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Red Robin Puts Kids’ Contest-Winning Burger on Menu

By • Aug 5th, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog

Gourmet burger chain Red Robin has opened up their annual Kids’ Cook-Off Contest.  For the fifth year in a row, pint-sized chefs between the ages of 6 and 12 are invited to submit their best burger recipe through September 12.  Finalists compete in a live cook-off in early December, and a grand prize winner will be chosen from that group.  And, as in years past, the winner will see their culinary creation put on the Red Robin menu.

2009′s winner was Emma Potts from Bonney Lake, WA.  The 10-year-old’s blue-ribbon burg started coming out of the kitchens at Red Robins all over the country this week.  Take a closer look at her Spicy Honey-Glazed Bacon Burger:

That bad boy is topped with Havarti cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, bacon, and honey.  And for the next 6 weeks, when you order one at Red Robin, fifty cents will be donated to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Red Robin has contributed over $170,000 to NCMEC since 2006 through this campaign.  You know, it would be easy for Red Robin to use this annual promotion strictly for their own benefit, or to have some corporate fatcat sponsor merely looking to help push product.  As a father of two young daughters, I love this tie-in, which explains why I’ve written about it here for two years running.

But as a cheeseburger chowhound, I also love the creativity that the next-gen burgermeisters showed in the 2009 entries.  Fifty of the best are compiled in a free cookbook that Red Robin offers for download via their website.  If you ask me, Richard Blais, Michael Symon, and Rachael Ray had better watch their buns, because some of these kids are showing real burger-topping talent.  Recipes in the cookbook include insane ingredients like deep-fried dill pickles, peach chutney, artichoke slices, prickly-pear mayo, calamari, and deconstructed jalapeno poppers.  Heck, a kid from California even used mac and cheese as burger dressing, in a move I whole-heartedly endorse.

If you’re the parent of young children, or even just a burger-loving fan looking for some new tastes, download the cookbook full of kid-friendly recipes and back-to-school safety tips.  And visit one of the 430+ Red Robin locations across the US and Canada to order a Spicy Honey-Glazed Bacon Burger, knowing that you’re helping the burger chefs of tomorrow get home safely to their test kitchens.

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