Chefs, sharpen your knives, the James Beard Foundation have announced restaurants can now begin registering for the 5th Annual Blended Burger Project™ competition, which challenges chefs to make burgers better by blending at least 25 percent finely chopped fresh mushrooms with meat.
In addition, the initiative will expand to consumer audiences with a variety of strategic partnerships throughout the year, the Foundation said.
“The blended burger is a great example of how plant-forward dishes can not only be sustainable, but also incredibly crave-able,” said Katherine Miller, VP of Impact, James Beard Foundation. “We are excited for the Blended Burger Project competition to achieve this five-year milestone – and we look forward to discovering and sampling the creative entries from participating restaurants.”
The Blended Burger Project launches Memorial Day (May 27) and continues through July 31. Throughout the competition, fans will vote for their favorite “blended burgers”. In August a panel of food experts selected by the James Beard Foundation will review burgers from the 25 contestants who received the most online votes. They will select five winners, based on culinary creativity, flavor profile and presentation. Winning chefs will each win $5,000 and a trip to New York City to cook their blended burger at the James Beard House.
2018 winner Chef Fiore Moletz of Burgh’ers in Pittsburgh (Image: Clay Williams)
“The Blended Burger Project lines up with our restaurant’s – and our customers’ – philosophies,” said a multi-year participant and 2018 winner Fiore Moletz of Burgh’ers in Pittsburgh. “We seek creative takes on the iconic burger, while our guests want to be served food that lines up with their health-conscious, sustainability minded and active lifestyles. We call our burger #theblend, and it now generates 10-15 percent of weekly revenue.”
Registration is now open for the 5th Annual Blended Burger Project. Contestants that sign-up by April 15th will receive a special Blended Burger Project t-shirt and knife roll, one per contestant, while supplies last.
To take part in the 2019 Blended Burger Project, restaurants can:
- Develop a blended burger that consists of at least 25 percent fresh mushrooms. (Any ground protein. Any fresh cultivated mushroom. Any favorite seasonings and toppings.)
- Register to participate, including sharing a photo, description of the burger and recipe.
- Menu the burger and encourage guest votes from Memorial Day (May 27) through July 31.