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Former American Idol Winner Kris Allen Visits Chef Marc Murphy’s Grey Salt

TAMPA, Fla. (December 21, 2015) – Prior to performing at a private show last Saturday, December 19, at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, former American Idol winner Kris Allen stopped by to dine at Grey Salt, the property’s newest Mediterranean restaurant with renowned Chef Marc Murphy.

Allen, an Arkansas native, was the winner of the eighth season of American Idol. Earlier this month, he announced his “Letting You In” 2016 tour in support of his fourth studio album due out next spring.

About Grey Salt
Grey Salt, Chef Marc Murphy’s Mediterranean restaurant, is located at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Florida. The accessible menu takes its inspiration from Murphy’s childhood, highlighting items that trace back to his French heritage and Italian roots. With a focus on locally sourced fresh seafood, the menu also features artisanal flatbreads, handmade pastas as well as rotisserie and grilled meats. Murphy complements his diverse menu with a world class bar program, featuring local craft beers, barrel and bottled aged cocktails and an international selection of wines focusing on the Mediterranean region served by the quartino, half & full bottles.

About Marc Murphy
Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he’ll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Washington DC, and Rome. For some, growing up the son of a globetrotting diplomat might have been stressful, yet for Murphy, this dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, and afforded him the luxury of learning from a young age just how much he loved the world of cooking and of restaurants. Since then, Murphy has logged more than 20 years in the restaurant business, working in some of the world’s most highly esteemed kitchens, including Le Miraville in Paris, and Le Cirque in New York. He was also the Executive Chef at Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World in the World Trade Center, La Fourchette and Chinoiserie.

In March 2004, Murphy opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Murphy opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog as well

as other comfort food favorites. In 2007, Murphy was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the prestigious Time Warner Center where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. In October 2013, Murphy opened Kingside at the Viceroy New York hotel on New York’s iconic West 57th streets serving his interpretation of New American cuisine. Murphy’s restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as Executive Chef and Owner. In addition to the restaurants, Murphy also heads up the company’s catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations.

Today, Murphy’s involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on The Food Network’s highest rated hit show, CHOPPED as well as appearances on IRON CHEF AMERICA, GUYS’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, WORST COOKS IN AMERICA, UNIQUE EATS, THE BEST THING I EVER ATE, THE BEST THING I EVER MADE, THE RACHAEL RAY SHOW and THE TODAY SHOW among others. He is the President of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp, as well as a member of the Food + Finance High School’s Industry Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. In 2012, Marc joined the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc’s debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking was released in April 2015.

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the premier entertainment destination of Central Florida and the place where celebrities love to stay and play. Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, this electrifying casino destination is one of the most successful and largest casinos in the world and is located in Tampa, Florida off of I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, between I-75 and I-275, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa. Featuring high stakes table games along with thousands of the hottest slot machines, the rock star amenities at this AAA Four Diamond rated hotel and casino range from seven award-winning Zagat-rated restaurants, a newly renovated Rock Spa® and VIP services galore. The casino offers a valet service or free, self-parking. For more information, please call 866-502-PLAY or visit us online and via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

About Hard Rock International
With a total of 206 venues in 64 countries, including 158 cafes, 23 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, Fl., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Chicago, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Macau and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include San Juan, Lagos and Gran Canaria, Spain. New Hard Rock Hotel projects include Atlanta, Berlin, Daytona Beach, Dubai, Los Cabos, Tenerife, Abu Dhabi, and Shenzhen and Haikou in China. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.

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CONTACTS:
Nikki Yourison, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, (813) 627-7623, nikki.yourison@seminolehardrock.com
Chris Dirato, Bitner Goodman, (954) 703-7938, chris@bitnergoodman.com
Tara Halper, Key Group Worldwide for Marc Murphy, (212) 988-7702, thalper@keygroup.tv