Chefs nationwide are re-imagining the classic American burger with The James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project, a nationwide initiative that challenges chefs to blend mushrooms with meat to create a more delicious, nutritious, and sustainable burger. To make it fun, the foundation has made a competition of it to see which chef can make the best version of the Blended Burger, decided by you, the people!
From now until July 31, diners have the option to vote for their favorite Blended Burger on the James Beard website, with the winning chef earning a trip to cook at the historic James Beard House. The winner will be chosen based on three criteria: 1) most creative use of mushrooms, 2) best flavor profile and 3) presentation. A panel of food experts selected by the James Beard Foundation will determine five winners from the top 20 entries with the most online votes. Experts, including Andrew Zimmern (James Beard Award-winning TV personality), Susan Westmoreland (Culinary Director, Good Housekeeping), and Antoinette Bruno (CEO, StarChefs.com), will determine the top five winners. Customers who vote for their favorite blended burger online will also be entered to win an expenses paid trip for two to the 2018 Blended Burger event at the James Beard House.
For the first time, Andiamo at Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport is joining the competition with their “Crave Burger,” a 30-70 blend of cremini, maitake and shiitake mushrooms, angus beef, porcini powder. The limited-time burger is flame grilled, topped with Hooks 5yr. aged cheddar and stacked on a toasted pretzel bun with pickled green tomato, pancetta, bibb lettuce, heirloom tomato, amontillado sherry aioli.
These Chicago and surrounding area hotspots will also be participating in this year's competition giving healthy eaters plenty of options to vote on:
The Berghoff Restaurant-Ground beef, roasted poblano, mushroom, green pepper, and caramelized onion burgers with muenster cheese on Kaiser with chips, lettuce and tomato.
The Cellar at The Stained Glass- a blend of ground beef and mushrooms topped with The Cellar's Awesome Sauce, cheddar and chihuahua cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickled relish. Served with a side of fries.
Duke's Alehouse & Kitchen- grassfed beef and portabello mushroom blend topped with sun-dried tomato pesto, caramelized onion, basil mayo and smoked cheddar on a toasted brioche bun.
Fulton Market Kitchen- Slagel Family Farm ground beef blended with wild mushrooms topped with pimiento cheese, neuske bacon, bread & butter pickles, lettuce and FMK's secret sauce on a brioche bun.
Kitty O'Sheas- a 30-70 blend of assorted mushrooms (Shitake, White Bottom, and Portabella) and ground beef topped with Irish Cheddar, Ramp Pesto Aioli and Tempura Battered Pickles.
Little Goat Diner- a 75-25 blend of beef and roasted shiitake mushrooms. Served as a choice of patty on any of LGD's regular menu burgers.
Museum of Science and Industry's Brain Food Court- a blend of fresh ground beef, diced mushrooms, cauliflower and Spanish onion patty on a toasted Brioche bun with Cheddar or American cheese and topped with spicy aioli, shredded romaine, sliced tomato and butter pickles.
Grab your friends and eat consciously on your next outing. And remember to vote for your favorite Blended Burger, it could win you the foodie trip of a lifetime.