GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Watch out Food Network stars, you've got some tough new competition! America's newest culinary kid genius has been crowned. Bonney Lake, Wash. resident, 9-year-old Emma Potts has created America's next gourmet burger – the "Spicy Honey Glazed Bacon Burger." Potts' burger recipe was chosen by a panel of judges including Robin Miller, host of the Food Network "Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller." During the Red Robin Kids' Cook-Off Championship in Denver, Colo. today against nine other kid finalists, whose burger recipes were selected from more than 11,000 kids ages six to 12 across the U.S., Potts' "Spicy Honey Glazed Bacon Burger" was selected as the Red Robin "Kids' Cook-Off" Grand-Prize Winner. As the grand-prize winner, Potts' "Spicy Honey Glazed Bacon Burger," made with a burger patty topped with honey, ripe red tomato, mayonnaise, bacon, cayenne pepper, butter leaf lettuce and havarti cheese, will be sold in all U.S. Red Robin® restaurants in summer 2010 to benefit the child safety efforts of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). Fifty-cents of every "Spicy Honey Glazed Bacon Burger" sold will go to support NCMEC's child safety initiatives.
"It was a thrill to be part of the judging panel for the Red Robin 'Kids' Cook-Off' Championship and to celebrate and encourage kids' culinary creativity while also supporting child safety efforts," said Food Network host, Robin Miller. "Working for the Food Network has allowed me to try many creative ingredients, and the 'Spicy Honey Glazed Bacon Burger' was every bit as delicious as the food I've tried from professional chefs."
In addition to Potts' "Spicy Honey Glazed Bacon Burger," another burger recipe was also honored. Through a consumer-driven online voting process, more than 14,000 Americans voted for the inaugural Kids' Cook-Off "Fan Favorite." Ten-year-old Daphney Thomas from Hillsboro, Ore., was named "Fan Favorite" for her "A Double Dilly of a Burger," which is made with two sirloin patties, provolone cheese, deep fried dill pickles, lettuce, mustard, and dill mayonnaise on an onion bun. Thomas received a special award of recognition and a $100 gift card to Toys "R" Us.
During the Kids' Cook-Off Championship, the top 10 finalists showed-off their culinary skills by making their gourmet burger recipes in a Food Network-style showdown and presenting them to Robin Miller as well as other VIP judges including Tom Giesen, executive producer of the Food Network's Unwrapped shows, Denver mommy-blogger Valentina Garcia, NCMEC co-founder Robbie Callaway and Red Robin burger experts. Contestants also shared why they thought their burger recipe should win in 100-words or less. Each kid chef finalist was judged based on their gourmet burger recipe, essay and overall presentation.
Outtakes from the Championship Event and Robin Miller's announcement of the grand-prize winner can be seen at www.redrobin.com/thefinalists.
"At Red Robin, we take great pride in being the gourmet burger expert and providing our guests the opportunity to try a variety of new, mouthwatering burgers like Emma's, especially for a great cause – child safety," said Susan Lintonsmith, Red Robin chief marketing officer. "On behalf of Red Robin, I'd like to congratulate all our kid burger chefs and give thanks to our panel of judges, including the Food Network's Robin Miller, who helped us select our winner."
Three runners up also were selected during the event: 12-year-old Mike Smyth Jr. from New Lenox, Ill., who created the "Bacon Hot Popper Burger;" 12-year-old Gabriel Byrne from Berryton, Kan., who created the "Seven Wonders Burger;" and 11-year-old Randi Lenard from Rifle, Colo., who created the "Chili Lime Chicken Roll."
In addition to having her burger sold at Red Robin® restaurants next summer to benefit NCMEC's child safety initiatives, Potts won a family vacation to Universal Orlando® Resort. All 10 finalists each received a Red Robin iPod® nano, a $100 Red Robin gift card and a Red Robin goodie bag, as well as their all-expenses-paid trip to the Colorado Championship with a parent or guardian and the opportunity to meet a Food Network star. The finalists' gourmet burger recipes, along with 40 other kid-invented burger recipes and a recipe from Cook-Off celebrity judge, the Food Network's Robin Miller, will also be included in a kids' cookbook that features child safety tips from NCMEC available for free download online in summer 2010.
To watch the fourth annual Red Robin Kids' Cook-Off Championship in its entirety or to view specific footage of the Grand-Prize Winner, Fan Favorite and runners-up, please visit www.redrobin.com/kidscookoff.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., serves up wholesome, fun, feel-good experiences in a family-friendly environment. Red Robin, which was recently named one of Parents magazine's Ten Best Family Restaurants, is famous for serving more than two dozen insanely delicious, high-quality gourmet burgers in a variety of recipes with Bottomless Steak Fries®, as well as salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts, and signature Mad Mixology® Beverages. There are more than 430 Red Robin® restaurants located across the United States and Canada, including corporate-owned locations and those operating under franchise agreements.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline which has handled more than 2,423,800 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 145,600 children. The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 757,700 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 28,956,160 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Source: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.