T.G.I. Friday's(R) Restaurants Unleashes 'Ultimate' Comfort Food Recipe

Food Network's 'Ultimate Recipe Showdown' Winner Inspires 'Chipotle Grilled Steak Sandwich' Available Only at Friday's® Restaurants

CARROLLTON, Texas, March 3 // PRNewswire // -- After a nationwide contest to determine the Ultimate Comfort Food Recipe, an entree inspired by Ivan Aviles, a 39-year-old manager at Chili's from Holtsville, New York, will be featured at over 600 US T.G.I. Friday's® restaurants beginning today.

Aviles' recipe was judged to be best in class by a panel of food experts on Food Network's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown," a six-week series featuring America's greatest home cooks battling head-to-head for $25,000, culinary supremacy and a spot on T.G.I. Friday's menu.

The "ultimate" result: Chipotle Grilled Steak Sandwich, tender Cajun-rubbed skirt steak served on toasted ciabatta with a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses, roasted plantain slices, lettuce, tomato, onion & Chipotle mayo, served with crispy onion rings.

"The Cajun rub and the Chipotle taste on our new steak sandwich is the perfect flavor storm of smoky, spicy and sweet. This will wake your taste buds up in a hurry," said Scott Randolph, Senior Director of Culinary, R&D for T.G.I. Friday's. "No matter, how you slice it, this steak is King."

"Every week, we are bringing the best recipes from America's greatest home cooks to our guests," said Mike Archer, president and chief operating officer of T.G.I. Friday's USA. "Featuring the best of the best recipes on our menu is part of a 'flavor journey' you can experience at Friday's."

Food Network's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown," hosted by Marc Summers and Guy Fieri, features 54 original recipes, whittled down from thousands of submissions, divided into six categories -- Burgers, Chicken, Comfort Food, Pasta, Cakes, and Cookies. Every Sunday at 9 pm ET/PT, nine finalists compete under the lights and in front of an enthusiastic crowd to make the most delicious version of their recipe. A panel of judges including Katherine Alford (Director, Food Network Test Kitchen), Kerry Simon (chef and partner at SIMON LA, Simon at Palms Place and CatHouse at the Luxor) and Russ Parsons (Food Columnist, The Los Angeles Times) then score each dish on creativity, appearance, ease of execution and taste.

Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., the parent company of T.G.I. Friday's Inc., is a privately held company owned by Minneapolis-based Carlson, a world leader in the hospitality, travel and marketing industries. As of March 2008, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide owns, operates, franchises or licenses more than 1,000 restaurants in 60 countries. For more information, visit http://www.fridays.com/.

FOOD NETWORK (http://www.foodnetwork.com/) is a unique lifestyle network and Web site that strives to be way more than cooking. The network is committed to exploring new and different ways to approach food -- through pop culture, competition, adventure, and travel -- while also expanding its repertoire of technique-based information. Food Network is distributed to more than 90 million U.S. households and averages more than seven million Web site users monthly. With headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Knoxville, Food Network can be seen internationally in Canada, Australia, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Monaco, Andorra, Africa, France, and the French-speaking territories in the Caribbean and Polynesia. The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP), which also owns and operates HGTV (http://www.hgtv.com/), DIY Network (http://www.diynetwork.com/), Great American Country (http://www.gactv.com/) and FINE LIVING (http://www.fineliving.com/), is the manager and general partner.


SOURCE: T.G.I. Friday's

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