Posts Tagged ‘Blended Burger Project’

The Blended Burger Project is Back!

The Mushroom Council and James Beard Foundation have teamed up for the third annual Blended Burger Project.

The Blended Burger Project is back and better than ever! The challenge launches Memorial Day and runs through July 31. During that time, diners can visit hundreds of restaurants taking part to create a more delicious, nutritious and sustainable burger. Each chef/restaurant will create and serve their unique spin on a blended burger: at least 25 percent finely chopped mushrooms blended with meat.

New this Year: Each time you vote for your favorite blended burger you’ll be entered to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to New York City!

Here’s how to take part in the Blended Burger Project:

1. Find and visit a participating restaurant near you and order the featured blended burger
2. Vote for your favorite burger online
3. Promote the #BlendedBurgerProject and your favorite burger through social channels

One randomly selected voter will win – so vote and vote often!

Chefs from the five restaurants with the most online votes will also win a trip to New York City to cook at the historic James Beard House.

Join us this summer for a delicious battle of blended burgers. Find a participating restaurant near you and let the burger eating begin!

Chefs and diners can learn more about participating at jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject.

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.

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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.

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Honored chefs (and their burgers):

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Chef Spotlight: Michael Gottlieb, Wood’s Kitchen

Meet Michael Gottlieb, co-chef at Wood’s Kitchen in Bloomingdale, GA and one of five winners of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project. He is a part of our Chef Spotlight series, which offers a behind-the-kitchen look at the inspiration behind chef-created blended burgers.

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Born into a food family that’s been operating in Georgia since 1870, Chef Michael Gottlieb and his brother, Laurence Gottlieb are co-chefs at Wood’s Kitchen, a southern-rooted BBQ restaurant with Gullah and Cajun/Creole inspirations.

His motivation for participating in this year’s James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project? “It was an opportunity to bring something a little healthier to our menu and educate our customers how eating a touch healthier can still be fun!” They had a great experience right out if the gate and really loved how their community supported them and their blended burger from start to finish.

Their blended burger is a mouth-watering Worcestershire Glazed Double Mushroom Burger with Charred Vidalia Onions served on a Mushroom Salted Brioche Bun. The burger uses Hunter Cattle “Wood’s Blend” ground beef, a rich earthy local beef, and cremini mushrooms.

Michael and his brother enjoy cooking with mushrooms given the flavor and textures differ from variety to variety. “We love cooking with chanterelle, morels, and Hen of the Woods – but they are all so good it’s hard to pick a favorite.”

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Chef Spotlight: Adrian Cruz, The Orchard Lounge

Meet Chef Adrian Cruz, one of five winners of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project. He is the third in a series of Chef Spotlights, which offer a behind-the-kitchen look at the inspiration behind chef-created blended burgers.

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“The Concha Burger is the new kid on the block,” says Chef de Cuisine Adrian Cruz of The Orchard Lounge in McAllen, Texas.

New kid on the block, indeed. What makes Cruz’s blended burger so unique? Aside from its delicious toppings like homemade strawberry-fig jam and Applewood bacon, the burger is sandwiched between a Concha bun – a sweet yeast bread roll that can be found in many Mexican markets. As a child, Cruz spent summers at his grandparents’ house in Texas, and would purchase Concha every morning from a bakery truck that was parked across the street. Sharing Concha with his mom and brother over a steaming cup of coffee is one of Cruz’s favorite childhood memories.

Inspired to mimic the sweet and savory flavor profile of Concha dipped in coffee, Cruz decided to experiment with the idea of using Concha as the bun for his blended burger – and it was a hit. For the burger, he uses a blend of beef, pork chorizo and shiitake mushrooms, then tops it with the strawberry-fig jam, chipotle aioli, pickled cucumber, butter lettuce, a duck-fat fried egg, applewood smoked bacon, tomatoes and string mushrooms. What intrigued Cruz most about joining the Blended Burger Project? The opportunity to create a healthier burger with some of his favorite ingredients. He loves the flavor and texture that mushrooms bring to a traditional patty.

“Participating in James Beard’s Blended Burger Project isn’t about becoming famous, it’s about inspiring other chefs and proving that dreams do come true,” says Cruz. He grew up cooking in his mother’s kitchen at the age of 12, and has honed his skills while training at various restaurants in the Rio Grande Valley. Cruz is excited to show off his chops at the James Beard House this October, or has he calls it, “painting on plates.”

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Chef Spotlight: Logan Guleff, Junior Chef/Logan’s Underground Supper Club

Meet Chef Logan Guleff, Junior Chef/Logan’s Underground Supper Club and one of five winners of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project. He is the first in a series of Chef Spotlights, which offer a behind-the-kitchen look at the inspiration behind chef-created blended burgers.

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Memphis-based Junior Chef Logan Guleff has been cooking since he was two. His favorite recipe is always the next one he creates because he enjoys the journey of being creative and getting to share his dishes with others. He loves mushrooms (in fact, when he was two his favorite food was mushroom pizza!), so when he learned about the James Beard Blended Burger Project, participating was a no brainer. “Being a premier young chef comes with a lot of responsibility. I want to be on the forefront of sustainable, healthy, nutritious food. I live in an urban city and I see food deserts and hunger. Being able to produce a delicious burger that both delights diners and helps turn a burger into a meal we can continue to enjoy for generations is very important to me,” said Guleff. “Plus, it’s James Beard! How could I not join in on the fun?”

Logan’s signature blended burger, “The Mushroom Monster,” consists of half portobello mushrooms and half locally-sourced ground beef. After cleaning the mushrooms, he then cooks the mushrooms until they are dry, which allows him to trim the beef by 50 percent. He uses his spice blend “Logan’s Rub” to marry the flavors and tops it off with fontina cheese, lettuce, tomato, and bacon.

Fun Fact: Logan is the youngest certified judge to judge in The World Championship Barbeque. One of his recipes has been served at the White House, where he met the First Lady and President Obama.

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