These days you can’t turn on a TV without seeing some type of cooking competition. But what happens when you win first place in the world’s largest food competition, The Annual World Food Championships? Chef Lance Avery’s “Chew Before You Inhale Burger” took home top honors, and it was all because of The Blend!
After several regional competitions Chef Lance Avery, of Big Fork Brands, was invited to compete in the opening round of the burger competition at the annual World Food Championships in Kissimmee, Florida on Friday, November 7th. “My mind was purely focused on execution. Do this, do that. Don’t forget about that in the oven, don’t forget to stir this… It’s basically compete organized chaos the whole time you’re cooking,” comments Avery, whose blended burger won that first round with a near perfect score of 98.75. In fact, it was not only the highest scoring burger that day, but the highest scoring dish at the entire competition.
Lance’s burger featured butter sautéed royal trumpet mushrooms and portabella powder with 21-day dry aged ground ribeye; a flavor combination to powerful to ignore. “Blending our burger with the buttered, sautéed royal trumpet mushrooms was absolutely the secret to our winning burger. The royal trumpet mushrooms added savory umami and moisture that blended seamlessly with the ground ribeye kicking the patty’s flavor up to another level.”
Due to his first place finish Chef Lance was invited to participate in the Kansas City Steak Co. High Steaks Invitational, which pitted high scorers from the championship’s nine categories against each other. His steak dish —a beef tenderloin with sautéed royal trumpet & beech mushrooms, bacon jam, and stilton blue cheese— took first place. “During the awards they started calling folks up to the stage starting with 10th place. Once they hit 4th, I just assumed we were out. I texted my wife, who was cheering for us from Chicago, saying we were done. When they called us up as 1st place I was speechless; in total disbelief. The biggest shock in my life, hands down!”
The World Food Championships is the largest competition in food sport, where champions of previous events convene in Kissimmee, Florida, for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of $300,000. Chef Lance says this isn’t his last competition and he fully intends to keep entering his blended burgers into competitions like “Bacon Fest” in Las Vegas. As for tips to make it to the top, “there’s no perfect formula for winning, that’s for sure. The person who won the last two World Food Championships got bumped out of the first round this year. All you can do is have a solid team, have a solid game plan, and execute to the best of your ability. Also, read the rules 15 times!”
Chew Before You Inhale Burger
84% 21 day aged ribeye
15% royal trumpet mushrooms, minced raw, cooked in butter and salt added to taste
1% portabella powder
2 strips crispy Berkwood bacon
5 chanterelles, sliced in half, cooked in butter
heirloom tomato, sliced thick
Single year aged cheddar cheese
Poblano Smashed Avocado Sauce:
1 poblanos, roasted, peeled, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
3 avocados, smashed
Lobster Mushroom Aioli Sauce:
1/2 cup lobster mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup mayo
Garnish – Fried Pickle:
2 cup predust (fine ground cracker meal)
2 cups wet batter
2 cups Japanese Breadcrumb
1. Combine beef with butter cooked mushrooms and powder and make into patties.
2. Cook bacon in oven.
3. Make Poblano Smashed Avocado Sauce & the Lobster Mushroom Aioli Sauce.
4. Slice tomato.
5. Butter bun and toast on the grill.
6. Sauté chanterelle mushrooms until soft.
7. Cook burger on flat top to rare.
8. Smoke burger in sealable container for 8-10 minutes.
9. Assemble burger.