Food

Peek inside Taco Bell's test kitchen for the first time ever

If you've ever wanted to shake the hands of the folks who brought you the fried-chicken taco shell, Cheetos burrito and Mexican pizza, here's your chance.

And they'll cook for you, too: Taco Bell is opening the doors of its test kitchen to the public for the first time next month and inviting people to snag a reservation for a dinner in its research lab.

Taco Bell
We can't promise it will look this dramatic, but Taco Bell is opening its test kitchen doors to the public for the first time.

The actual dinner is Friday, May 19, and is at Taco Bell's test kitchen, in Irvine, California, about an hour south of Los Angeles. Thirty-two spots are available, and each guest can bring a plus-one.

Reservations can be made via Open Table on Cinco de Mayo — May 5 — though the company is not disclosing what time they will become available. "Gonna leave fans guessing. Beyoncé album–drop style," a spokesperson told TODAY Food, apparently unfazed by the potential repercussions of comparing oneself to Queen Bey.

Taco Bell
Whatcha making there? The test-kitchen dinner promises "twists on Taco Bell favorites," and "never-before-seen" dishes.

On the menu will be a mix of "twists on Taco Bell classics," "never-before-seen" dishes and "some menu items that never made it out nationwide," the spokesperson added.

You have to be 21 or older to attend, as "libations will served." So, we're just going to assume that the Starburst Strawberry Freeze will be spiked with tequila.

From the outside, the Taco Bell headquarters appears to look like any old gray office-park building (sneaky!), but the test kitchen inside is "super reminiscent of the overall brand, with bright, playful colors," the spokesperson told us.

Taco Bell
This unassuming building, in Irvine, Calif., is where Taco Bell cooks up its next ideas.

Taco Bell will pick up the tab for dinner, but the catch is, you have to pay to get yourself there. Of course, the event is coming up soon, but the company promises there will be a series of similar upcoming dinners, giving "fans nationwide the opportunity for a coveted" reservation, presumably with more notice for die-hards who want to make the trip.

Te Quiero Taco
Homemade version of Taco Bell taco, recipe from Ryan Scott
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
Rating:
( rated)
Servings:
16 tacos
Get the recipe

In the meantime, if you live or will be in the greater Los Angeles area mid-May and want to try snagging a reservation, the chain remains mum on the details, just saying that it will "unveil the reservation URL on Cinco de Mayo." But we'd recommend checking the Taco Bell site, Open Table's South Orange County page and social media on May 5 for the link. And if you do go, report back!

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