Each year 15 of Chicago's top celebrity chefs battle for bragging rights for who makes the best burger, while guests get to try them all along with Blue Moon brews, wine and spirits.
That is, if they can manage to consume 15 burgers.
The strategy to downing them all is to go to the event hungry, then pace yourself. And remember that you don't have to finish every burger--just take a taste. Even with that in mind, my personal best is 13. My problem is that they are all so good that I have to finish each one I try.
The burgers are all original creations. Each year they seem to get even more unique. Some go with the latest trends--like bacon or burgers topped with eggs. Others are a total surprise created with out-of-the-box ideas and ingredients.
Past winners include:
Martial Noguier's Le French burger, featuring a medium-rare patty dressed with shallots, Dijon mustard and house-made country pate inside a brioche bun won the 2017 People's Choice award.
Last year's Judges Choice award went to chefs John Hogan and Tony Mantuano of River Roast for their Takashi Express, named for Chicago chef Takashi Yagihashi. The secret ingredients: Certified Angus Beef Chuck Burger meets Wagyu Beef, Pickled Vegetables, Shitake Mushrooms, and Shiso on a Turano Potato Bun.
Other winners from the past include chef Dino Tsaknis, from David Burke’s Primehouse, for his Angus prime beef burger topped with porchetta, giardiniera, aged provolone and surprisingly broccolini.
Daniel Grynevich of Kuma's Too won a People's Choice award a couple of years ago for a combo of burger and blackened chicken with raspberry-maple aioli sandwiched between a burger-bun and a Belgian-waffle.
One of my favorites dates back to the 2010 competition when the People's Choice winner was chef Kevin Hickey for his "Surf and Turf" bison burger topped with truffle cheese along with some of the best chips I've ever encountered and a brandy milkshake shooter.
This year's chef lineup includes:
Louie Alexakis | Avli Estiatorio
Matt Ayala | Cochon Volant Brasserie
Kevin Cuddihee | TWO
Alisha Elenz | mfk.
Susan Frasca | Kinzie Chophouse
Corey Grupe | Timothy O’Toole’s
Amber Lancaster | Sable Kitchen & Bar
Miguel Ortiz | Gemini
Tony Priolo | Piccolo Sogno/Nonnina/Maillard Tavern
Moosah Reaume | Virgin Hotels Chicago
Joe Rossi | Miller’s Pub
Nathan Sears | State and Lake Chicago Tavern
José Sosa | Gibsons Italia
Alex Theodoroff | MAD Social
Mike Warner | The Franklin Room
Hamburger Hop returns for its 11th year on Friday, September 28 on the Harris Theater Rooftop from 6 to 9 p.m
Bon Appétit’s Editor-In-Chief Adam Rapoport and Deputy Editor Julia Kramer will host the evening with flair while a panel of eight judges will blind taste and evaluate the creations of 15 talented chefs to crown the Judges’ Champion. Meanwhile, guests can take part in the action too by casting votes for their favorites throughout the evening to identify the Peoples’ Choice winner.
Tickets: Tickets are $125. Click here to purchase.
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Filed under: Chicago Gourmet