The menu at Chili's Grill & Bar just got some serious star power.
On Friday, Oct. 3, Chili's was featured in the premiere episode of Turner Network Television's (TNT) "On The Menu," starring famed Chef Emeril Lagasse and Ty Pennington as host of the show. In the cooking competition, everyday cooks are given the chance to have their dish appear at a nationally recognized restaurant brand and viewers are able to taste the winning dish the day after the episode airs.
During the competition, the four Chili's contestants were charged with creating a savory dish for the brand's new Craft Burger line up. Chili's chief operating officer Kelli Valade and senior director of culinary innovation Stephen Bulgarelli, along with some help from Chef Emeril and Pennington, selected the winning burger based on a number of key attributes, including taste, presentation, and brand relevancy.
In less than 12 hours from premiere to the doors opening at more than 1,200 restaurants nationwide, Chili's educated more than 50,000 team members and trained nearly 25,000 cooks on how to bring this burger to life, just as the winner envisioned. By Saturday, Oct. 4, Chili's restaurants were serving up the new craft burger to excited viewers waiting to try it for themselves.
"We've never done something quite like this before," says Krista Gibson, chief marketing officer for Chili's Grill & Bar. "I knew with our strong operators we could handle the challenge of bringing this popular new menu item from TV to table overnight."
The winning dish, which is aptly named the "Winning TNT Craft Burger," features a 100 percent, USDA Choice patty topped with tangy slaw, hand-battered and fried house-made garlic dill pickles, and Chili's classic BBQ sauce on a toasted potato bun. The dish was created by Dan Marks of Columbia, Maryland, who is a government consultant for immigration and customs enforcement.
Available now until Dec. 14, guests can try the "Winning TNT Craft Burger" at any Chili's restaurant nationwide.