GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Three students from Florida International University's (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management have something special to add to their resumes: they were named finalists of Red Robin's Savory Scholar Gourmet Dipping Sauce Contest. Dalton Draper, Ariel Miller, and Tirza Diaz De Villegas will travel to New York City to serve their gourmet dipping sauce with Red Robin's signature Bottomless Steak Fries® alongside top chefs at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE on Friday, Oct. 18. Guests at the Festival's Blue Moon Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Rachael Ray will vote for their favorite sauce and the Savory Scholar winner will be revealed on stage by food and lifestyle expert and author Katie Lee.
"I am thrilled to be a part of the judging process for Red Robin's sauce contest," said Lee. "It is fun to see and taste the creativity that each student put into his or her entry. What a talented group!"
Red Robin's Savory Scholar Gourmet Dipping Contest, held from Aug. 26 through Sept. 9, included more than 100 sauce entries evaluated by Red Robin and Heinz chefs, and Lee. Each FIU student created a dipping sauce that could accompany Red Robin's signature Bottomless Steak Fries. The three finalists' recipes include: Dalton Draper's Bloody Mary Sauce which consists of Heinz 57® Sauce, Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire Sauce, lemon, celery salt, black pepper, parsley, horseradish and garlic powder; Ariel Miller's Pepper Dulce Dippin' Sauce which is comprised of Heinz® Jalapeno Ketchup, honey BBQ sauce, diced onion, sea salt and nutmeg; and Tirza Diaz De Villegas' Tirza's Tangy Cilantro & Garlic Sauce which includes Heinz® Mayonnaise, garlic, onion, lemon, cilantro and Greek yogurt.
"Nothing goes better with a juicy, flame-grilled burger than crispy, seasoned steak fries, and there is no better complement to our Bottomless Steak Fries than an inventive dipping sauce," said Denny Marie Post, Red Robin's senior vice president and chief menu & marketing officer. "We would be proud to add any one of these sauces to the Red Robin menu."
The three featured gourmet dipping sauces will be served at the Blue Moon Burger Bash on Friday, Oct. 18. Event attendees will vote for their favorite sauce with the winning recipe earning a $5,000 scholarship for the student and the chance to have their dipping sauce served in Red Robin® restaurants nationwide next year. Lee will announce the winner on stage at the event.
"As part of their journey to become leaders, the students at the Chaplin School are exposed to all areas of the industry, including culinary management, as they must understand all aspects of hospitality, including what goes on in the kitchen," said Mohammad Qureshi, associate dean at FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. "It's always great to see how students translate what they learn in the classroom to practical experiences, like what these finalists accomplished with their gourmet dipping sauces for Red Robin's Savory Scholar Gourmet Dipping Sauce Contest."
For more information about Red Robin and to find a restaurant location near you, visit www.redrobin.com. For more information on the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, visit www.nycwff.org. To date, the Festival has raised more than $6 million to benefit the hunger-relief organizations Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry® campaign.
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. There are more than 480 Red Robin® restaurants located across the United States and Canada, including corporate-owned locations and those operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin… YUMMM®! Connect with Red Robin on Facebook and Twitter.
About Katie Lee
Best-selling author and food and lifestyle expert Katie Lee describes her style as casual, comfortable, with a touch of couture. In addition to her Comfort Table cookbooks, she writes a column for SELF published her first novel Groundswell in 2011. Katie sits on the Celebrity Board for Feeding America, and when not working or volunteering, she enjoys surfing and traveling. You can find her on Twitter @KatieLeeKitchen.
About the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management has been distinguished as one of the top hospitality programs in the U.S. More than 2,000 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 opportunities in the international hotel, foodservice and tourism industries. In August 2006 FIU unveiled the first US 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 1,000 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.