Derrick Deal is celebrating the opportunity of a lifetime thanks to Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. The senior at Florida International University’s (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management was declared the winner of Red Robin’s Golden Robin Contest. Deal’s winning recipe earned him a $10,000 scholarship and the chance for his Bubblin’ Brown Sugar Bar-B-Que Burger to be featured as a limited-time menu offering at participating Red Robin restaurants nationwide in the future. In addition, Deal will join Red Robin at the Amstel Light Burger Bash during the 8th Annual Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE magazine on Friday, February 21, where he will have the opportunity to serve his pub-inspired gourmet burger creation alongside celebrity chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible.
“As the gourmet burger experts, it is our mission to constantly provide cutting edge burger offerings to our guests,” says John Schaufelberger, Red Robin’s vice president of brand marketing. “In our latest quest to find the most innovative burger recipe, we are proud to have collaborated with the dynamic and brilliant students at FIU, like Derrick, and we are delighted to serve his winning creation at the Amstel Light Burger Bash.”
Deal’s victory comes as a result of an ongoing partnership between Red Robin and the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival and FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, one of the highest rated hospitality and tourism programs in the United States. For this year’s Festival, Red Robin, the Gourmet Burger Authority, challenged FIU students to submit a recipe for their best rendition of a tavern-style burger for a chance to win Red Robin’s Golden Robin Contest. All 140 recipes that the students submitted were carefully judged based on creativity, taste and use of unique ingredients, and the Bubblin’ Brown Sugar Bar-B-Que Burger emerged as the winner for its unique combination of brown sugar bacon, Heinz Honey Barbeque Sauce, sharp cheddar cheese, and grilled red onions.
“We are pleased that Red Robin provided our students with a platform to demonstrate their innovation and creativity, as they prepare to become the future leaders of the industry,” says Mike Hampton, Dean of Chaplin School of Hospitality& Tourism Management at FIU.
The Amstel Light Burger Bash is America’s most prestigious burger competition, which brings together the country’s top culinary maestros and chefs, giving them the opportunity to display their creations and battle it out for burger supremacy. For the second year in a row, Red Robin has invited all chefs participating in the Amstel Light Burger Bash to submit their burger recipe for a chance to win $10,000 and to have their recipe featured on Red Robin’s Finest premium burger menu later this year. A panel of carefully selected judges, including chef Irvine and Red Robin executives, will select and present the winning chef with “Red Robin’s Best of the Bash Award” on the Burger Bash stage on Friday, February 21.
“I am honored to be part of the Red Robin judges panel and sample some of my fellow chef’s most innovative and mouthwatering burgers,” says Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and host of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible. “Judging a competition with so much talent can be difficult. Luckily, I enjoy burgers and will be looking for technique, use of unique ingredients and creative presentation when choosing the winning recipe worthy of being awarded as the Best of the Bash.”