Greenhouse Grille in Fayetteville is competing in the U.S. Foods “Next Top Product” contest. From thousands of product entries nationwide, Greenhouse Grille’s Black Bean Burger Slider has made it to the final 55 products, becoming the first restaurant from Arkansas to make it this far. Online voting (until Sept. 20) via Facebook will determine the final eight products to compete at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas in November.
To Vote, go to www.usfoods.com/NTP, select the ‘Central’ region and vote for Greenhouse Grille’s Black Bean Slider. You can vote once per day, every day until Friday, Sept. 20. The eight finalists will compete in a head-to-head cook off at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas Nov. 8 for cash, prizes and the winning recipe to be transformed into ‘U.S. Foods’ next nationally distributed product.
TFW got to talk to owner of Greenhouse Grille Jerrmy Gawthrop about their inspiration behind their now nationally-recognized slider. Here’s what he had to say:
Q. What was the inspiration for your food item?
A. We created the Black Bean Burger prior to opening at our original location in May 2006. Knowing we’d have a large vegetarian customer base, we created this burger to be vegan/vegetarian friendly. From opening day it has been one of our top sellers and a favorite dish for many of our customers.
Q. Why do you think it is so popular with the judges? Size, originality…?
A. For this competition we downsized the house burger to a slider. This is a top product competition, and nationwide there is a growing demand for vegan/vegetarian and gluten free items. Our Black Bean Burger can be that and more. A burger, a slider, a patty/cake to put on salads, etc. Oh yeah, and it’s delicious.
Q. What does it mean to you to represent Arkansas in this challenge?
A. We are the first Arkansas restaurant in the history of this competition to make it to the final 55 restaurants/recipes. The feedback we are getting is that of surprise that a vegetarian item is coming from Arkansas. So, it means a lot to represent Fayetteville and Arkansas in general to demonstrate that our culinary vision is more that fried foods and smoked meat. NWA has fast become a destination for foodies and the culinary seekers. Due largely in part to area restaurants putting themselves out there and in return, the word has spread.
Q. What will attending the Last Vegas competition mean for you and your business?
A. Attending the World Food Championships would be very exciting and challenging. This is an event we’d never attend (unless participating), so it’s a great opportunity to go and see other chefs, new products, new equipment, etc. Not to mention the $20,000 kitchen makeover if we were to win. That would be pretty cool too.
For more information on Greenhouse Grille and what they have to offer, visit their website at www.greenhousegrille.com.