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Pizza Inn names Culinary Challenge winners


November 7, 2011
By Canadian Pizza

November 7, 2011, The Colony, TX – Pizza Inn has named the winners of its annual National Culinary Contest.

The contest invites recipes from franchise owners and employees across the restaurant chain and puts the top dishes onto the national menu. This year's winners are a grilled cheese pizza and a buttered cinnasugar pizzert.

"Our Pizza Inn team members know our customers so well. The grilled cheese pizza and buttered cinnasugar pizzert are proof, once again, that great ideas and delicious recipes can come from the field," said Charlie Morrison, president and CEO of Pizza Inn. "Thanks to another incredible Culinary Challenge at Pizza Inn, we look forward to serving these new additions across our network."

The grilled cheese pizza boasts a grilled cheese center on New York crust, a grilled cheese sauce and a generous mix of mozzarella and cheddar. The brainchild of Pizza Inn veteran Debbie Seaton, of Elizabethton, Tenn., the Grilled Cheese Pizza was born out of simplicity and taste, reminiscent of the grilled cheese sandwiches mom would make.

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Seaton drew from her 31 years of experience with customers of Pizza Inn. She began her career fresh out of high school as a server. After holding every job from host, to cook, to prep person, to shift leader, and now manager for almost 15 years, Seaton knew exactly what people would like.

"I wanted to create something simple and delicious, and have fun with it in the process," Seaton said. "Pizzas always have toppings, and I thought—why not something completely different? The grilled cheese pizza was the perfect answer."

With instant access to ingredients to experiment with, she polished the recipe in one go.

Seaton says customers now come to the restaurant to request the grilled cheese pizza. The location averages about 40 grilled cheese pizzas each week.

The creator of the buttered cinnasugar pizzert also tapped into customer cravings. Perfected at the Pizza Inn in Greenwood, Miss., the delectable pizzert offers a sweet ending with its layers of sugary cinnamon cookie dough drizzled with icing.

"Our customers love to indulge in the new buttered cinnasugar pizzert," said Bob Singh, who owns the Greenwood restaurant and five other Pizza Inn locations in Mississippi. "It's a wonderful complement to our already popular menu of fresh, traditional and specialty pizzas."

The hit recipes secured the winners a trip to the national Pizza Inn meeting in Tunica, Miss., the prestigious title of 2011 Culinary Challenge winner and $1,000 in cash.