Last summer, ahead of its fall menu creation, Studio Movie Grill (“SMG”) communicated to the field an internal challenge and competition for its own chefs and culinary teams. Leveraging this immense talent in a fun and competitive way was the inspiration behind a handful of new menu items created for the circuit. Hundreds of submissions were received. SMG identified exemplary recipes that best represented the company, its team members, and its culinary direction.
“What you see on the [new] menu is a result of our culinary teams’ passion for food. They are the backbone of our brand,” sys Brian Hood, SMG’s COO.
SMG is proud to showcase three first-round winners including the Strawberry Avocado Salad, created by SMG Chef Allie Colgin, incorporating grilled chicken, avocado, strawberries, super greens, red onions, cucumber and cotija cheese, and served with a balsamic dressing. Allie has been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and became a team member at SMG Simi Valley when it opened in 2015. She subsequently rose through the ranks as Bartender, Front of House Manager, Heart of the House Manager, and finally to her current position as General Manager. “My inspiration for the salad was to create something fresh, that was beautiful in presentation, and a great option to our menu for those Guests looking for something healthy,” said Allie.
The Roasted Poblano-Bacon Burger was created by SMG Chef Rey Eloisa. A lean beef burger, with a roasted poblano-bacon blend, pepper jack cheese, and agave, served with a chipotle mayo. Rey has also been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years.
“I started when I was 15 years old in Houston working as a dishwasher and from there through hard work, dedication and passion I became a kitchen manager, joining SMG 15 years ago, in 2006. Since joining the team I have helped open more than ten SMG stores and have been the Kitchen Manager at all of our SMG Houston locations, currently SMG CityCentre. The drive behind creating the Roasted Poblano-Bacon Burger stems from my love of burgers, our guests’ love of burgers, and the desire to create something new for the category,” explains Rey.
Finally, the Southwest Taco Salad, created by SMG Chef Ed Ramirez, with Southwest seasoned beef, super greens, pico de gallo, jalapenos, mixed cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and served with a chipotle ranch dressing. Ed has been in the hospitality industry for 24 years. Hired as an Assistant Kitchen Manager, Ed quickly transitioned to Kitchen Manager at SMG Sunset Walk.
“I enjoy listening to guests and coming up with new ideas. It seemed like a fun way for them to have input into what we do, so the idea for a Tex-Mex Salad recipe was born. I created something that I think they’ll enjoy,” says Ed.
“SMG is extremely proud of the collective efforts of our Chefs, and we’re making it part of our culinary strategy to solicit ideas from these talented team members with each [menu] rollout. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve and innovate our offering,” says Mike Dingess, Director of Training.
The company is also extremely excited to announce the re-opening of its newest location, SMG Chisholm Trail in Fort Worth, TX, which was completed last year as the anchor to The Shops at Chisholm Trail Ranch. Designed as a true entertainment destination, the 40,000 square foot theater houses twelve-screens and will reopen its doors in December. SMG’s newest Prototype 2, 14-screen theater, SMG Northpoint in Alpharetta, GA is also scheduled to open before the end of the year. The company will be hiring team members for both locations.
“We’re inviting guests back to the movies, and they are responding. We’re seeing our attendance growing weekly and our market share is as strong as pre-pandemic performance in our various markets. It’s been proven weekend and after weekend this year, that Guests want an enhanced experience that only movie theaters can provide. We are looking forward to the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Spider-Man: No Way Home, House of Gucci, Sing 2, The Matrix Resurrections, and The King’s Man,” says Tearlach Hutcheson, VP Film.