #LocoGrillMaster.


Top Grill Master – Enrique Pulido
The LOCO Lowdown.  Learn about how we grill our chicken, our cooks, signature grills, and Grill Master Challenge history!

Meet Our Grill Masters

  • Semi-Finalist Felicitas<br>El Pollo Loco #6003<br>Las Vegas, NV
    Semi-Finalist Felicitas
    El Pollo Loco #6003
    Las Vegas, NV

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    10 Years 

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    You have to have the perfect flame for every stage of chicken. Timing is everything. 

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I love El Pollo Loco, and I have had years to master my craft.

  • TOP GRILL MASTER<br>ENRIQUE PULIDO<br>El Pollo Loco #3364<br>Los Angeles, CA
    TOP GRILL MASTER
    ENRIQUE PULIDO
    El Pollo Loco #3364
    Los Angeles, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    15 Years 

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    Follow all procedures, but also have passion and dedication as a cook. 

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I'm sure of myself and because I have a lot of passion for my job both as a cook and as an employee of El Pollo Loco.

  • FINALIST SAUL <br> El Pollo Loco #6006<br>Rialto, CA
    FINALIST SAUL
    El Pollo Loco #6006
    Rialto, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    Over 13 years

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    You have to start with the proper marination, then follow the cooking stages.

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I have experience and I believe in my skills.

  • Semi-Finalist Mario<br>El Pollo Loco #3228<br>Buena Park, CA
    Semi-Finalist Mario
    El Pollo Loco #3228
    Buena Park, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    10 Years

     What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    Cooking requires time and care. You have to visualize the chicken to cook perfect chicken. 

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I like my work and I take care of the quality of the chicken. I like to serve only perfect chicken.

  • FINALIST PEDRO<br>El Pollo Loco #3370<br>Santa Ana, CA
    FINALIST PEDRO
    El Pollo Loco #3370
    Santa Ana, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    11 Years 

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    Do not rush the chicken during the cooking process and make sure it is properly marinated.

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I am proud of my chicken quality and I enjoy my job. I have been with El Pollo Loco for as long as I have been working.

  • Semi-Finalist Misael<br>El Pollo Loco #3434<br>Lancaster, CA
    Semi-Finalist Misael
    El Pollo Loco #3434
    Lancaster, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    Over 29 years

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    To cook the chicken slowly, ensuring that it is evenly cooked and consistently following the proper procedures.  

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I am excited for the opportunity to demonstrate how to passionately cook perfect pollo every time – just the way I’ve been doing all these years.

  • FINALIST JAIME<br>El Pollo Loco #5945<br>Van Nuys, CA
    FINALIST JAIME
    El Pollo Loco #5945
    Van Nuys, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    9 Years

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    You have to follow each stage of cooking and make sure the flames are at the proper setting all the time and every day. By just doing this, the pollo will be perfect for our guests to enjoy. The #1 goal is to make guests happy and satisfied each visit.

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I love my job and I’m very passionate about what I do. Serving the best pollo all the time gives me a sense of accomplishment. This challenge is an honor because I will compete with the Best of the Best cooks in the company.

  • Semi-Finalist Hugo<br>El Pollo Loco #3547<br>Lakewood, CA
    Semi-Finalist Hugo
    El Pollo Loco #3547
    Lakewood, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    5 Years 

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    It starts with the passion about what you’re doing, taking pride, and showing love for the chicken to produce the Perfect Pollo. 

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I deserve to be the Grill Master Champion as I do my job with integrity, consistency, and dedication to our guests. I treat chicken with Tender, Loving, Care (TLC) and it shows for every chicken I cook.

  • Semi-Finalist Jose<br>El Pollo Loco #5615<br>San Fernando, CA
    Semi-Finalist Jose
    El Pollo Loco #5615
    San Fernando, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    11 years since 2006

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    You have to know your grill's flame and recognize when the chicken is ready to be turned. Also, maintain your grills, keep them clean and working properly.

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I’m committed to cooking good chicken every day.

  • Semi-Finalist Alan<br>El Pollo Loco #6110<br>Menifee, CA
    Semi-Finalist Alan
    El Pollo Loco #6110
    Menifee, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    One Year 

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    There are many steps that are involved in cooking perfect pollo; however, my best advice would be to never rush through the steps. Every step is important to creating a perfect pollo. 

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I try my absolute best to serve perfect pollo to every customer so that every individual that walks through the door feels special.

  • FINALIST DEMETRIO<br>El Pollo Loco #3295<br>Hollywood, CA
    FINALIST DEMETRIO
    El Pollo Loco #3295
    Hollywood, CA

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    29 Years. I started working at El Pollo Loco in 1988 as a service expert.

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    You have to love what you do, follow procedures and make sure you understand the flames because flame control is the secret to cooking great pollo.

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I am dedicated to my passion to serve perfect pollo, I work hard to be a great employee, and enjoy being an example to new cooks.

  • FINALIST BRIAN<br>El Pollo Loco #6125<br>Houston, TX
    FINALIST BRIAN
    El Pollo Loco #6125
    Houston, TX

    How long have you worked at El Pollo Loco?

    A year and a half.

    What is your best advice for grilling the perfect pollo?

    Always pay attention to the color. The color tells it all.

    Why should you be the Grill Master Challenge Champion?

    I am not going in to the contest believing I deserve to win. I am going into this competition wanting to give my best for the people who believed in me, trusted me, and took the time to share their knowledge. The judges will decide if I deserve to represent Pollo Loco.