Warning: the contents of this article may appear too delicious for the average burger-lover. Recently SNC Dining Services has received lots of press for its successful entry of the Lodi Dodi Smoke Burger into the James Beard Foundation's 2017 Blended Burger Project™. SNC Dining Services is no stranger to success, having been lauded for years as consistently ranking in the nation’s top 15 college dining facilities. However, the goal of this burger competition goes beyond creating delicious burgers for just students.
This whopper of a story began this past semester with the SNC Blended Burger Competition held in Ruth’s Marketplace. Four teams of chefs set out to reach the university’s goal of creating a healthier and more sustainable burger by mixing mushrooms with ground beef to create an
equally tasty and innovative patty. SNC Magazine’s article “Quest for the Best” follows Green Knight TV’s coverage of the competition, in which Guy Fieri’s nephew, “Hamilton Burger”, interviewed the famous Chef Dan Froehlich. After a campus-wide vote, the university selected the Lodi Dodi Smoke Burger, created by Amanda Schnebbe Beck and Ben Sauer, which is now a finalist in the James Beard Foundation's 2017 Blended Burger Project™. The Green Bay Press Gazette News came by SNC Dining Services to learn the mouth-watering recipe: “Whole beef brisket ground with grilled portabella and roasted crimini mushrooms. It's served on a black sesame seed studded brioche bun with smoked sun-dried tomato and cherry chutney, melted smoked Gouda, pickled red onions and crispy honey garlic seasoned sweet potato straws.”
The guidelines for the competition require not only the creativity of the chefs, but the participation of an online audience. Submissions must adhere to the mission of the James Beard Foundation, whose goal is to cultivate “a movement that strives to make burgers better by blending ground meat with chopped mushrooms, creating an incredibly delicious patty that’s healthier for your guests and more sustainable for the planet.” The main rules include: 1) the burger must be made of at least 25% mushroom, 2) entrants should use social media to promote their dish, and 3) tasters must go online to vote for the winning sandwich. As anyone who has had the honor of tasting or even merely seeing images of the Lodi Dodi Smoke Burger on the SNC Dining Services Facebook page (the source from which the pictures in this article were taken), it appears as if SNC Dining Services has grilled up a sizzling hit!
According to the James Beard Foundation website, the five chefs with the highest votes will be awarded a trip to New York City to represent their organization at the James Beard House, where their blended burgers will be featured in 2018.
SNC Dining Services has also announced its continued tradition of offering excellent food for its students, as it has yet again ranked in the top university dining facilities in the nation at number 15 (Niche).