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Chef Justin Medina Wins James Beard Foundation’s Fifth Annual Blended Burger Project

We are beyond excited to annouce that our Executive Chef, Justin Medina has been selected as one of the five winners for the James Beard Foundation’s Fifth Annual Blended Burger Project!

Please see the below release from the James Beard House announcing the winners!

Introducing the Winners of James Beard Foundation’s Fifth Annual Blended Burger Project™

Top Five Restaurants Chosen Among Nearly 500 Participating Restaurants Nationwide by Prestigious Panel of Judges

New York City (August 20, 2019) – Drumroll, please. With nearly 500 restaurants in all 50 states and 402,000 consumer votes, the James Beard Foundation announces the winners of the 5th Annual Blended Burger Project™ – a summer-long campaign which challenges restaurants and foodservice professionals to menu a more delicious, nutritious and sustainable burger blending meat* and mushrooms.

From Memorial Day through July 31, restaurants served their own renditions of a blended burger and encouraged diners to cast their votes online for their favorites.

The top 25 restaurants with the highest votes were reviewed by a judging panel – Chris Morocco, Senior Food Editor, Bon Appétit; David Stample, Celebrity Chef and Philanthropist; Erika Nakamura and Jocelyn Guest, Star Butchers and Co-Founders, J&E SmallGoods – and narrowed to the final five.

Chefs from the winning restaurants will now have the opportunity to cook their blended burgers at the historic James Beard House in New York City on October 23. Winners will also be taking home $5,000 each.

“The continued excitement we’ve seen from chefs to add fresh, chopped mushrooms to burger patties for a more sustainable, flavorful burger has resulted in the best year of the Blended Burger Project to date,” said Kris Moon, chief operating officer of the James Beard Foundation. “Congratulations to the five winners and thank you to all who participated.”

The winning restaurants are:

• Burger Shack, Lahaina, HI The Maui Ono Mushroom Burger is a 70/30 grass-fed Maui beef and Kiawe-smoked king ali’I’ mushroom patty on a toasted brioche bun with upcountry watercress, pickled hon shimeji mushrooms, red onion, carrot
salad, Bel Paese cheese and kimchee ketchup.

• Hops at 84 East, Holland, MI The Trumpet Burger is a 75/25 local brisket and trumpet mushroom grind garnished with Roelli Red Rock cheddar bleu, house bacon, gochujang-pickled wild foraged ramps, local arugula and duck fat mayo on a black and white sesame bun.

• Playalinda Brewing Company, Titusville, FL The Viva Ybor! Burger consists of a soppressata-seasoned beef, pork and crimini mushroom blended patty topped with swiss, cured sweet ham, mojo pork pernil, English mustard, and house-made mustard pickles on fresh Cuban bread.

• Pompano Grill, Cocoa Beach, FL The Psychedelic Phish Burger features a blended patty of local Florida caught cobia, Scottish salmon and roasted crimini mushrooms, hoisin sauce, ginger and garlic. The patty is coated in a tuxedo sesame and panko crust, topped with soy wasabi mayo, pickled shiitake mushrooms and arugula on a porcini mushroom-dusted brioche bun

• Vintage Year, Montgomery, AL The Blended Burger features a mix of Alabama wagyu, crimini and oyster mushrooms with shaved fennel, apple, onion and ginger slaw, spiced sorghum glaze and red kale on a brioche bun.

For ideas and inspiration for making The Blend at home, visit Blenditarian.com.
(*Or other protein.)

About the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to promote good food for good™. For more than 30 years, the James Beard Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives. Through the James Beard Awards, unique dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, scholarships, hands-on learning, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in our community, the Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food. To that end, the Foundation has also created signature impact-oriented initiatives that include our Women’s Leadership Programs, aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in the culinary industry; advocacy training through our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change; and the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards, which shine a spotlight on successful change makers. The organization is committed to giving chefs and their colleagues a voice and the tools they need to make the world more sustainable, equitable, and delicious for everyone. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org and follow @beardfoundation on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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