Orlando, Fla. (June 23, 2008) In last night’s episode of The Next Food Network Star (airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT), judges selected contestant Kelsey Nixon’s recipe for White Chocolate Macadamia Crusted Tilapia to be featured on Red Lobster’s “Today’s Fresh Fish” menu. Red Lobster Senior Executive Chef Michael LaDuke served as a guest judge and helped select Kelsey Nixon, from North Ogden, Utah, as the Episode 4 Fresh Fish Challenge winner.
Last night’s episode featured Iron Chef Michael Symon and Red Lobster Senior Executive Chef Michael LaDuke challenging the finalists to create unique, approachable dishes using one of Red Lobster’s fresh fish species . Finalists were informed that the winning recipe would be featured on the “Today’s Fresh Fish” menu at 680 Red Lobster restaurants across North America.
The Food Network also told the finalists they also had to use an unusual Iron Chef-inspired ingredient, such as grape jelly, white chocolate, coffee or Fruit Loops. Kelsey’s White Chocolate Macadamia Crusted Tilapia blended a buttery beurre blanc and smooth white chocolate with the crunch and nuttiness of macadamia nuts and coconut.
“Kelsey’s recipe is an innovative, flavorful take on simple fresh fish – the unique ingredient combination of macadamia nuts, coconut and white chocolate is an excellent compliment to increasingly popular tilapia,” said Chef LaDuke. “We are thrilled to have her winning dish on the ‘Today’s Fresh Fish’ menu.”
Launched nationwide last year, “Today’s Fresh Fish” offers guests five to eight fresh fish species each day at all 680 Red Lobster restaurants across North America. Guests can choose to have their fresh fish grilled and lightly seasoned, broiled and lightly seasoned, blackened with Cajun spices or grilled with a new sweet and spicy glaze. Red Lobster’s “Today’s Fresh Fish” menu also offers innovative chef’s creations that each restaurant prepares using locally popular species, from grouper to Arctic char. In addition to favorites such as salmon, trout and tilapia, the sheets include regional species, from wall-eyed pike in the Midwest to Pacific red rockfish on the West Coast. Each day, Red Lobster restaurants print their own “Today’s Fresh Fish” sheet listing the day’s unique offerings.
To watch a behind-the-scenes video from “The Next Food Network Star” Episode 4 and read more about Chef LaDuke’s experience as a guest judge, visit www.redlobster.com. The recipe for Kelsey’s White Chocolate Macadamia Crusted Tilapia will be posted along with a video demonstration.
About Red Lobster
Diners have recognized Red Lobster as the nation’s best seafood restaurant for the 19th year in a row in a nationwide poll by Restaurants & Institutions magazine. Nation’s Restaurant News recently honored Red Lobster with its prestigious MenuMasters award in the Best Menu/Line Extension category for the company’s “Today’s Fresh Fish” initiative. For the Red Lobster nearest you, call 1-800-LOBSTER or visit www.redlobster.com.