Archive for July, 2015

The Better Burger Project Takes Over Frontier

Food is notorious for bringing people together, so it was no surprise to see so many burger lovers show up when we invited a group of Chicago foodies to Frontier to experience Chef Brian Jupiter’s better burger.

With the “closed for private event” sign hung on the door, Chef Brian Jupiter prepped his staff for the event that was about to take place. In a matter of hours a group of Chicago foodies would be arriving at Frontier to not only try the new Bison Burger (blended with 25% mushrooms), but to live-tweet their #BetterBurgerProject experience during a #FoodieChats Twitter Party.

Frontier #FoodieChat Attendees

As the mushrooms were smoked and the avocados dredged, one by one the foodies started to arrive. It was hard to ignore the phenomenal smells coming from the kitchen as the chef prepared that evenings meal. As the group waited, they casually chatted about The Blend and how the Better Burger Project was such a brilliant idea. “Blending is a great way to give burgers a new healthier life,” explained Alissa Trumbell. “Anything that gets more fruits and vegetables in our diet is an amazing thing,” exclaimed Debbie Donato. It seemed everyone was in agreement that the Better Burger Project was THE next big thing!

Frontier's Better Burger

The moment of truth finally arrived as better burgers paraded out of the kitchen. A meaty mushroom & bison patty was stacked underneath lettuce, pickled green tomato and deep fried avocado; all on a warm pretzel bun. Mouths watered as photos were snapped & Instagrammed. Guests couldn’t believe their tastebuds – the burger was absolutely delicious!

As plates were licked clean, the #FoodieChats Twitter Party started and the group began to share their experience. “After having a bite of the Frontier Better Burger Project Burger I don’t think I can eat a burger without mushrooms blended” tweeted Angela Woody. “I’m having one (a better burger) at Frontier & it’s UH-mazing!” tweeted Soo Park.

Needless to say the night was a completely success; everyone went home with a full belly and ideas on how to get blending at home!

#BetterBurgerProject: Chef Jon Feshan

Meet Chef Jon Feshan as he shares his better burger with us! Jon Feshan brings over thirty years of experience, working with some of the best chefs in New York City to his role as Executive Chef at County, where he serves New American cuisine, guided by the core principles inherited from his Persian heritage: purity of flavor and using ingredients at their peak of freshness. Feshan employs fresh herbs and vegetables as the bass note to his dishes coupled with exacting technique to create a menu that is both light on the palate and deeply satisfying.

Chef Jon Feshan, County

1. Tell us a little about yourself and why you love to cook!

I grew up in Iran and and come from a large family. Our family celebrations always centered around food and everything we ate was made fresh at home. We were not even allowed to have pizza growing up! I loved watching the cooks in my fathers restaurants.  At  home my Grandma always had me in the kitchen with her to keep an eye on me and keep me out of trouble.


2. Why are you participating in the Better Burger Project?

The James Beard Foundation is a great organization. Its a honor to be part of whatever efforts they are doing to help educate chefs and the public about sustainable and healthier options for our health and the planets health.


3. Tell us about your burger! What makes it “better”?

We have a Soy-Roasted Mushroom Burger. Its made with a mix Oyster Mushrooms and grass -fed organic beef, a mixture of chuck and short rib that we grind in-house. It’s ‘better because we use 50 mushroom mix so its much healthier than an all meat burger would be. We use grass fed meat so its healthier and better for the environment.


4. Why do you love to cook with mushrooms?

Mushrooms are very versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. Each mushroom has its own flavor, but  when seasoned creatively  it can take on a life of its own.  Roasting extracts a lot of the liquid and concentrates the flavor giving it a great meaty texture which is perfect for the burger burger challenge. A lot of our diners and staff couldn’t tell that half of the burger was made with mushrooms! (Not that we were trying to trick them)


5. Do you have a favorite summer memory with burgers?

When I first came to this country I lived in California and discovered In-N-Out Burgers! That was the first really good burger I had and will always taste like America and summer to me! A few years a go I did the Burger Bash in Brooklyn for New York Food and Wine Festival. It was a really hot, all the other chefs has created so many different kinds of burgers with lamb, veal, pulled pork. It was a great experience being with so many talented people and seeing how creative everyone could get with a basic burger.


6. What’s your favorite burger condiment?

I can’t pick just one! I love the classics with a twist–cheese, meaty applewood wood smoked bacon, Dill pickles we make in-house, lettuce, tomato, mayo,  picked jalpeno slices are my favorite! and ketchup, of course. After you eat that burger you will need a shower its so messy, but so good!


7. Do you have any tips and tricks to grilling?

Keep the meat not too cold if possible so it will cook more evenly especially since our burgers tend to be thicker. You want the outside to have nice grill marks but the inside is not overcooked and dry or too rare. Try not to move the burger too much. With the mushroom mix like the better burger, there is a higher tendency for the burger to fall apart if you turn it too many times. I like to cook it 1/6 on one side until its set,  then flip and cook it 1/4 on the other. The time depends on how you like your burger.


8. What sides would you recommend serving with your burger?

Truffle Fries or house made spicy paprika dusted potato chips!


9. Tell us a bit about your restaurant and cooking style.

County is farm-to-table New American Cuisine with global influences.  We are surrounded by great restaurants with great chefs. I don’t think we are competing with them as much as we are doing the best food we can in our own way. My cooking style is influenced by chefs whose kitchens I have been privileged to work in (Jean Georges Vongerichten) –  Asian,  (David Burke)  American and my own Persian roots. I think good food starts with the best ingredients and finding new ways to balance tastes, texture, spice, heat. Its not complicated food– a carrot should look like a carrot!


10. How did you get started in the restaurant/culinary industry?

I started cooking in one my dad’s restaurants. I was originally trained to do more front of the house work, but I found being in the kitchen fascinating. Seeing all the different foods being prepared, the smells and the tastes. I thought it was very exciting, like magic! One of my dad’s cooks found me loitering in the kitchen too many times and I told him that was where I wanted to be. I think he thought I am going to teach this kid a lesson–  so had me wash a big basket of eggplant, then grill and peel it. It was hot messy and I probably wasn’t too fast. Maybe he thought I was going to give up, but I loved it! I love constantly learning about new foods and thinking of ways to prepare it so I am never bored.



11. What’s your favorite type of mushroom?

I love Maitake, or Hen-Of-The-Woods mushrooms! The perfume, aroma of it is just great. I love it grilled or sautéed, in a stew. Oyster and Chanterelles are also my favorites.


Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatloaf

Billy Parisi shares his blend meatloaf recipe with a surprise appearance from bacon!


For the Meatloaf:

  • 3 pounds of ground sirloin
  • 1 ½ pounds of ground chuck
  • 8 ounces of domestic mushrooms processed until smooth
  • 1 seeded and small diced red bell pepper
  • 1 seeded and small diced green bell pepper
  • 1 small diced sweet onion
  • 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
  • 4 eggs
  • 15 strips of bacon
  • Tabasco to taste
  • Worcestershire to taste
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

For the Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds of peeled and quartered russet potatoes
  • ½ cup of buttermilk
  • 2 ounces of unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces of sour cream
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper to taste


  • 2 large sweet onions cut into thick rings
  • 1 ounce of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons of sugar
  • your favorite bbq sauce

Serves: 6 to 8


  • Potatoes: Boil the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water until the potatoes freely fall off a for once pierced.
  • Drain the potatoes and mash them along with the buttermilk, butter, olive oil, sour cream, salt and white pepper until combined and keep warm and set aside.
  • Onions: In a large saute pan on low heat with butter add in the thick cut sweet onions and caramelize. This may take up to 45 minutes.  After 20 minutes add in the sugar to help brown.  Keep warm and set aside.
  • Meatloaf: Preheat the grill to high (500°).
  • Mix together all of the ingredients except for the bacon in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
  • Next, form some Reynolds heavy duty foil to a loaf pan and remove. Spray the foil with Pam and evenly place on each bacon strip next to one another n the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the ground meat mixture to the top of the bacon strips and wrap the bacon around so that it is completely surrounding all sides of the meatloaf.
  • Place the meatloaf in the foil pan and place on a hot grill for 50 to 60 minutes or until there is no pink in the center, 160° internal temperature.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the grill once it is cooked and discard the foil. Add on to the top of the meatloaf the mashed potatoes, then the caramelized onions, then drizzle on some bbq sauce over the top.


#BetterBurgerProject: Chef Brian Jupiter

Chef Brian Jupiter, Frontier

Chef Brian Jupiter of Frontier tells us why is burger is better!

Raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Chef Brian Jupiter knew at an early age that the culinary arts would be a part of his life.  The aroma from Jupiter’s grandmother’s unique blend of spices used in her family cooking was all it took to get him home from school on time. He began his professional career at the age 16 in the kitchen of New Orleans’ famed Aurora Steakhouse.

Frontier Burger for Better Burger Project

Two years later, Jupiter began studies at Johnson and Wales University in Miami, Florida and earned degrees in Culinary Arts and Food and Beverage Management.  After graduation, he moved on to be an integral part of the opening team for The Shore Club Hotel and Resort, which included Sirena and Nobu restaurants. Jupiter then moved to One Ninety Restaurant as Chef de Cuisine, responsible for all operations.

Jupiter moved to Chicago in 2003, after initially landing the Chef de Cuisine position at Narcisse Champagne and Caviar Salon. He was promoted to Executive Chef after only four months. Jupiter’s involvement helped to transform Narcisse from an upscale bar/lounge into a well-recognized, fine dining restaurant.

In February 2011, Jupiter created and implemented the menu at Frontier in West Town, which features game, seafood and other seasonal ingredients. Jupiter continues to be one of the leaders in trending Chicago cuisine introducing his unique smoked whole animal service, a vast selection of oysters and his farm-to-table ideology.

Currently, Jupiter is the Corporate Executive Chef for Pioneer Tavern Group, which owns and operates Frontier, The Pony in Lakeview and Lottie’s in Bucktown.

Mushroom Bacon Butter Burgers

Paula of bell’alimento shares her version of a better burger!

While I’m a huge fan of a sloppy mushroom Swiss burgers, it’s just that. Sloppy. Sometimes I want all that mushroom flavor without having to use a fork. In comes our Mushroom Bacon Butter Burgers. The mushrooms are pulsed to a perfect consistency and then are blended in with our ground beef. Giving us all that flavor we crave without any of the mess.
Mushroom Bacon Butter Burger 1
To keep our burgers juicy we’ve wedged a pat of butter into each patty prior to grilling that while cooking melts into the blended beef. It’s swoonworthy. Add a few slices of bacon (because bacon makes everything better) and the cheese of your choice (we went with an aged cheddar) and you’re all set to serve up a this divine burger worthy of any of your summer grill fests.

Yield 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1.75 pounds ground beef
4 ounces fresh mushrooms – pulsed
kosher salt/black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter – cut into 6 equal portions
6 slices cooked bacon
6 slices cheese
6 hamburger buns


Mushroom Bacon Butter Burger

Into a large mixing bowl add: ground beef, mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Freeform 6 equal sized hamburger patties. Press 1 cube of cut butter into the middle of each patty. Set aside.

Preheat a grill pan over medium -high heat. Place patties onto grill pan (working in batches if necessary). Grill until at desired doneness. Flipping half way through.

Top patties with cheese during last minute of cooking and cover with pan with lid so that cheese melts.

Prior to serving top with a slice of bacon.