Local Restaurants Compete in Beard Foundation’s National Blended Burger Contest

Photo by David Chow

Mon 5/28-Tues 7/31

The James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project, now in its fourth year, is an odd and intriguing national promotion/contest, in which chefs compete to create the best “blended burger,” featuring 75% ground meat of any kind and 25% cultivated, chopped mushroom.

 “According to the Mushroom Council,” they tell us, “these sustainable burgers are healthier, lower in calorie and cholesterol and juicier than traditional burgers.”

 The contest runs from Mon 5/28 to Tue 7/31 and participating restaurants/chefs are invited to campaign for votes by promoting jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject/vote. But, in order to keep it from just being a popularity contest rewarding the chef with the most promotional acumen, a panel of Beard Foundation-selected experts will pick five winners from the 20 entries with the most online votes. Criteria include most creative use of mushrooms, best flavor profile and presentation.

To encourage voting (you can vote on a daily basis), each voter is eligible to win a trip for two to the Blended Burger event at the James Beard House in New York where the finalists will prepare their entries.

Northeast Ohio restaurants taking part in the contest are Alley Cat Oyster Bar, Astoria Café & Market, Bistro 185, the Burnham, Burntwood Tavern Solon location, Chinato, Cowell & Hubbard, Creekside Restaurant & Bar, Der Braumeister, Garrets Mill Diner in Stow, the Lake Effect Inn in Willoughby, L’Albatros Brasserie, Parallax Restaurant & Lounge, Retro Dog in Cuyahoga Falls, Table 45, Thyme2 and the Tremont Tap House.

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