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T.G.I. Friday's® Restaurants Unleash 'Ultimate' Comfort Food
Carrollton, TX | January 05, 2009
After a nationwide recipe search to determine the Ultimate Comfort Food, an entree inspired by Rick Massa, a 58-year-old retired Los Angeles Police Department/SWAT Officer from Simi Valley, California, will be featured at over 600 US T.G.I. Friday's® restaurants beginning today.
Massa's recipe was judged to be best in class by a panel of food experts on Food Network's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown," - a six-week series featuring everyday folks with the best recipes in America pitting their best dishes against one another for $25,000, national acclaim and the chance to have his or her recipe featured nationwide at T.G.I. Friday's restaurants. This is the second consecutive year in which winning recipes from the show have inspired entrees on the Friday's menu.
The "Ultimate" result: Gourmet Mac n' Five Cheese, rich and creamy five-cheese blend of Fontina, Bleu, Gruyere, White Cheddar and Parmesan, tossed with crispy bacon and penne pasta and topped with Blue Cheese crumbles and a Parmesan-crust topping, served with a juicy grilled chicken breast.
"We've kept very close to the inspiration of the winning recipe, straight down to the toasted breadcrumbs on top," said Scott Randolph, senior director of culinary, R&D for T.G.I. Friday's USA. "We used the same delicious blend of five cheeses and added a little protein to go with your dairy and grains. It screams flavor and says Friday's all the way through."
And for the nearly 600,000 members of Friday's guest recognition program, "Give Me More Stripes (www.givememorestripes.com)," an additional bonus: a coupon worth $5 off any Ultimate Recipe Showdown entree. The coupon, emailed to Give Me More Stripes members earlier today, is valid through February 16, 2009.
Food Network's "Ultimate Recipe Showdown," in its second season, features original recipes, whittled down from thousands of submissions, in six categories -- Comfort Food, Burgers, Cakes, Hot & Spicy, Desserts and Hometown Favorites. The show, hosted by Guy Fieri, premiered last night with four finalists competing in two rounds: speed and signature dish. The show will air every Sunday at 9 pm ET/PT through February 15.