2017 Blended Burger Project Kickoff

On April 19, 2017, more than 30 media and influencers gathered at the James Beard House to kick off the third-annual Blended Burger Project, a competition challenging chefs to menu their original burger that combines mushrooms with meat.

At this year’s kickoff, which took place a few days before Earth Day, we highlighted how the blended burger is a more sustainable and plant-forward opportunity for chefs to menu the iconic burger.

A main highlight of the event included three-time James Beard Award-nominated chefs and 2017 Blended Burger Project advocates and participants, Greg and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, owners of Ox and SuperBite in Portland, Oregon. Greg and Gabi served their incredible double stack blended shiitake mushroom and beef cheeseburger with cheddar, fontina, “fancy sauce,” pickles and onions on a homemade sesame seed bun, with sides of Nashville-style hot fried cauliflower and grilled asparagus.

“Burgers are one of our all-time favorite food groups. Grinding mushrooms into our beef adds hearty flavor while yielding a more healthful product. We are honored to join the Blended Burger Project™ in the search for that crave-able more sustainable burger that not only stands up to a conventional burger, but makes it better.” – Greg and Gabi Denton

The Denton’s make their blended burger with 30 percent mushrooms. The cheeseburger, or Double Stack, mimics a “regular” burger because the chefs dehydrate and grind the mushrooms into a paste. This provides a rich umami burst of flavor but has the same texture as a traditional burger. A few unsuspecting eaters didn’t even realize there was a difference!

Registration is now open for the 2017 Blended Burger Project, which runs from Memorial Day (May 29) until July 31, 2017. To sign up, view contest rules, judging criteria, the full list of participants and to vote for your favorite blended burger, visit jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject.