The glistening and glittering holiday windows at Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue are all staples of Christmas in the city, but this year, there’s a new kid on the block.
Chipotle is joining the holiday window tradition this year with designs made from 51 actual ingredients it uses in its fast-casual Mexican menu, including lettuce, tomatoes, lemons, onions, peppers, rice and beans.
That’s right — the food you point out to the Chipotle staffer at the counter is being molded into festive shapes.
This week, designers have been crafting daily designs with the ingredients at the company’s Columbus Circle location. Each display is built by 3 p.m. each day and removed at the store’s closing.
Monday featured a huge lettuce Christmas tree with tomatoes and lemons for ornaments, and Tuesday saw a holiday wreath using green peppers, chilis, tomatoes and other vegetables.
Wednesday’s design, "Toyland," featured presents, a Teddy bear made of rice, a cheese train, a vegetable and cornhusk nutcracker, a spicy rocking horse and a large gingerbread man using a huge amount of ingredients like tortillas, tomato paste, jalapeno peppers, avocado skins, peppercorns, soybeans, bay leaves, gypsum, dried chilis, yellow onion, black beans, pinto beans, tomatillo, poblano peppers and more.
Chipotle is completing a winter wonderland scene with snow and a cottage on Thursday and plans a window of singing carolers for Friday.
It hardly seems glamorous for the designers who have to get their hands deep in food each day, but the company wanted to use actual ingredients to underline the fact that it serves fresh food.
"In the spirit of full transparency, we’re putting our real food front and center through these festive holiday window displays that will come to life using only our 51 real ingredients," Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer at Chipotle, said in a statement. "We hope the window display gets everyone in the holiday spirit while also showcasing Chipotle’s longstanding commitment to preparing fresh food using real ingredients."
If a tall tree of lettuce and toys made out of rice and other trappings weren’t enough to get that across, the company has also debuted a line of wrapping paper inspired by its menu (foil paper like you’d wrap a burrito in, salsa and guacamole paper) that you can buy online.
If you go: The Chipotle window display will be up through Friday evening at its 56th Street and Eighth Avenue location.