SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Chef Brad Halsten Serves Up Success with the Blackened Sabbath Burger as Red Robin's "Best of the Bash" Winner at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Award Presented by Red Robin and Renowned Chef Robert Irvine at the Festival's Amstel Light Burger Bash Yesterday Evening

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., Feb. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Last night, America's most prestigious burger competition brought together top culinary maestros to battle it out for burger supremacy and Red Robin's Best of the Bash Award at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE's Amstel Light Burger Bash, presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and hosted by Rachael Ray. Chef Brad Halsten of The Burger Dive located in Billings, MT wowed the judges' taste buds with the Blackened Sabbath burger, featuring a craveable combination of blackened spice with bacon, beer battered onion ring, garlic basil mayo, goat cheese and arugula with Sriracha.  As the winner of the Best of the Bash Award, Chef Halsten will receive $10,000, and in the future, his burger may appear on Red Robin's premium burger menu. 

Chef Brad Halsten of The Burger Dive, Billings MT, won $10,000 and the opportunity to have his burger served at participating Red Robin restaurants nationwide as a limited-time-offer on Red Robin's premium burger menu in the future at the Amstel Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray during the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Feb. 21, 2014 in Miami Beach, Fla.

For the second year in a row, all chefs that participated in the Amstel Light Burger Bash had the opportunity to submit their burger recipe for Red Robin's Best of the Bash Award.  Chef Robert Irvine, host of Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible, along with John Schaufelberger, Red Robin's vice president of brand marketing, and Scott Weaver, the brand's director of culinary, tasted, judged and selected the Blackened Sabbath burger as the winner based on criteria such as creativity, taste and presentation. 

"For a burger lover like me, being part of the judging panel for Red Robin has been a fun and memorable experience," said Best of the Bash judge Robert Irvine. "I was thoroughly impressed with the culinary imagination displayed by each of the chefs who entered the competition, and it definitely wasn't easy choosing just one winner." 

Chef Halsten's Blackened Sabbath burger will serve as the inspiration behind a new burger on Red Robin's premium burger line in the future.  In 2013, Chef Laurent Tourondel's Smashed Smoke Burger won Red Robin's Best of the Bash Award and inspired the Gourmet Burger Authority's first premium burger offering, the Smoke & Pepper Burger™. Red Robin's premium burger line, known as Red Robin's Finest, is a line of handmade, half-pound Black Angus beef burgers with superior toppings, cheeses and sauces. 

"Red Robin has been the 'Gourmet Burger Authority™' for more than forty years. We take burger innovation very seriously as we continue to push the culinary boundaries within casual dining," said John Schaufelberger, Red Robin's vice president of brand marketing. "Through our partnership with the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Red Robin is able to leverage renowned industry chefs' high-level of expertise and culinary experience as the inspiration for new burger creations that our guests will crave."

In addition to presenting the Best of the Bash Award, Red Robin also served the winning burger from its Golden Robin Contest. Beginning Nov. 13, Red Robin invited students from the Florida International University's (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, the beneficiary of all proceeds from the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, to submit their original burger recipes. There were 140 entries to the contest which were then narrowed down to one well-deserved winner.

Derrick Deal was selected as the winner for his Bubblin' Brown Sugar Bar-B-Que Burger, a delicious take on a tavern style cheeseburger with southern charm, featuring brown sugar bacon, grilled red onions, sharp Cheddar cheese, Heinz® Honey Barbeque Sauce and shredded Romaine lettuce on a sesame seed bun.  In addition to the opportunity to serve his winning burger at the Amstel Light Burger Bash, Deal also won a $10,000 scholarship and a chance to have his burger featured on the Red Robin menu. 

For more information about Red Robin and to find a Red Robin® restaurant location near you, visit www.redrobin.com.

About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB)
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (www.redrobin.com), a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., is the Gourmet Burger Authority™, famous for serving more than two dozen craveable, high-quality burgers with Bottomless Steak Fries™ in a fun environment that is welcoming to guests of all ages.  In addition to its many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide variety of salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts and its signature Mad Mixology® Beverages. There are more than 490 Red Robin® restaurants across the United States and Canada, including those operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin... YUMMM®! Connect with Red Robin on Facebook and Twitter

About Chef Robert Irvine

With more than 25 years in the culinary profession, there aren't many places Chef Robert Irvine hasn't cooked or challenges he hasn't had to cook his way out of. During his time in the British Royal Navy and in the years that followed, Robert cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas, in hotels, on the high seas, and even for the Academy Awards. And that was before he started his career in TV.

As the host of one of the Food Network's highest rated shows, Restaurant: Impossible, Robert is best known for saving struggling restaurants across America by assessing and overhauling the restaurant's weakest spots. In 2013, Robert added a new challenge to his resume as he mentored and challenged aspiring chefs as the host of Restaurant Express, a new show on the Food Network.

Going on its third year, Robert continues to tour his live show, Robert Irvine LIVE, across the US. Robert also operates two restaurants in South Carolina, Robert Irvine's Eat and Robert Irvine's Nosh, and he is the author of two cookbooks, Mission: Cook! and Impossible to Easy. Robert previously hosted Food Network's Dinner: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America.

Visit www.ChefIrvine.com to learn more about Robert Irvine, his TV shows, live shows and restaurants.

About the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has been recognized as one of the top hospitality programs in the U.S.  Each year, more than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States and around the world choose FIU for its outstanding reputation, advantageous campus locations, expert faculty, rich curriculum, and fast-track career advantages in the international hotel, foodservice and tourism industries. In August 2006, FIU unveiled the first U.S. School of Hospitality and Tourism in Tianjin, China. The Marriott Tianjin China Program is FIU's largest international program, with a capacity for up to 2,000 students.  For more information about Florida International University's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, visit http://hospitality.fiu.edu/.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.

Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140222/NY69999  
Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120522/NY11686LOGO

SOURCE Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.

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