Ten kids from around the country descended on Denver this month for the fifth annual Red Robin Kids’ Cook-Off Championship – an “Iron Chef”-like event complete with live TV cameras and celebrity judges. At stake was a chance for one kid chef to have his/her burger sold in all U.S. Red Robin® restaurants, a family vacation to Universal Studios Orlando and Red Robin burgers for a year.
This year’s winner, 12-year-old Donovan Duggins from Wichita, Kan., won over the judges with his “Mt. Vesuvius Burger,” complete with his signature “Lava Sauce,” and loads of charisma (he even treated the audience to an impromptu burger joke while putting together his burger). The burger will be sold in Red Robin restaurants in summer 2011, with 50 cents of every sale going to support the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
I got a chance to meet Donovan and his family while filming the competition. I learned that his talents go well beyond cooking the perfect burger – he also plays the viola, writes his own orchestra music and taught himself to play piano (again, he’s only 12!). His family – dressed in matching “Team Donovan” T-shirts – were beaming with pride the entire competition.
Check out this fun “Iron Chef”-inspired video recap that Linhart PR produced. And look for the “Mt. Vesuvius Burger” at your nearest Red Robin this summer.