College & university chefs take the prize for best blended burgers

blended burgers chefs

Students voted earlier this month and selected six blended burgers as the most delicious-looking of the year. Among them: a take on chicken tikka masala, a burger made of ground reindeer and another blended with beef brisket.

The six earned the most votes in the James Beard Foundation’s 2017 Blended Burger Project (BBP) Campus Edition competition, part of the foundation’s Impact Programs, a movement to make burgers “more delicious, nutritious and sustainable.” For the purpose of the competition, the patty needed to include at least 25% fresh and chopped cultivated mushrooms.

The chicken tikka masala burger (blended with button mushrooms) included eggplant raita, cilantro and red onion with a side of onion pakoras with tomato chutney. The entry, created by Robert Bankert, a chef at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, was one of two winning burgers in the category for campuses with an enrollment of more than 15,000. The other, a smoked cremini and button mushroom burger on a brioche bun with a garnish of pickled root vegetables, was submitted by chef Eric Lewin of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.

The remaining four winners are:

  • A button mushroom blended burger with white cheddar schmear and smoked tomato jam with a side of roasted king oyster mushrooms, green chickpeas and radish micros from chef Christopher Patrick Browne with the University of Montana at Missoula.
  • A reindeer and cremini mushroom burger with feta cheese croutons, cranberry ketchup on a homemade sweet potato bun with sides of kale Caesar salad and a mini blueberry milkshake from chef Jon Buchholtz with the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
  • A blended burger made of shiitake and cremini mushrooms, ground lamb and ground beef with apple maple bourbon BBQ sauce, smoked gouda and fried onions from chef Randy Heberlig Jr. with Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.
  • A whole beef brisket burger with grilled portabello and roasted cremini mushrooms on a black sesame seed-studded brioche bun with smoked sun-dried tomato, cherry chutney, smoked gouda, pickled tangy red onions, and honey garlic-seasoned sweet potato straws from chef Benjamin Sauer with St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis.

winning chefs

Students from campuses around the country were encouraged to vote via a poll on the Beard Foundation’s website, and participants were encouraged to spread the word about the contest and their entry on social media with the #BlendedBurgerProject hashtag.

The winners of this year’s contest were featured at an April 17 event at the James Beard House and have won the chance to cook at the historic locale in 2018.

“Colleges and universities were among the first to adopt ‘the blend’ to build more sustainable menus and satisfy their students,” the James Beard Foundation said in a statement.

“This segment has been a leader in sustainable food practices for many years and has pioneered countless innovations on campus.”

A similar competition for commercial restaurant chefs concluded at the end of January. Those winning burgers included entries from chefs at Bareburger, Cedar’s Cafe, Houston Yacht Club, Bistro at Topsail and Vintage Kitchen.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
spicy bibimbop

Bowls continue to trend as meal carriers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Both operators and the guests they feed appreciate bowls for their convenience, customizability and creative combinations. Build-your-own stations are increasingly popular ways to offer bowls in college dining, corporate venues and school and hospital cafeterias. But building a satisfying bowl takes more planning than randomly tossing ingredients together in one vessel.

Playing with layering

“Texture is the secret ingredient for a successful bowl,” says Kevin Cecilio, senior director of culinary innovations...

Industry News & Opinion

Austin Independent School District in Texas is introducing new globally influenced menu items this school year, Spectrum News reports.

The offerings are meant to reflect the district’s diverse student body and will include yuca fries, Jamaican meat pies and plantains.

Read the full story via spectrumlocalnews.com .

Industry News & Opinion

Miami-Dade County Public Schools is introducing new plant-based menu items this school year, CBS Miami reports.

Vegan chili and cilantro-lime rice will be appearing on menus when students at the Miami district return to class later this month.

The new plant-based offerings join other new items such as French toast, turkey bacon and antibiotic-free chicken tenders and breast fillets. Students will also be able to enjoy a variety of salads and fresh fruit.

Read the full story via miami.cbslocal.com .

Ideas and Innovation
baby boomer eating

Millennials get a lot of attention from foodservice operators and chefs, but baby boomers make up a large and lucrative group of potential patrons that shouldn’t be ignored, finds Technomic’s 2018 Generational Consumer Trend Report . As more senior-living communities cater to the baby boomer set , here’s a look at the factors that drive those customers’ dining choices.

1. Boomers are flavor-seekers

There’s a perception that because these consumers are older, they are stuck in their ways. But this generation is the most likely to say that they enjoy trying new flavors from time to...

FSD Resources

Code for Asynchronous jQuery Munchkin Tracking Code