Red Lobster, Food Network Promotion a 'Success'


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
August 7, 2008

Red Lobster is calling its first-ever promotion on the Food Network "very successful."

Red Lobster Senior Executive Chef Michael LaDuke appeared as a guest judge of the fourth season of the Food Network reality show "The Next Food Network Star" and helped select the winner of a fresh fish challenge on the fourth episode.

Kelsey Nixon's Macadamia Crusted Tilapia with White Chocolate Beurre Blanc won the episode's competition, and her dish was added to Red Lobster's "Today's Fresh Fish" menu, where it will remain until Sept. 1. The casual-seafood chain's 680-plus North American restaurants collectively sold 31,820 plates of Nixon's dish in the promotion's first week.

"For the first week after the episode aired, Kelsey's dish immediately exceeded our expectations," says Red Lobster President Kim Lopdrup. "Six weeks later, the dish continues to drive preference consistent with the other selections on Red Lobster's chef-inspired 'Today's Fresh Fish' menu."

"This was a huge success from a culinary perspective," adds LaDuke. "Working with Kelsey and Food Network exemplifies our passion for translating innovative ideas into exceptional menu items for our guests as we continue to enhance our menu with a renewed emphasis on freshness and culinary expertise."

Additionally, Red Lobster's Web site,, features behind-the-scenes footage of the fourth episode of "The Next Food Network Star," blog entries about LaDuke's guest judge experience, Nixon's winning recipe and a video demonstration of Nixon and LaDuke preparing the dish.

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