Last Monday I had an opportunity to attend a very special lunch. James Beard Foundation along with The Mushroom Council launched their second annual Blended Burger Project (formerly called Better Burger Project). Restaurants nationwide will be taking part in the project and will be presenting / serving their own version of the blended burger. Our very own Minnesota restaurants Marin and Mill Valley Kitchen will be participating too. They will be offering their rendition of the blended burger from May 30th to July 31st at both locations. To see the full list of participating restaurant please visit jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject . So be sure to check it out if any restaurants around you is!
So what is The Blended Burger Project? Blended Burger Project is an initiative to make healthier burgers by mixing ground meat with at least 25% of minced mushrooms. Chefs around the nation will be participating and posting their renditions on social media. Five chefs who win the most votes through social media will get the chance to visit the James Beard House in New York City where they will cook their version of the burger during the JBF conference. You can get more information about the project and how you can participate in this movement here. The whole idea behind the blended burger is to provide diners with a delicious yet nutritious and sustainable burger.
During the launch on Monday, Chef Mike Rakun (Marin Restaurant and Bar and Mill Valley Kitchen) and his team presented two versions of his blended burger. First burger was with a patty of ground beef and chopped shiitake mushroom blended in the mixture of watercress, brie, smoked onion mustard, champagne vinegar, pickled ramps and thyme. (That alone is making me hungry as I write this post!) The patty was served in Challah bun! The second was equally delicious. Ground bison patty mixed with portobello mushroom, tomato jam (interesting…), balsamic vinegar, garlic, ricotta cheese and porcini served between potato buns with a layer of arugula to give a hint of spice. The first kind will be served at Marin while the latter one will be served at Mill Valley Kitchen.
I had so much fun at the event and really enjoyed both the burgers. I also met few local food bloggers. Hi to Brenda and Shaina if you read this! I also got a chance to have a brief chat with Ms. Knudsen, owner of Knudsen Vineyards. Such a sweet lady. The wine didn’t disappoint either. I also got to meet Chef Berglund from The Bachelor Farmer and recipient of this year’s James Beard Award Best Midwest Chef. I will be honest; I had a bit of a star struck moment! Hence the awkward stance ☺
I can’t wait to take Ananta to Marin or Mill Valley Kitchen so that he too can try the burgers. I hope more restaurants take part in this movement so that I can try more versions.
Thank you James Beard Foundation and The Mushroom Council for having me.