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2018 Blended Burger Project registration now open

With mushroom popularity increasing nationwide as a functional, versatile and sustainable ingredient, restaurants can tap into consumers’ “fungi frenzy” by signing up for the James Beard Foundation’s annual Blended Burger Project (BBP). The summer-long competition challenges chefs to create and menu a better burger by blending finely chopped mushrooms with meat. As part of this year’s program, JBF is also offering greater opportunities for participating restaurants to earn top honors.
 
Starting today, restaurants can register to take part in the 4th annual competition by entering their version of a blended burger featuring at least 25% chopped, cultivated mushrooms for a dish that is more delicious, nutritious and sustainable. From Memorial Day through July 31, guests will be able to vote for their favorite at jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject.
 
New this year, judges on behalf of the James Beard Foundation will review 20 restaurants receiving the most votes to select the five top winners, based on most creative use of mushrooms, best flavor profile and presentation. Upon conclusion, the five (5) winning chefs, selected by a panel of experts from the twenty (20) burgers with the most votes online, will win a trip to New York City to cook their blended burger dish at the historic James Beard House. This year’s judging practice replaces previous years’ formats, in which the top five vote-getters automatically won the competition.
 
“Last year, nearly 500 restaurants took part the Blended Burger Project, which we developed as part of our goal of encouraging restaurants to foster a more sustainable and healthy food system,” said Kris Moon, vice president, James Beard Foundation. “With such high participation and interest among the culinary community, we wanted to grow the opportunity to honor participating restaurants and the guests who support them. We are excited to see and experience the creative, new blended burgers on menu at restaurants of all kinds this summer.”


Stephanie Izard
 
“It's really important as a chef to start thinking about how I can make dishes that are not only more sustainable, but also taste great,” says James Beard Award winner and Iron Chef Stephanie Izard, executive chef and owner of Girl & The Goat, Little Goat, and Duck Duck Goat. “You shouldn't have to sacrifice flavor in order to think sustainably. That's why I'm partnering with the Blended Burger Project. I'm not asking people to give up meat! Instead I'm asking them to try substituting some of that meat for a combination that tastes even better than the original.”
 
To take part in the 2018 Blended Burger Project, restaurants should:
 Develop their unique version of the blended burger.
  • Register to participate at jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject, including sharing a photo and description of the burger.
  • Menu the burger and encourage consumer votes from Memorial Day (May 28) through July 31.
 James Beard Foundation conducts the annual competition in collaboration with The Mushroom Council. Visit jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject to read the contest’s Official Rules, including eligibility requirements, voting and judging criteria. 

For more information:
Eric Davis
Blended Burger Project
Tel: +1 (612) 424-7545

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