The contest involves coming up with recipes for any one of four secret ingredients. Bison was the first, and Ted's just revealed Anaheim peppers as the second. Using those ingredients alone, cooks have already come up with such entries as "Bison Bruschetta with Blue Cheese Horseradish Spread, Bison Stew with Fall Vegetables and Bison Stuffed Peppers," says Jessica Smith, director of marketing for Ted's.
Ted's will reveal two more secret ingredients, and then let competitors post videos or recipes and photos of their original ideas on how to use each one. The ingredients are all things that anyone who eats at Ted's should recognize, she says, such as bison. "Ted's Montana Grill is well known for featuring bison on our menu and for helping to increase bison's popularity among consumers," Smith points out. "There's even a bison in our logo. So we started with that ingredient because it's a key focus for us, it's versatile and it's a healthy meat."
In June, the winners in each ingredient category will get to compete in the Chef Showdown at Ted's headquarters in Atlanta. And they'll have the potential to win much more than a trip. "The recipe from our grand-prize winner wins a spot on our menu for a featured period of time," says Smith. "He or she will also win free food at Ted's for a year, a culinary weekend in New York City, and a complete set of All Clad cookware, a prize package worth about $5,000. Our runner-up first-, second- and third-place winners will win Ted's $500 and $250 gift cards and sets of All Clad cookware."The idea behind the Ted's contest was to let amateurs do what professional chefs at the company do. "Who knows? The next Emeril Lagasse or Paula Deen might just be discovered," Smith adds. "We wanted to create a fun, easy contest that featured ingredients we use here at Ted's Montana Grill and also showcase our own great food. Since we continually research and test new recipes, we thought, 'Why not let our fans get in on the fun?' This is a competition where amateur chefs can submit their recipe ideas and have a chance to be recognized for their talents and win great prizes."
Ted's Montana Grill knows a thing or two about amateur success. The chain that started out with just one location in Ohio, now has restaurants across the country, with eight in Colorado along -- including spots in Larimer Square, Littleton, Westminster and Lakewood.
To read about the contest and learn the next secret ingredient, go to www.tedsmontanagrill.com.