T.G.I. Friday''s(R) Restaurants Feature ''Ultimate'' Dark

  CARROLLTON, Texas, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- After a nationwide contest to determine the Ultimate Cakes Recipe, a dessert inspired by Janice Kollar, a 57-year-old singer/songwriter from Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey will be featured at over 600 US T.G.I. Friday''s? restaurants beginning today.

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Source: T.G.I. Friday''s Restaurants

· T.G.I. Friday''s ''Ultimate'' Dark Chocolate Cupcake Duo · Click Here to Download Image Kollar''s cake 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 America''s greatest home cooks battling head-to-head for $25,000, culinary supremacy and a spot on T.G.I. Friday''s menu.

"This is a chocolate lover''s dream dessert," said Scott Randolph, senior director of culinary, R&D for T.G.I. Friday''s. "It''s so tempting, you may order it first."

Randolph and his R&D team were challenged to transition Kollar''s Classic Chocolate Layer Cake recipe into a dish that would fit a strategic need for the Friday''s menu without sacrificing the spirit of the original recipe.

Friday''s "ultimate" result: Dark Chocolate Cupcake Duo, two rich dark chocolate cupcakes topped with layers of creamy chocolate frosting and sprinkled with dark chocolate chips.

"We took a brilliant and flavorful recipe for a cake and captured the essence of it in a smaller package," continued Randolph. "Cupcakes are something we''ve been researching for a long time and this recipe proved to be the ideal fit. We updated a childhood favorite with an ultimate recipe and by converting the cake into a cupcake our guests can now experience all of the powerful, tongue-tingling flavors of a cake in a perfectly portioned dessert."

"For forty-three years, we''ve been fanatical about bringing the best tasting food and drink to our guests," said Mike Archer, president and chief operating officer of T.G.I. Friday''s USA. "Now, we''re featuring the best recipes from America''s greatest home cooks on our menu: powerfully memorable flavors, from burgers to cupcakes, you can experience only at Friday''s."

In addition to the Dark Chocolate Cupcake Duo, Friday''s is featuring the following winning recipes from the show''s respective category winners:

Ultimate Comfort Food, by Ivan Aviles, a 39-year-old general manager at Chili''s from Holtsville, New York: Chipotle Grilled Steak Sandwich, tender Cajun-rubbed skirt steak served on toasted ciabatta with a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses, roasted plantain slices, lettuce, tomato, onion & Chipotle mayo, served with crispy onion rings.

Ultimate Burgers, by Kristine Snyder, a 47-year-old professional harpist from Kihei, Hawaii: Ahi Tuna Ciabatta Burgers, two mini Ahi tuna burgers served on ciabatta with lettuce, tomatoes, green onions and Anaheim Chili sauce and served with a side of field greens tossed with Italian vinaigrette.

Ultimate Chicken, by Amparo Alam, a 51-year-old Wal-Mart bakery worker and full-time mom from Syracuse, Utah: Peruvian Herb-Roasted Chicken, a roasted half-chicken seasoned with a lime, garlic, cumin and herb rub and served with sweet potato fries and a spicy Aji pepper sauce for dipping.

Food Network''s "Ultimate Recipe Showdown," hosted by Marc Summers and Guy Fieri, features 54 original recipes, whittled down from thousands of submissions, divided into six categories -- Burgers, Chicken, Comfort Food, Pasta, Cakes, and Cookies. Every Sunday at 9 pm ET/PT, nine finalists compete under the lights and in front of an enthusiastic crowd to make the most delicious version of their recipe. A panel of judges including Katherine Alford (Director, Food Network Test Kitchen), Kerry Simon (chef and partner at SIMON LA, Simon at Palms Place and CatHouse at the Luxor) and Russ Parsons (Food Columnist, The Los Angeles Times) then score each dish on creativity, appearance, ease of execution and taste.

Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., the parent company of T.G.I. Friday''s Inc., is a privately held company owned by Minneapolis-based Carlson, a world leader in the hospitality, travel and marketing industries. As of March 2008, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide owns, operates, franchises or licenses more than 1,000 restaurants in 60 countries. For more information, visit

FOOD NETWORK () is a unique lifestyle network and Web site that strives to be way more than cooking. The network is committed to exploring new and different ways to approach food -- through pop culture, competition, adventure, and travel -- while also expanding its repertoire of technique-based information. Food Network is distributed to more than 90 million U.S. households and averages more than seven million Web site users monthly. With headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Knoxville, Food Network can be seen internationally in Canada, Australia, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Monaco, Andorra, Africa, France, and the French-speaking territories in the Caribbean and Polynesia. The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP - News), which also owns and operates HGTV (), DIY Network (), Great American Country () and FINE LIVING (), is the manager and general partner.

Source: T.G.I. Friday''s Restaurants