SOURCE: James Beard Foundation

James Beard Foundation

May 17, 2016 13:33 ET

Blended Burger Project™ Features Chefs Nationwide Competing to Make 'Shroom for Improvement in Your Favorite Burgers

Second Annual James Beard Foundation Contest Encourages Chefs to Blend Mushrooms With Meat for More Delicious, Nutritious and Sustainable Burgers -- Customers Vote for Favorite Burgers

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 17, 2016) - Is there 'shroom for improvement in your favorite burger? This summer, chefs nationwide will reimagine the iconic burger when they take part in James Beard Foundation's second annual (JBF) Blended Burger Project™, which challenges chefs to blend finely chopped mushrooms with meat to create a more delicious, nutritious and sustainable burger.

Beginning Memorial Day (May 30) and continuing through July 31, hundreds of restaurants will develop and serve their versions of a blended burger, featuring at least 25 percent fresh mushrooms mixed into the burger patty.

Diners across America can cast a vote for their favorite blended burger by visiting The five chefs with the most votes will win an opportunity to prepare their blended burger at the historic James Beard House as part of the official welcome reception for the Foundation's annual Food Conference (October 16-18).

To participate in the Blended Burger Project, diners can:

  • Visit participating restaurants and order the featured blended burger from May 30-July 31
  • Vote for their favorite burger based on a set of judging criteria at
  • Share pics of their favorite blended burgers on social media using hashtag: #BlendedBurgerProject

A full list of participating restaurants will be unveiled May 30 at Some of the nation's top chefs and restaurateurs have already pledged their participation, including:

  • Hugh Acheson (5&10, The National, The Florence and Empire State South, all in Georgia)
  • Jenn Louis (Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, Portland, OR)
  • Jehangir Mehta (Graffiti, Me and You and Mehtaphor, New York, NY)
  • Mike Rakun (Marin Restaurant & Bar and Mill Valley Kitchen, Minneapolis, MN)
  • Maria Hines (Tilth, Seattle, WA)
  • Alex Seidel (Fruition, Denver, CO)
  • Tim Byres (SMOKE, Dallas, TX)
  • Bernie Kantak (The Gladly, Phoenix, AZ)
  • Chris Cosentino (Cockscomb, San Francisco)
  • Mike Jenkins (Garces Trading Company, Philadelphia, PA)
  • Victor Albisu (Del Campo, Washington, DC)

"With the blended burger, we're moving produce to the center of the plate to create a better burger," said Chef Tim Byres, who is menuing a Texas Buffalo & Shiitake Burger with pickled beech mushrooms and banana pepper mustard at SMOKE Dallas. "Better for you because the burger is healthier, better for the planet because it's more sustainable, and all around better because it's so flavorful and juicy. We loved crafting this burger and can't wait to share it with our customers." 

Note: No purchase is required to vote. Visit to see a full list of participating restaurants nationwide, and all official rules, voting and judging criteria.

About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City's Greenwich Village as a "performance space" for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation's blog, or subscribe to the free digital newsletter Beard Bites. Follow the James Beard Foundation on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Livestream.

Social: #BlendedBurgerProject
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