2016 JBF Food Conference Opening Reception: Event Recap

The kick off to the 2016 JBF Food Conference was held Sunday, October 16th at the historic James Beard House in New York City.


It was a deluge of Blended Burgers! The opening reception for the James Beard Foundation’s 2016 Food Conference featured the five winners of this year’s Blended Burger Project™ cooking their burgers for attendees.

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The more than 150 reception attendees – including leaders in the healthy and sustainable food movement, elected officials, fellow chefs, and media — feasted on slider versions of each of the chef’s winning recipes. The chefs’ restaurants were the top five recipients of the more than 2 million consumer votes submitted in this year’s competition that featured 350 restaurants menuing their takes on The Blend.


Honored chefs (and their burgers):


Michael and Laurence Gottlieb, The Wood’s Kitchen, Bloomingdale, Ga. served up a Worcestershire-glazed double mushroom burger with charred Vidalia onion on a mushroom-salted brioche bun.


Logan Guleff, Logan’s Underground Supper Club, Memphis, Tenn. presented “The Mushroom Monster”: equal parts portobella mushrooms and ground beef, then seasoned with its own Legends seasoning blend. The burger was topped with fontina cheese, lettuce, tomato and bacon and served with a mini-milkshake.


Toni Elkhouri, Cedar’s Café, Melbourne, Fla. featured ground beef blended with portobella, shiitake and cremini mushrooms, topped with pomegranate ketchup, banana pepper curry mustard, tahini remoulade, balsamic onion, goat cheese, bacon, spinach and avocado.


Adrian Cruz, The Orchard Lounge, McAllen, Texas created a shiitake, chorizo and beef blend patty, topped with homemade strawberry fig jam, chipotle aioli, pickled cucumber, butter lettuce, a fried egg, bacon, tomato and string mushrooms.


Eric Kinniburgh and Jon Lemon, Bareburger, New York City (LaGuardia Place location) topped their wild boar and sweet tamari mushroom blended burger with picked red onion, crispy mustard greens and a Sriracha vinaigrette.


2016 Blended Burger Project Winning Chefs (L-R: Laurence Gottlieb, The Wood’s Kitchen; Jon Lemon, Bareburger; Toni Elkhouri, Cedar’s Café; Eric Kinniburgh, Bareburger; Michael Gottlieb, The Wood’s Kitchen; Logan Guleff, Logan’s Underground Supper Club; Adrian Cruz, The Orchard Lounge)

Photo Credit: Kent Miller courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.

Game Day Blend Playbook: How To Make the Perfect Burgers

Bring your A-game to the pre-game. Click through our #GameDayBlend Playbook below to help perfect your blended burgers this tailgating season! Looking for the big picture? View the full Game Day Blend Playbook.

game-day-blend-burger-slide1 how-to-game-day-blend-burger Step 7: Plate and devour!

Enter Your #GameDayBlend

Don’t forget to throw blended burgers on the grill at your parties this October for a chance to win the ultimate tailgate prize pack!

How To Play:
1. Serve blended burgers (get recipes here!) at all of your tailgate parties in October.
2. Post your party pics to Instagram with the hashtag #GameDayBlend (no limit on # of entries).
3. At the end of the month, we’ll choose one lucky tailgater to win the Ultimate Tailgate Prize Pack!

Get the details and official rules here.


WATCH: Tailgate with Billy’s Italian Sausage Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms

Get your friends excited about tailgating season and serve up these crowd-pleasing Italian Sausage Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms from Billy Parisi.


Football is in full effect and I couldn’t be any happier.  I love all things tailgating and comfort food, so what better to serve up than these Italian Sausage Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms. They are incredibly easy to make, absolutely delicious and are sure to be the hit at your next tailgate. I’m all about packing a ton of flavor into little bites, and these stuffed up mushrooms do exactly that. They truly deliver a lot of flavor in just one bite.

You’ve got mushrooms, you’ve got bacon, you’ve got Italian sausage, how on earth could any of this go wrong? Not to mention, bacon and mushrooms are bursting with delicious umami flavor – forcing you to go back for more to quench your taste buds. I love this recipe and not just because it’s easy but also because I get to use the whole mushroom. Once the stems are removed, I like to process them in a food processor until they are finely chopped, and then fold them into the loose Italian sausage for a more mushroomy flavor.

From here on out, it’s all about stuffing up the mushrooms. Just as a note, you won’t need as much Italian sausage as you might think, so don’t go overboard buying pounds of it. Once you’ve added a small amount to the mushroom caps, top off with some boursin cream cheese and sprinkle on some bread crumbs. Honestly, these guys would be a hit just like this, but wrap’em up in bacon just because!

Cook the mushrooms until the bacon is nice and crispy, which takes about 30 minutes or so at 400°. Once they’re done do your best not to eat all of them! Let me know how you like ’em!


Italian Sausage Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Mushrooms

Makes 22 stuffed mushrooms

  • 22 domestic mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound of loose Italian sausage
  • ½ cup of boursin cream cheese
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 11 strips of bacon, cut in half
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and place them in a food processor and process on high speed until they are finely chopped.
  3. Fold the chopped steams in with the Italian sausage until combined.
  4. Next, place the mushrooms gill side up on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and drizzle on olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stuff the mushrooms with a small amount of the Italian Sausage-Mushroom blend until it’s all gone.
  6. Layer on a small amount of the boursin cheese and then sprinkle on the bread crumbs.
  7. Finish by completely wrapping the mushroom in bacon and baking it at 400° for 30 to 35 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.
  8. Serve hot!

#GameDayBlend: Tailgate, Blend, Win


Score major points with your crowd by inviting mushrooms to your next tailgate (or homegate) party! Throw blended burgers on the grill at your parties this October for a chance to win the ultimate tailgate prize pack: A Coleman cooler, Bluetooth speakers, tailgate serving supplies, your favorite football team jersey, a grocery store gift card and other awesome mushroom swag.

How To Play:
1. Serve blended burgers (get recipes here!) at all of your tailgate parties in October.
2. Post your party pics to Instagram with the hashtag #GameDayBlend (no limit on # of entries).
3. At the end of the month, we’ll choose one lucky tailgater to win the Ultimate Tailgate Prize Pack!

Official #GameDayBlend Rules

Gear Up for Game Day with The Blend


Tailgate with blended burgers! 

Are you ready for some fun(gi) this fall? As tailgating continues to heat up across the country, it’s time to gear up for the big games with umami-packed blended burgers. Mixing in mushrooms with your favorite proteins adds important nutrients to your burgers, like vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium (9%). Plus, mushrooms are low in calories, fat free and cholesterol free. By incorporating The Blend into your game day spread, not only will you get another serving of vegetables but you’ll also add bulk and volume to your burgers, giving you more game day fare to share with your friends!

Building your #GameDayBlend burger is simple:

1. Chop up your favorite mushroom variety to match the consistency of the ground meat.
2. Blend the chopped mushrooms with the ground meat (we recommend a 30/70 blend of mushrooms/meat for burgers).
3. Cook your mushroom-meat blend to complete the burger recipe.

Optional: Prior to chopping, roast mushrooms for 10-15 minutes to enhance flavor. Cool, then chop and blend.

Show off your #GameDayBlend on Instagram for a chance to win the ultimate tailgate prize pack. Learn More>> 

Blended Burgers

Classic Blended Burger
Indulge in the comfort of creating a basic burger, but switch it up a bit with an umami-punch.

chicken Blended Burgers

Blended Chicken Cheeseburgers
For lighter fan fare, these chicken and mushroom blended burgers are flavorful and simple to make.

mad greens Blended Burgers

Chef Dan Long’s Blended Burger
Beef, lamb and shiitake mushrooms? You would be “MAD” not to makes this burger created by Chef Dan Long of MAD Greens.

pork Blended Burgers

Shiitake Pork Burger with Banh Mi Slaw
Twist-up your tailgate with Billy Parisi’s Banh Mi burger packed with Asian-inspired spices and shiitake mushrooms.

turkey avocado Blended Burgers

Blended Turkey with Avocado Mushroom Burger
Create a juicy turkey burger by blending in mushrooms and topping with fresh, creamy avocados and Swiss cheese.

Cremini Lamb Blended Burgers

Cremini Lamb Burger
Class it up with creminis! This lamb burger, complete with charred scallions, boursin cheese, pickles and tomatoes, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.