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Smashed Smoke Burger Wins Over Judges' Taste Buds And A Spot On The Menu As Red Robin's "Best Of The Bash" At The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Feb. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- America's most prestigious burger competition brought some YUMMM-y menu innovation with the presentation of Red Robin's first-ever Best of the Bash Award at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Amstel Light Burger Bash. Chefs Laurent Tourondel, Andrew Buffalino and Jedd Adair of LT Burger in the Harbor in Sag Harbor, New York dished up deliciousness with their Smashed Smoke Burger, featuring a craveable combination of black peppered bacon, New York State cheddar, Spanish onion, and sweet sauce. 

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120522/NY11686LOGO )

All chefs participating in the Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Rachael Ray in Miami, Fla. on Feb. 22 were invited to submit their burger recipe to Red Robin for the chance to win $10,000 and an appearance on the Gourmet Burger Expert's menu. 

Mo Rocca, host of Cooking Channel's My Grandmother's Ravioli and correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood , along with Denny Marie Post, chief menu & marketing officer for Red Robin, and Scott Weaver, the brand's director of culinary, tasted, judged and selected the Smashed Smoke Burger as Red Robin's Best of the Bash based on criteria such as creativity, taste and presentation. 

"Tasting a dozen burgers in the running for Red Robin's Best of the Bash Award was no easy task," said Best of the Bash judge, Mo Rocca.  "I thought the chefs participating in the Amstel Light Burger Bash had the tough job, but I had my work cut out for me in having to help choose a winner!"

"The Smashed Smoke Burger had all of the notes of a perfectly prepared burger," said Chef Scott Weaver, Red Robin's director of culinary.  "It was a savory combination of sweet and smoky flavors balanced with great texture from the cheese and peppery bacon."

In addition to the cash prize, the Smashed Smoke Burger will be served in more than 465 Red Robin ® restaurants in the U.S. and Canada as a limited-time-offer as part of Red Robin's premium burger line. Designed to satisfy the cravings of America's top-notch burger fans, the chef-crafted burgers will use premium proteins stacked on an artisan bun with high-quality toppings such as roasted tomatoes, artisan cheeses and premium sauces and aiolis prepared in-house. The high-end burgers will be priced in line with Red Robin's entree offerings and served with a choice of two sides including Red Robin's signature Bottomless Steak Fries ®, which means free refills.

"We see the burger as a great canvas for innovation, and the chefs who shared their original burgers with us at the event are further proof of that," said Denny Marie Post, Red Robin's senior vice president and chief menu & marketing officer.  "As the gourmet burger leader, Red Robin has been making great burgers for over forty years and we're excited to continue to give our guests what they crave with the premium burger line."

In addition to presenting the Best of the Bash Award, Red Robin served the winning burger from the Red Robin Savory Scholar Contest at the event.  Beginning Jan. 10, Red Robin invited students from the Florida International University (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, the beneficiary of all proceeds from the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE, to submit their original burger recipes for consideration for the award. 

Luciana Page was selected from among more than one hundred entries for her Korean Kalbi BBQ Burger, a unique blend of spicy and tangy authentic Korean flavors including pickled cucumbers and cabbage on a Korean BBQ glazed beef patty on a Brioche bun.  In addition to the opportunity to serve her winning burger at the Amstel Light Burger Bash, Page also won a $10,000 scholarship and a three-month internship at Yummm U, Red Robin's research & development and culinary facility located near Denver, Colo.  The Korean Kalbi BBQ Burger could potentially make its debut on the Red Robin menu as part of its Red's Tavern Double™ Style burger platform in 2013. Page will graduate from FIU with a bachelor's of science in hospitality management which prepares her to succeed as a leader in today's competitive business environment.

For more information about Red Robin and to find a 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 expert, 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 currently are 473 Red Robin locations across the United States and Canada, including 335 company-owned Red Robin ® restaurants and five Red Robin's Burger Works ® locations, and 133 Red Robin ® restaurants operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin… YUMMM ®! Connect with Red Robin on Facebook and Twitter

About Mo Rocca Mo Rocca, host of Cooking Channel's My Grandmother's Ravioli, is best known for his off-beat news reports and satirical commentary.  Currently a Correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood , he's also a panelist on NPR's hit weekly quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! and the host of Food(ography) on the Cooking Channel.  Mo spent four seasons on Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon StewartOn Broadway he starred in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  A native of Washington, D.C., Mo earned a bachelor's degree at Harvard and resides in New York City.

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 .



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