Q&A: Chef Stephen, NC State Dining, North Carolina State University

The Blended Burger Project™ Campus Edition is nearing its end and we have invited Chef Stephen Taoso, NC State Dining, North Carolina State University to tell us a little about himself and what inspired his Blended Burger.

What do you like about The Blend concept?

The Blend is a unique way to incorporate mushrooms into ordinary menu items. We were able use their versatile properties to create a rich and traditional flavored burger that represents the Carolina’s.

“If you weren’t a chef, you’d be…? A homesteader in Alaska, or somewhere in the Northwest. “


Could you see yourself using The Blend in future menu items? If yes, how would you utilize it?

We’ve done taco meat, and a chorizo blend, and I’d like to do a chili with a ground turkey and mushroom blend. Possibly some dry and fresh sausages.

How have you been promoting your burger?

We have done a promotion during most student events, also doing demos at various dining halls and talked about before a basketball game. We have plans to visit another dining hall on Nov 27, and finish up during finals week with another demo. We also promote where its a menu item in 1887 Bistro with dining cards. We also promote through social media and e-mail.

What has the feedback been from students?

Very good, love the flavor and mostly surprised that there are mushrooms in the mix.

At a Glance:

Favorite Mushroom: Oysters, and most exotics
Your favorite dish: 1887 Salmon Burger
Your most popular dish: Beef Barbacoa

Blended Burger Project™ Recipe: BBQ Blended Burger

The patty is made up with smoked crimini and button mushrooms that are ground with chuck and a Carolina BBQ Rub. Served pan seared on a Brioche roll with a BBQ mayo that includes a house made BBQ sauce and topped with Eastern Style BBQ pickled onions, lettuce and tomato.

Serves: 10

Crimini Mushrooms
Button Mushrooms
Blended Olive oil
80/20 Ground
Beef BBQ Dry Rub
Apple Cider Vinegar


  1. Quarter mushrooms, toss in olive oil, then a quick hot smoke.
  2. Roast and when most of the moisture is gone from mushrooms, let them cool.
  3. Place in Robo coup, or grinder and process to a mince like consistency.
  4. In a mixing bowl add beef, mushrooms, BBQ rub, and vinegar. Mix all ingredients with a hook attachment in a stand mixture for 2-3 minutes until combined do not over mix.
  5. Portion into 6 oz patties.

Chef Stephen Taoso
NC State Dining, North Carolina State University
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