GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Feb. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- America's most prestigious burger competition brought together top culinary maestros to battle it out for burger supremacy last night at the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE's Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons hosted by Rachael Ray. For the third year in a row, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (Red Robin) presented its Best of the Bash Award. Chef Michell Sanchez of Latin House Grill located in Miami, Fla. wowed the judges with his Madlove Champ burger, featuring a craveable combination of brisket, chuck and sirloin, topped with three-cheese, Applewood maple-glazed bacon, butter lettuce, plum tomatoes, avocados and candied jalapenos. As the winner of the Red Robin's Best of the Bash Award, chef Michell Sanchez will receive $10,000 and the chance for his burger to appear on the Gourmet Burger Authority's™ Finest premium burger menu as a limited-time offering later this year.
All chefs who participated in the Amstel Light Burger Bash had the opportunity to submit their burger recipe for Red Robin's Best of the Bash Award. Chef Marc Murphy, host of Food Network's Chopped and owner of New York City restaurants Landmarc and Ditch Plains, along with Dana Benfield, Red Robin's Vice President of Engagement Marketing, and Karen Kaehler, the brand's Culinary Manager, tasted, judged and selected Chef Michell Sanchez as the winner based on creativity, taste and presentation.
"It wasn't easy to determine a winning burger among such highly-esteemed culinary talent at this year's Burger Bash," said Best of the Bash judge, Marc Murphy. "It's been fun to serve as a judge at this one-of-a-kind burger experience, and I am thoroughly impressed with the innovative creations I've had the honor to taste tonight."
Chef Michell Sanchez's Madlove Champ burger has the opportunity to serve as the inspiration behind a new burger on Red Robin's Finest premium burger line later this year. In 2014, Chef Brad Halsten won Red Robin's Best of the Bash Award with his Blackened Sabbath burger, which inspired Red Robin's The Big Sky™. In 2013, Chef Laurent Tourondel's Smashed Smoke Burger won Red Robin's Best of the Bash Award and inspired the Gourmet Burger Authority's first premium burger offering, the Smoke & Pepper Burger™, which is a permanent addition to the Finest line.
"Red Robin's Finest line continues to be a great platform to showcase award-winning culinary creativity," said Dana Benfield, Red Robin's Vice President of Engagement Marketing. "Presenting the Best of the Bash Award and honoring culinary innovation among top chefs in the industry allows us to reinforce our burger authority and deliver on our brand's promise to serve the best, most innovative burgers to our guests."
In addition to presenting the Best of the Bash Award, Red Robin also served the winning burger from its Golden Robin Contest. Red Robin invited students from the Florida International University's (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, the beneficiary of all proceeds from the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival, to submit their original burger recipes. There were 152 entries to the contest which were then narrowed down to one well-deserved winner.
Alex Bello was selected as the winner for his Buffalo Mac 'N Cheesy Burger, a delicious take on a tavern style cheeseburger with two fire-grilled beef patties topped with Red Robin's Mac 'N Cheesy, melted Muenster cheese, Heinz® Buffalo Wing Sauce and Ranch dressing on a toasted sesame seed bun. In addition to serving samples of his winning burger to Amstel Light Burger Bash attendees alongside Red Robin, Bello won a $10,000 scholarship and a chance to have his burger featured on the Red Robin menu.
For more information about Red Robin and to find a Red Robin® restaurant location near you, visit www.redrobin.com.
About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB)
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (www.redrobin.com), a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., is the Gourmet Burger Authority™, famous for serving more than two dozen craveable, high-quality burgers with Bottomless Steak Fries® in a fun environment welcoming to guests of all ages. In addition to its many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide variety of salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts and signature Mad Mixology® Beverages. Red Robin offers a variety of options behind the bar, including its extensive selection of local and regional beers, and innovative adult beer shakes and cocktails, recently earning the restaurant the 2014 VIBE Vista Award for Best Beer Program in a Multi-Unit Chain Restaurant. There are more than 500 Red Robin restaurants across the United States and Canada, including Red Robin Burger Works® locations and those operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin... YUMMM®! Connect with Red Robin on Facebook and Twitter.
About Marc Murphy
Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he'll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Washington DC, Rome and Genoa. For some, growing up the son of a globetrotting diplomat might have been stressful, yet for Murphy, this dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, and afforded him the luxury of learning from a young age just how much he loved the world of cooking and of restaurants. Since then, Murphy has logged more than 20 years in the restaurant business, working in some of the world's most highly esteemed kitchens, including Le Miraville in Paris, Alain Ducasses' Louis XV in Monte Carlo and Le Cirque in New York.
Today, he serves as the Chef and Owner of Benchmarc Restaurants (Landmarc and Ditch Plains) and Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, as well as the Chef of Kingside at Viceroy New York. He is a judge on The Food Network's top rated hit CHOPPED, President of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member and member of the Food Council for City Harvest and a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. In 2012, Marc joined the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs abroad and in the United States.
Marc is the Author of Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking his debut cookbook will be released on April, 28th 2015.
About the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has been distinguished as one of the top hospitality programs in the U.S. Each year, more than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States and around the world choose FIU for its outstanding reputation, advantageous campus locations, expert faculty, rich curriculum, and fast-track career advantages in the international hotel, foodservice and tourism industries. In August 2006, FIU unveiled the first U.S. School of Hospitality and Tourism in Tianjin, China. The Marriott Tianjin China Program is FIU's largest international program, with a capacity for up to 2,000 students. For more information about Florida International University's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, visit http://hospitality.fiu.edu/.
SOURCE Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.