Richard Montañez: the Inventor of Flamin' Hot Cheetos


Next time you get a bag of those fiery, yet amazing tasting Flamin' Hot Cheetos you need to thank Mr. Richard Montañez.

Growing up, Richard Montañez was raised in a migrant work camp in California. At 18 he worked as a janitor at Frito-Lays. One day at work a machine broke down. Leaving a bunch of unflavored Cheetos unuseable. He took advantage of the situation and brought them home.

In his kitchen, he used many spices inspired by the traditional Mexican street corn, Eloté. He didn't know it at the time but, Montañez created the first batch of soon-to-be Flamin' Hot Cheetos.

Not only did the janitor have to become a chef but also a marketer and salesmen. After much research on marketing at the library, he created packaging and a presentation. 6 Months later, Frito-Lay launched Flamin' Hot Cheetos. The rest is history.

Of course, there's more to the story. Richard Montañez wrote a book on his life called Flamin' Hot. And, here's a recent interview from the man himself.