Winners Announced for the Mushroom Council and James Beard Foundation 2017 Blended Burger Project
- by Laura Hillen
NEW YORK, NY – One of the rising stars of foodservice, the Blend is inspiring some of the hottest dishes in restaurants and homes across the U.S. Infusing the iconic appeal of burgers with the winning flavor of mushrooms, the Blend is pushing mushrooms to consumers in a big, new way. In this vein, the James Beard Foundation and Mushroom Council set out to find which chefs could cultivate the most winsome blended burger in the land.
The 2017 Blended Burger Project, according to a press release, ran from Memorial Day through the end of July. Tallying the entries of 414 restaurants in 45 states, chains, diners, white tablecloth bistros, and upscale eaters all took part in the contest.
So, after 410,420 votes were cast, who were the winners? With the most online votes received, the top five winners were as follows:
The Porchetta Burger, Bareburger
This New York City, NY-based restaurant is a 50/50 blend of mushroom and wild boar. Topped with black-garlic aioli, broccoli rabe, oven-roasted tomatoes, and aged provolone cheese on a ciabatta bun, this selection is selection perfect for the biggest veggie-craving burger fan.
The Goomba Burger, The Bistro
Coming out of Surf City, NC, this burger blends local grass-fid Mill Family Farm beef with confit oyster and portobella mushrooms as the main star to an iconic end piece. The burger also features Havarti, shiitake, bacon lemongrass aioli, heirloom tomato, and baby arugula on a house-baked bun.
Brevard’s Taste of Summer Burger, Cedar’s Café
Adding a flare of ingenuity to a classic foodservice staple, this Melbourne, FL-based eatery blended mushrooms and lamb into its burger. Adding sour cherry mustard, basil, Brie cheese, and an herb lemon caper walnut relish, this creation is topped off with a liquid smoke glazed bun.
The Greeklish Burger, Houston Yacht Club
This beef chuck burger adds some produce love with its blend by incorporating cremini mushroom and capers into its patty. The dish is completed with a basil aioli melted over the patty on a brioche bun, topped with a mini Greek salad and paprika oil.
The Backyard Burger, VINTAGE Kitchen
Grass-fed beef blended with confit oyster mushrooms, this foodservice creation boasts a wide spectrum of tastes: aged double cheddar, charred ramp mayo, bacon rust, cab franc molasses, crispy hayman potato straws, coffee salt, demi-pain perdu, and brown butter mornay. This Norfolk, VA, takes “blend” to a new level.
All the above winners will cook their winning Blended Burgers at the historic James Beard House in New York City in early 2018. One winner will also win an all-expense paid trip for two to the 2018 Blended Burger event in 2018, as well.
How will the Blend push the power of produce next? As a consumer and produce professional, I can't wait to see and taste what the movement cooks up next.