CHICAGO, Sunday, September 30, 2012. Bon Appétits’ fifth round in Chicago’s Burger Wars, hosted by Bon Appétit’s Editor in Chief Adam Rapoport and Restaurant & Drinks Editor Andrew Knowlton, took place last Friday evening on the rooftop of Chicago’s Harris Theatre. Every year since 2008 Bon Appétit has gathered together 15 of Chicago’s top chefs to face-off in a burger competition to see who makes Chicago’s best burgers.
Each chef tries to capture the latest trends in burgers along with the tastiest seasonings and toppings for their burgers. The playing field is even with all contestants using Allen Brothers’ meat–a popular choice with chefs around the country.
This year’s sell-out event of 1000+ featured the following chefs: Arturo Aucaquizhpi, Gene & Georgetti; John Chiakulas, Mity Nice; Amanda Downing, Rockit Bar & Grill/ Rockit Burger Bar; Dirk Flanigan, Henri/ The Gage; Clark Grant, III Forks Chicago; Kevin Hickey, Allium at Four Seasons Chicago; Yoshi Katsumura, Yoshi’s Café; Ryan Kikkert, Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap; Jonathan Lane, Benny’s Chop House; Steven Lawhorn, Palmer Place; JR Luna, LUXBAR; Mark Rimkus, Flo & Santos; Joseph Rosetti, Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse; Jeff Starr, Sutter Home Build a Better Burger®; Matt Troost, Three Aces and Chef Yoshi Katsumura of Yoshi’s Cafe Chicago.
Mushrooms, bacon, fried eggs, fried green tomatoes, pear jam, brioche, pretzel roll or the old standby hamburger bun were all fair game. But the question was what tastes best? The people and the judges spoke…the results are in…and here are the winners in the 2012 Bon Appétits’ Hamburger Hop cook-off:
1. The Judges Award.
This year’s panel of distinguished judges who selected the winner of this coveted award were: John Besh, Besh Restaurant Group; Lin Brehmer, WXRT; Sheamus Feeley, Hillstone Group; Sue Ontiveros, Chicago Sun-Times; Nick Roach, Chicago Bears; and Keith Villa, Blue Moon Brewing Co.
And the winner is…Chef Yoshi Katsumura of Yoshi’s Cafe Chicago.
His creation…a burger made with Wagyu beef, a panko-crusted fried green tomato and pickle, Asian pear jam, brie cheese and micro wasabi – all drenched in a smoky Asian style BBQ sauced and presented on a poppy seed brioche bun.
2. The People’s Choice Award.
Every attendee is given one Blue Moon bottle top to place in a bowl at the serving station of their favorite chef to vote for their burger of choice. These bottle caps determine “The People’s Choice” Award.
And the winner is…Chef Matt Troost of Three Aces Chicago.
His creation...a burger made from a 50/50 mix of Allen Brothers Steaks USDA Prime chuck and sirloin. The meat was ground in-house and presented with bacon jam, three-year-old Wisconsin white cheddar, bone marrow salt, red onion, and mixed mesclun greens on a pretzel bun.