(LAS VEGAS) – Lori Brennan, Leadership Development coordinator for Amazon, turned her family’s Seattle Salmon Bowl into an award-winning dish when she took first place in the second annual MGM Resorts Recipe Showdown in Las Vegas. Open to meeting planners, travel professionals and leisure partners, the competition was designed by MGM Resorts to showcase clients’ culinary talents and their favorite family recipes.
“The Recipe Showdown gave us a unique, fun vehicle to engage with our travel and meeting community throughout the year,” said Michael Dominguez, Chief Sales Officer for MGM Resorts International. “The lively competition allowed colleagues to interact in a new way, bringing people together with the joy of food.”
Brennan earned her way to the finals in Las Vegas after winning Seattle’s Showdown, one of 16 regional cooking competitions held across the country and Canada between June and September. Combining Brennan’s two loves, Seattle and Sushi, the Seattle Salmon Bowl was created for her husband and is her family’s version of fast food. For her winning efforts, she received an all-expense-paid trip to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami, February 25 – 28, 2016.
Lori Brennan said, “I want to thank MGM Resorts for the top-notch experience from start to finish. This event was a really great opportunity to meet other people and share our passion for cooking. The whole thing really made my husband and I feel like part of the MGM Resorts’ family.”
Nancy Nachman, with The Meetings Concierge in Salt Lake City, won second place for her Spanish-Style White Fish Stew, and Maria Garcia, with BCD Meetings & Events out of Chicago, received third place for her appetizer, Huarache de Sonora. A digital cookbook with the 16 winning recipes from each city showdown will be available soon.
The finalists went head-to-head during the main event, held in MGM Grand Garden Arena’s professional kitchen, and were judged by three of Las Vegas’ top executive chefs, Royden Ellamar of the soon-to-open Harvest at Bellagio, Joshua Smith from BARDOT Brasserie at ARIA, and Steve Benjamin of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand.
Chef Ellamar said, “The Seattle Salmon Bowl was our top pick because the dish was simple and elegant. The rice and salmon were cooked perfectly, and the flavors of each ingredient worked well to enhance the other. The sauce had the right amount of salinity, the radish sprouts added a hint of spiciness and the avocado provided the creamy richness we crave. Well done!”
MGM Resorts Recipe Showdown City Winners: