We love burgers, we love beef burgers, and personally, I love our lamb burger and turkey burger. Bring on the meats! However, we have a Vegan on our team.

She has been quietly requesting options over the last few years. I have to admit vegan food is challenging. And is there really a market for this? Well, our Vegan’s day is almost here. Plant base is becoming quite the rage, and she couldn’t be more thrilled.

Then this came up, the James Beard Foundations Blended Burger Project.  Here is what struck a cord for us and our menus.  The James Beard Foundation stated along with wanting to support the Mushroom Council they were, “Encouraging chefs to create a healthier, more sustainable burger without sacrificing taste.” We jumped on the words “without sacrificing taste.” Chef Justin from Hot Chip decided to enter the competition with his burger, Veganning of the Future. 

What is the Blended Burger Project, you may ask? The James Beard Foundation partnered up with the Mushroom Council. The goal was to have a restaurant menu promotion to make a “blended burger” by blending ground meat (or in our case, we went all plant-based!) with finely chopped mushrooms.

Not only are mushrooms a tasty partner in a burger whether it be beef, lamb, bison or plant-based, but they are also a pretty cool NON-vegetable. They are a fungus. Don’t let that deter you. Earthy, rich, and full of umami, mushrooms are also sustainable. Get this, mushroom production requires relatively low water, energy, and land space.

Growing one pound of mushrooms:

Requires only 1.8 gallons of water.

Uses 1.0-kilowatt hours of energy.

Generates only 0.7 pounds of CO2-equivalent emissions.

And since mushrooms are grown on vertically stacked beds, it’s possible to grow up to 1 million pounds of mushrooms per acre annually.

Doesn’t a big bowl of mushroom risotto sound good?  We feel you. But let’s start with the burger. Stop Down to Hot Chip and try our entry. And VOTE! Even if you don’t taste it, vote for the home team. 

Veganning for the Future: Plant-based burger w/ smoked maiitake mushroom, black walnut veganaise, pickled wild ramps, vegan American cheese, lettuce, tomato, on a potato sprouted wheat bun

When the promotion concludes on July 31, 2019, the five (5) winning chefs, selected by a panel of experts from the twenty-five (25) burgers with the most votes online, will win a trip to NYC to cook their blended burger dish at the historic James Beard House. New this year: each winning chef will receive  $5000

So help Hot Chip put Rochester on the Culinary Map! Here’s the link to vote. 

And hey! you can vote daily, and you can vote from different devices. Just saying…