Local Chefs Reveal Blended Burger Project Entries

Houston is THE city where you can get the most diverse, delicious food.

Sorry, New York, L.A., and Chicago, but H-Town is the real MVP when it comes to dining.

This fact became even more apparent when I attended an event to sample local chefs’ entries for the James Beard Foundation’s Annual Blended Burger Project.

Now in its fourth year, the healthy competition challenges chefs to blend mushrooms with meat for burgers that are more nutritious and sustainable.

Several of Houston’s top food bloggers, including my friend The Hangry Woman, converged to sample these creations by Houston-based chefs.

I was pleased to see a representative from 8th Wonder Brewery handing out samples because burgers and beer are a perfect combination.

My favorite 8th Wonder beer is BREWSTON, a well-rounded, flavorful Texas Pale Ale that embodies the city of Houston.

I also recommend ROCKET FUEL, a Vietnamese Coffee Porter (yes, it is as awesome as it sounds).

8th Wonder Brewery Brewston Beer

While the beer was a bonus, the burgers were the real attraction.

We were served three distinctly different burgers prepared by Chef James Haywood (Kitchen 713), Chef Jonathan Wicks (Hotel Zaza), and Chef Ross Coleman (Kitchen 713). 

Here are the details of the burger entries for the Blended Burger Project I tasted (Clockwise starting at the top).

Blended Burger Project

Chef James Haywood 

Chef James Haywood Kitchen 713

Chef Haywood created a burger patty blend consisting of 50% chuck, 25% short ribs, 25% brisket, and 25% smoked crimini mushrooms.

Toppings include Confit tomatoes, House-made burger sauce, Mushroom ketchup, Fermented cucumber, Stout beer caramelized onions, and Little gem lettuce.

The burger is seasoned with Koji and shiitake mushroom powder.

Chef Jonathan Wicks

Chef Wick’s blend includes 25% mushrooms, 20% brisket, 20% sirloin, 20% beef neck, and 15% oxtail.

All meat was locally sourced from Black Hill Ranch.

The burger sits on a sesame seed brioche bun locally sourced from Slow Dough Bread Co. and is topped with American cheese, house-made bread & butter pickles, shaved red onions, shredded iceberg, and burger sauce.

Chef Ross Coleman

Chef Coleman’s submission is the Seekh burger: 75% ground lamb, 25% King oyster mushroom, brown beech mushrooms, green chutney, fried paneer, tamarind chutney glaze, raita purée, challah roll.

Each burger was interesting and delicious in its own way. I admire the chefs’ creativity and how they took the All-American hamburger and elevated it into something divine.

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