ANDERSON, Ind. —
Stephens was the person who really gave Harrington the opportunity to be in the commercial. Darden’s advertising and marketing contacted Stephens and other general managers across the country to choose two or three employees from their restaurants for the commercial.
Stephens chose Harrington, Harrington’s girlfriend, and Harrington’s best friend to have Skype auditions for the part. Harrington was chosen to advance from that stage and was flown to Los Angeles for a second round of auditions. “It was kind of good luck and my manager putting in a good word for me,” Harrington said. “My girlfriend and best friend were both really happy for me. There was no worst-case scenario.”
After the second round of auditions, Harrington was flown to New York City where the commercial was shot in a day at Silvercup Studios, home of numerous hit shows including “30 Rock” and “Person of Interest.”
Both Harrington and Stephens agree that the commercial was a special opportunity for a local resident.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one of our homegrown boys to have the opportunity to go and get wined and dined and have that corporate experience shooting a commercial,” Stephens said.
Stephens believes that the commercial and Harrington’s work ethic will provide a bright future for the chef. “He has all the potential to become a great leader for Darden,” Stephens said.