The Results Are In! Here Are the Top 20 Finalists in the Blended Burger Project

You voted, and we listened. These mouth-watering burgers were the top 20 vote getters in the 2018 Blended Burger Project! Next, each recipe will be evaluated by a panel of judges to find the top five blended burgers to rule them all. This year’s judges include:

  • Andrew Zimmern, TV personality, chef, writer and teacher
  • Antoinette Bruno, CEO and Editor in Chief, StarChefs.com
  • Susan Westmoreland, Culinary Director, Good Housekeeping

Need a refresher? This summer, we partnered with the James Beard Foundation to celebrate chefs who are putting innovative blended burgers on their menus for the Blended Burger Project. These burgers combine ground meat with savory chopped mushrooms for an umami-licious, better-for-you patty. But the creativity doesn’t stop there. Participating chefs topped their burgers with all kinds of out-of-the-box ingredients, from mushrooms masquerading as bacon to Kentucky bourbon glazed walnuts.

2018 Top 20 Blended Burger Project Finalists

Into the Woods Blended Burger, Cedar’s Café, Melbourne FL
This burger combines Florida-grown Monterey mushrooms with ground lamb and bison meat spiked with harissa and cardamom, topped off with house-made blackberry mustard, toasted mushroom-white chocolate-blackberry granola, blue cheese, charred mushrooms, red onion and arugula.

Sukiyaki Django, Playalinda Brewing Company – Brix Project, Titusville, FL
This unique creation combines enoki mushrooms with ground bison and tops it off with stilton blue cheese, baby arugula, cinnamon chipotle pork belly, and a shiitake black bean chili mole.

Brava Burger, Bolo’s, San Antonio, TX
This burger blends angus beef with chipotle-infused portabella mushrooms, all decked out with smoked Swiss cheese, habanero garlic aioli and butter lettuce.

The GOOMBA, The Bistro at Topsail, Surf City, NC
This top-notch burger combines grass fed beef with oyster and portabella mushrooms. Top it all off with yuzu aioli, shiitake mushroom “bacon,” Havarti cheese, watercress and heirloom tomato for a truly gourmet treat.

Thai My-Shroom, The Bearded Chef, Palm Bay, FL
Take a trip to southeast Asia with this pork, beef and Monterey mushroom burger! The whole thing is flavored with ginger, lemongrass, cilantro and chili and topped with spicy Thai ketchup, pickled enoki mayo with mushroom cured egg yolks, and smoked maitake “bacon.”

Blended Burger, Pizza Gallery and Grill, Viera, FL
Cremini and oyster mushrooms meet chuck and sirloin in this classic burger topped with smoked Gouda, white peach mostarda, parsnip aioli and crispy guanciale.

The Kobe-Zola Slider, Beach Road Wine Bar & Bistro, Englewood, FL
Treat yourself to a Kobe beef patty blended with oyster and cremini mushrooms, curry leaf and black garlic. These mini burgers are topped with Japanese bread & butter pickles, Napa cabbage, red onion, Korean chili aioli, blueberry apricot gastrique and Cambazola cheese.

Burger – Marsala! The Point Grill, Rio Rancho, NM
The chefs at The Point Grill rehydrate dried wood ear mushrooms in marsala wine and add them to ground waygu beef for a total flavor bomb of a patty. The whole thing gets topped off with caramelized onions and a cremini-wood ear aioli.

Southern Smokehouse Burger, Birchwood Hall Southern Kitchen, Waynesville, NC
This Southern classic combines ground beef with oyster mushrooms, topping it all with a smoked gouda pimento cheese fritter, house-cured bacon, duck ham, spicy pork, rhubarb aioli and pickled tomatoes and apples.

The Vegetarian Blenditarian, The Cider Press Café, St. Petersburg, FL
Get ready for a vegetarian blenditarian classic! This “Beyond Meat” burger is blended with portabella mushrooms, onions and garlic and topped with charred kale, herbed provolone, red onion, tangy lemon aioli and smoked sea salt.

The Forager, Artisan Eatery, Fort Myers, FL
Waygu beef + wild boar + local oyster and maitake mushrooms = one unique patty! This burger is topped with pickled ramps, bacon jam and Comte cheese for a truly gourmet experience.

The Caribbean PorkBello, Voodoo Smokehouse, Lebanon, TN
This pork and portabella mushroom patty is topped with Queso de Papa cheese, Voodoo Sauce, cilantro pepper slaw, mango salsa and a cilantro lime aioli for a spicy, Island experience.

Trump’s Burger Wall, Franki Flav’z, Harlingen, TX
Two blended burgers are stacked together to form a real “wall” of a burger. One patty is topped with bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, while the other boasts Mexican flavors, with avocado, grilled onions, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and habanero crema.

Lettuce Clean Our Plates, Caleb’s American Kitchen, Lahaska, PA
This blended burger combines ground short rip and brisket with cremini mushrooms. It’s served up on a lettuce “bun” with avocado, bacon, aioli and even more sautéed mushrooms.

Smokey Mushroom Venison Blended Burger, Courtyard Café at Raymond James, St. Petersburg, FL
This 1/3-pound burger features a blend of venison, angus beef and maitake mushrooms, seasoned with salt, pepper and porcini mushroom powder. This fancy burg gets all decked out with beet ketchup, melted cheddar cheese and wild ramp béarnaise.

Blended Burger, Burgh’ers Restaurant, Pittsburgh, PA
You’d expect a place called Burgh’ers to have excellent burgers, and this one is no exception. A beef-and-mushroom patty gets topped off with goat cheese, pickled red onion, avocado, spring mix and balsamic glaze for an out-of-this-world take on a classic.

Stinger Burger, Georgia Tech Dining, Atlanta, GA
This isn’t your everyday college cafeteria food. The stinger burger combines ground beef with shiitake and portabella mushrooms. Top it off with tomato-bacon-jalapeno jam, smoked mushroom and garlic aioli, aged cheddar and baby arugula to go to the top of the class.

Blended Burger, Toltec Brewing, Albuquerque, NM
This burger combines New Mexico brisket with roasted cremini mushrooms and tops the whole thing off with aged white cheddar, Young Guns New Mexico Green Chile, herb and ancho mayo, bacon, a fried egg and heirloom tomato for a spicy southwest experience.

El Tejano Borracho, Curb Side Bistro, Odessa, TX
El Tejano Borracho (translation: “the drunken Texan”) is a blend of ground beef and mushrooms topped with pulled pork, tangy barbeque sauce, a jalapeno-mushroom-corn fritter, cilantro ranch, pickled red onions and a mushroom white queso cheese sauce.

SONIC’s Signature Slinger, SONIC Drive-In, Multiple Locations
Ah, the fast-food option! This perfectly-sized burger combines ground beef with savory mushrooms and seasonings for a classic drive-thru burger without the guilt.

There you have it: the top 20 contestants. Rooting for a favorite? Keep an eye out for the winner to be announced soon!

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