Local Chefs Could Finally Get Some Recognition from the Beard Foundation with a Better Burger

Written By Scott Joseph On May 13, 2016

Blended BurgerHere’s a James Beard recognition that could possibly go to a local chef — if you get involved.

The New York based James Beard Foundation has announced its second annual Blended Burger Project, which was formerly known as the Better Burger Project, so I think technically this is the first year.

Anyway, what it is is a challenge from the foundation as part of its 2016 Food Conference for chefs around the country to create a burger with ground beef partially blended with mushrooms. According to a statement from Beardies: “Blending ground meat with finely chopped, cultivated mushrooms introduces a healthier and more sustainable burger that’s better for your guests – with unmatched flavor and inherent nutrition benefits – and our environment at large.

It’s also a killer way to reduce food costs on expensive beef.

The competition is open to restaurateurs and chefs throughout the country. Here’s how it works:
• Complete the registration form at jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject
• Create your “blended burger” by blending at least 25% fresh, finely chopped, cultivated mushrooms into your burger patty
• Send a delicious-looking high-res photo of your “blended burger” dish to Michelle Santoro ([email protected]) for use in the online image gallery at jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject
• Menu the dish throughout the promotion, from Memorial Day – July 31, 2016, and beyond if you choose
• Encourage consumers to vote for your “blended burger” in the online gallery at jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject, based on the voting criteria of most creative use of mushrooms, best flavor profile, and most appetizing appearance
• Use the official Blended Burger Project™ media assets provided by JBF to promote the dish on your menu, website, through social media (@beardfoundation, #BlendedBurgerProject) and throughout your local market and metropolitan-wide publications or broadcast outlets

Complete contest details are available here.

The contest will run from Memorial Day through July 31. The top five vote getters will win a trip to New York to attend the Food Conference in October.

One other thing you should do if you plan to participate: Send the information to me and I’ll pass it along to everyone here so that they can go to the site and vote on your burger.

And nobody better vote for a New Orleans burger.

What do you think, chefs? Do you have an idea for a Better Burger?

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