Ultimate Burger Contest Recipes Tested Out

Students from Johnson and Wales University followed the recipes submitted by our readers who earned the top numbers of votes in the beef and alternative burger categories.


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The Umami Burger

The judging for Rhode Island Monthly’s Ultimate Burger Contest was held on Monday at Johnson and Wales University’s City Burger Kitchen. Our three judges, including Dan Jaehnig from NBC 10, chef Ken Watt from Johnson and Wales, and Janice Pascone from Garden City Center, tasted all six finalists, including three beef burgers, and three alternative versions, and rated them on a scale of one to ten.

Students from Johnson and Wales University followed the recipes submitted by our readers who earned the top numbers of votes in the beef and alternative burger categories. The six finalists had the most creative recipes, including the Bugg’d Outt Burger (bacon, pulled pork, coleslaw, Swiss cheese, among other ingredients); the Umami Burger (shitake mushrooms, soy sauce, sherry vinegar, smoked bacon, gouda); the Cubano (ground pork butt, sweet Virginia honey ham, garlic, dill pickles, Swiss cheese); the Cannellini-Veggie Burger (cannellini beans, zucchini, carrots, red onion, garlic); D’s Curry Turkey Burger (ground turkey, curry powder, red pepper flakes, Sriracha sauce); and the Don’t be a Turkey Burger (ground turkey, goat cheese, baby spinach, caramelized onions, BBQ sauce).

While the judges tasted each burger, they shared their opinions about each one (the Curry Turkey Burger sent Jaehnig sprinting for a bottle of water – can’t handle spicy foods, Dan?) and chef Watt shared fun facts about different ingredients. Who knew the Sriracha sauce we know and love is an American invention? I had no idea that the Huy Fung sauce in the trademark rooster-emblazoned bottle with the green cap was created in the 1980’s in Los Angeles by David Tran as his own take on the traditional Asian chili sauce (check out this New York Times article). You learn something new every day!

If you want to recreate these fun burgers at home, check out our recipe gallery. Otherwise, stayed tuned for our January 2013 issue of Rhode Island Monthly, to find out which burgers came out on top. 



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