Chef Phillip Thomason of Norfolk’s VINTAGE Kitchen was invited to the James Beard House’s Blended Burger Bun’anza in New York City in January, an evening celebrating the top-voted blended burgers that competed in the James Beard Foundation’s third annual Blended Burger Project last summer. Chef Thomason prepared his Backyard Burger at the event, which was one of the five burgers that received the most votes from 409 competing restaurants during the Blended Burger Project.

Blended Burger Bun'anza attendees included four of the five winning chefs and over 80 culinary and media figures. The winning chefs from New York City, Texas, Florida and Virginia prepared and served dozens of their top-voted blended burgers to guests, and were the first winners to ever be featured at an open-to-the-public dinner at the historic James Beard House.

VINTAGE Kitchen Backyard Burger“The Blended Burger Project has helped to support the national movement toward chefs developing more plant-forward, sustainably produced dishes, and patrons seeking healthier, more earth-friendly foods,” said Kristopher Moon, vice president of the James Beard Foundation. “We [were] excited to recognize the innovative work of [the] five winning restaurants, and look forward to building upon the project’s success with the upcoming fourth annual Blended Burger Project.”

Blended Burger Project regulations required each chef to prepare a burger that consisted of at least 25 percent chopped mushrooms in addition to beef, chicken, veal or other meats used to create the burger. Chef Thomason’s Backyard Burger showcased his signature 75/25 blend of Virginia-raised grass-fed beef and local oyster mushrooms.

Learn more about Chef Phillip Thomason’s blended burger here.

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