A Fayetteville restaurant was recently named as the winner of the second annual US Foods Next Top Product Contest, beating out over 1,000 submissions from across the country.
Greenhouse Grille co-owner and chef Jerrmy Gawthrop took the top spot in a cook-off at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas for his Black Bean Sliders recipe, a variation of the local restaurant’s popular black bean burgers.
Gawthrop and restaurant co-owner Clayton Suttle entered the contest over the summer and by mid August, they were named as one of 55 finalists to compete in an online vote to narrow the field. Greenhouse Grille fans voted in force, and the restaurant won the central division to qualify for the Final 8 competition held live in Las Vegas on Friday Nov. 8.
Chef Gawthrop created two versions of his dish; one plain version so that the judges could try it a-la-carte, and another plated version dressed up however Gawhtrop saw fit.
Once the judges had deliberated, the local guys came out on top, scoring a $15,000 remodel for their kitchen, and a $5,000 cash prize.
“The black bean slider was created to fill a void I saw in the market for a healthy, vegetarian burger that also tastes delicious,” said Gawthrop. “This recipe has been wildly popular among our customers at Greenhouse Grille and I’m thrilled that soon chefs nationwide will have a chance to add it to their menus.”
Judges scored the winning dish based on set criteria. In addition to taste, US Foods was also looking for an appealing product that its customers would be excited to cook with in their own kitchens. Gawthrop primarily uses the product as a slider, but the black bean cake can be used in numerous ways, such as a kid’s burger, side item, or an add-on for a salad or a brunch dish.
Greenhouse Grille’s Black Bean Sliders will now become a US Food product, and will be distributed to restaurants across the country starting in 2014.
Gawthrop said he plans to invest his winnings into his kitchen by updating old equipment to take the restaurant to the next level.
Congrats to the local guys for the big win.