When you receive an invite from the James Beard Foundation for a weekday lunch, you do not hesitate to respond yes.  You then mark off your work calendar to ensure you do NOT miss this one!  This week I had the pleasure of attending the Blended Burger Project hosted by the James Beard Foundation.  What exactly is the Blended Burger Project you ask? Keep reading to find out!

The Mission

For the fourth summer, the James Beard Foundation presents the Blended Burger Project which aims at creating sustainable blended burgers using mushrooms.  To be part of this project, the blend must be a 25/75 percent ratio of mushrooms to meat.  So my first thought was why? Our hosts soon provided the answer! This unique blend is nutritious, sustainable and has a unique flavor.  I also found it to be lighter than a regular beef blend which is great for those who avoid meat heavy diets.

The Burgers


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A little close up!

The James Beard Foundation hosted their event at my local fave Kitchen 713!  I arrived a bit late because of traffic so I may have missed some of the initial intros but I ain’t miss the food!  When I walked in everyone was nibbling on a beautiful salad served family style.  About ten minutes later, plates featuring three mini burgers arrived for each of us!  For the event, the two chefs/owners from Kitchen 713 Chef James Haywood and Chef Ross Coleman plus the Chef Jonathan Wicks from Hotel ZaZa created three unique blended burgers!

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Chef Coleman’s version was topped with a fried cheese stick. Loved it!

Adding mushrooms allowed them to be creative.  Each used a different mushroom for the blend and piled various toppings to the burgers creating three very distinct products.  They hedged on whether these will be on the menu this summer, but if they add them, be sure to give them a try!


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Chef Ross Coleman, Chef Jonathan Wicks and Chef James Haywood

These mushroom burgers will be served at restaurants around the country through the summer so be on the look out!  If you enjoy it, be sure to head to the Blended Burger project and vote for your favorite!  By voting, you have a chance to win an all expense paid trip for you and a friend to the Blended Burger event hosted at the James Beard House in New York City!  The contest is cool enough and it is great chance to support local Houston chefs!