Winning Blended Burgers Take Center Plate at James Beard House Celebration

The five winners of the third annual Blended Burger Project™ were recognized at a dinner on January 23 at the James Beard House.

The James Beard Foundation honored five restaurants for creatively re-imagining the iconic burger in the third annual Blended Burger Project, a competition challenging chefs to blend finely chopped mushrooms with meat for more delicious, nutritious and sustainable burgers.

The 2017 Blended Burger Project featured original blended burgers by chefs at 414 restaurants in 45 states. Consumers placed more than 400,000 online votes for their favorites. The top five vote recipients cooked and served their winning burgers to attendees at the January 23 “Blended Burger ‘Bun’anza” at the historic James Beard House. This is the first time winners of the annual Blended Burger Project were featured at an open-to-the-public James Beard House dinner.

2017 Blended Burger Project Winners

Goomba Burger

The Bistro at Topsail, Surf City, N.C. Chef Bud Taylor’s Goomba Burger is comprised of local grass-fed beef blended with confit oyster and portabella mushrooms, topped with havarti, shiitake “bacon,” lemongrass aioli, heirloom tomato, baby arugula on a house baked bun.

The Greeklish Burger

Houston Yacht Club, La Porte, Texas. Chef Petros Jaferis’ Greeklish Burger features beef chuck, cremini mushroom, and caper patty on a brioche bun – with basil aioli with feta melted over the patty, topped with a mini Greek salad and paprika oil.

Brevard’s Taste of Summer Burger

Cedar’s Café, Melbourne, Fla. Chef Toni Elkhouri’s Brevard’s Taste of Summer Burger features blended mushrooms and lamb on an apricot and liquid smoke glazed bun, sour cherry mustard, basil, brie cheese, and an herb lemon caper walnut relish.

Porchetta Burger

Bareburger, New York City. Chef Jon Lemon’s Porchetta Burger is a 50/50 mushroom and wild boar blend, topped with a black-garlic aioli, broccoli rabe, oven-roasted tomatoes, and aged provolone cheese on a ciabatta bun.

Backyard Burger

VINTAGE Kitchen, Norfolk, Va. Chef Phillip Thomason’s Backyard Burger includes a grass-fed beef blended with confit oyster mushrooms, aged double cheddar and charred ramp mayo, bacon rust, cab franc molasses, Hayman potato straws, coffee salt, demi-pain perdu, and brown butter mornay.


“The Blended Burger Project has helped to support the national movement toward chefs developing more plant-forward, sustainably produced dishes, and patrons seeking healthier, more earth-friendly foods,” said Kristopher Moon, vice president, James Beard Foundation. “We are excited to recognize the innovative work of these five winning restaurants, and look forward to building upon the project’s success with the upcoming fourth annual Blended Burger Project.”