Red Lobster, Food Network partner again


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 20, 2009

The winning entrée of Sunday night’s “The Next Food Network Star” will be featured on the Today’s Fresh Fish menu at 690 Red Lobster restaurants across North America.

Jeffrey Saad’s Wood-Grilled Fresh Tilapia with Spicy Soy Broth beat out three other entrées to win Episode 7’s Red Lobster Beachside Wood Grilling Challenge. Saad and contestants Debbie Lee and Melissa d’Arabian advanced to Episode 8, while Jamika Pessoa was booted off the show’s fifth season.

Episode 7 featured Red Lobster Senior Executive Chef Michael LaDuke, along with celebrity chefs Michael Symon and Bobby Flay. The judges challenged the four finalists to develop a unique wood-grilled recipe using fresh fish served at Red Lobster.

“Jeffrey’s dish was particularly impressive because it used bold flavors to enhance the delicious, natural flavor of wood-fire grilled fresh fish, without overwhelming it,” said LaDuke. “It’s an innovative, fresh dish that I’m sure our guests will love.”

This is the second time Red Lobster, which is owned by Darden Restaurants of Orlando, Fla., has sponsored a “Next Food Network Star” episode. Kelsey Nixon’s Macadamia Crusted Tilapia with White Chocolate Beurre Blanc won last season’s Red Lobster challenge and was added to the casual seafood chain’s Today’s Fresh Fish menu; 31,820 plates of Nixon’s winning entrée were sold in the promotion’s first week.

To watch a demonstration of Saad’s winning recipe, click here.

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