With more than 350 entries from restaurants, and 250,000 votes from consumers, the 4th Annual Blended Burger Project competition was tough this year.
The James Beard Foundation, which oversees the competition that asks chefs to blend mushrooms with meat (or other protein), recently announced the winners in a news release.
The restaurants and their entries are:
- The Bearded Chef, Palm Bay, Fla. — “Thai My-Shroom.” Monterey Mushrooms blended with beef and pork, ginger, lemongrass, cilantro and birds eye chili, with spicy Thai ketchup, pickled enoki mayo with mushroom cured egg yolks and smoked maitake bacon on a toasted mushroom dusted brioche.
- Burgh’ers Restaurant, Pittsburgh, Pa. — “The Fox Chapel.” A 75%-25% blend of beef to roasted mixed mushrooms topped with goat cheese, pickled red onion, avocado, spring mix and a balsamic glaze.
- Courtyard Café at Raymond James, St. Petersburg, Fla. — “Smokey Mushroom Venison Blended Burger.” Venison, Angus beef and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, chargrilled and seasoned with Alder-smoked sea salt, cracked pepper and porcini mushroom powder, topped with melted smoked cheddar and wild ramp béarnaise, on a sourdough pretzel roll with beet ketchup.
- Curb Side Bistro, Odessa, Texas — “El Tejano Borracho” A 70%-30% blend of ground beef and shiitake, white button and portabella mushrooms, topped with pulled pork, tangy barbecue sauce, jalapeno and mushroom corn fritter, cilantro ranch, pickled red onions and a mushroom white cheese sauce on a toasted brioche bun.
- Toltec Brewing, Albuquerque, N.M. — “The Royale” A New Mexico brisket and roasted crimini patty. topped with aged white cheddar, Young Guns Mexico green chile, herb and ancho mayo, applewood bacon, fried egg and heirloom tomato on a jalapeno brioche bun.
Votes from restaurant patrons and the public narrowed the 350 entries to 20, and three judges chose the five winners. The judges were TV personality/James Beard award winner Andrew Zimmern, Good Housekeeping’s culinary director Susan Westmoreland, and StarChefs editor-in-chief Antoinette Bruno.
“We were thrilled at the wide array of creative recipes and types of eateries that took part in this year’s competition,” said Kris Moon, chief operating officer of the James Beard Foundation, in the release. “Adding fresh, chopped mushrooms to the burger patty makes the traditional burger much more flavorful and sustainable — a change James Beard Foundation stands behind.”