COURTESY OF MIKE COUNTER | OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
A burger made with beef and mushrooms from St. Norbert College’s dining services has been lauded by the James Beard Foundation.
The Lodi Dodi Burger, created by Ben Sauer, assistant head chef, and Amanda Beck, event manager for conference & event services at the time, took first place in the 2017 Blended Burger Project Campus Edition sponsored by the James Beard Foundation. St. Norbert took first place in their tier, based on school size.
Sauer and Beck will travel to New York City, April 16-18, where they will serve their culinary masterpieces in the James Beard House.
“Cooking in the James Beard House is an honor in the culinary world, and we are excited to represent St. Norbert College,” says Beck. “The win is an amazing accomplishment after competing with other colleges and universities around the country.”
Sauer and Beck had to create a burger featuring a patty made with at least 25 percent finely chopped fresh mushrooms. The aim, according to the foundation, is to promote the use of vegetables as a more sustainable alternative to a traditional all-beef burger.
The Blended Burger Project encourages professional chefs to experiment with burger blends for more nutritious and sustainable menu options.
The Lodi Dodi is made from beef brisket ground with grilled portabella and roasted cremini mushrooms. It is served on a black-sesame-seed-studded brioche bun with smoked sun-dried tomato and cherry chutney, melted smoked Gouda cheese, quick-pickled tangy red onions and crispy, honey-garlic-seasoned sweet potato straws.
Sauer says he loves the recipe because it has everything he looks for in a burger:
“All the different flavor notes, tastes and textures work so perfectly together – sweet, salty, savory, tangy, smoky, crunchy and the lesser-known umami, which comes from the mushrooms in the burger patty itself.”
The Beard Foundation’s annual awards are commonly referred to as “the Oscars of food.”