Food Network's Ultimate Recipe Showdown Inspires Entrees, Dessert and Drink Available Only at Friday's(R) Restaurants

Carrollton, Texas, // PRNewswire // -- After a nationwide search for everyday folks with the best recipes in America, T.G.I. Friday's restaurants is now featuring five "Ultimate" items on its menu at over 600 U.S. restaurants. Four of the items were judged to be best in class by a panel of food experts on Food Network's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown." FoodNetwork.com's Ultimate Recipe Beverage Showdown winner was determined by online voting.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/fridays/36948/

The Ultimate Recipe Showdown was a six-week series which pitted category finalists against one another for a $25,000 prize, national acclaim and the chance to have his or her recipe featured nationwide at T.G.I. Friday's. The Ultimate Recipe Beverage Showdown winner received a trip for two to Las Vegas. This is the second consecutive year in which winning recipes from the show have inspired entrees on the Friday's menu and the first in which an Ultimate beverage recipe has been chosen.

The Ultimate items being featured at Friday's include:

Gourmet Mac n' Five Cheese, an entree inspired by Rick Massa, a retired Los Angeles Police Department/SWAT Officer from Simi Valley, California. The Ultimate Comfort Food category winner features rich and creamy five-cheese blend of Fontina, Bleu, Gruyere, White Cheddar and Parmesan, tossed with crispy bacon and penne pasta and topped with Blue Cheese crumbles and a Parmesan-crust topping, served with a juicy grilled chicken breast. The Triple Stacked Burger, a burger inspired by Harold Cohen, a retired plastic surgeon from Hollywood, Florida. The Ultimate Burger category winner features a juicy beef patty with a zesty red pepper pimento blend of sharp Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, topped with ham, crispy bacon, pickles and more cheese, all stacked on a toasted bun and served with fresh home-style potato chips. Spicy Southern Shrimp, an entree inspired by Jason Hernandez, a marketing professional from Germantown, Tennessee. The Ultimate Hot & Spicy category winner features spicy Cajun shrimp and smoky Andouille sausage served in Cayenne and Chipotle sauce with creamy cheesy grits. Spiced Up Cupcakes, a dessert inspired by Lisa Roman, an artist and Army wife from Roswell, Georgia. The Ultimate Dessert category winner features all of the sweetness and spice of pumpkin pie wrapped up in two pumpkin applesauce spice cupcakes which are topped with cream cheese frosting and garnished with chopped pecans and served with a side of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Vanilla Lemon Ice, a drink inspired by Leo Cook, a bartender from Bloomington, Indiana. The Ultimate Beverage is made with Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, triple sec, lemonade and Sprite®.

Earlier this year, more than 680,000 members of Friday's guest recognition program, Give Me More Stripes™ (www.givememorestripes.com) received a coupon via email worth $5 off any Ultimate Recipe Showdown entree.

Food Network's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown," hosted by Guy Fieri, concluded its second season last night. The show featured original recipes, whittled down from thousands of submissions, in six categories -- Comfort Food, Burgers, Cakes, Hot & Spicy, Desserts and Hometown Favorites.

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 February 2009, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide owns, operates, franchises or licenses more than 1,000 restaurants in 60 countries.

About Give Me More Stripes

The only nationwide in-restaurant program of its kind with more than 680,000 members in the US, Give Me More Stripes offers the following perks at participating restaurants:

Personalized & customized membership card Free appetizer or dessert upon sign-up (up to $8 value) One-time use jump-the-line-pass $8 certificate for every $100 spent (excluding alcohol-only purchases) Exclusive communication about specials and food/drink previews

In addition, members have been treated to the following:

Complimentary members-only food such as chips and dip and hummus and chips Free takeaway snacks like Cheddar and Bacon Potato Skins Free dessert during Black Friday Weekend Red and white chips at the World's Largest Inauguration Party Double stripes on special party days throughout the year $5 coupons off Ultimate Recipe Showdown entrees Free crispy bean fries as part of The Game We Can't Name Eve party Free birthday dessert with the purchase of an entree Voting privileges to determine the All-American Drink Free Spiced Up Cupcakes with the purchase of two entrees on Valentine's Day

FOOD NETWORK (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 98 million U.S. households and averages more than 9 million unique Web site users monthly. Food Network programming is available internationally in more than 150 countries. Food Network is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Knoxville, Tenn. Scripps Networks Interactive , which also owns and operates HGTV (www.hgtv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Great American Country (www.gactv.com) and Fine Living Network (www.fineliving.com), is the manager and general partner.

SOURCE: T.G.I. Friday's Restaurants

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