ST. HELENA, Calif. – Sutter Home Family Vineyards has chosen its five finalists to compete for the 2015 Build a Better Burger recipe contest’s $25,000 grand prize. Cashew bacon crumble, caramelized sauerkraut and pickled saffron pears are some of the additions contestants used to elevate the American burger.
Sutter Home started the recipe contest in 1990 with a field of 20 entrants and a grand prize of $10,000. Jim Pleasants, a retired army colonel from Virginia won with his Napa Valley Basil-Smoked Burger. Build a Better Burger became one of the most popular recipe contests by the mid ‘90s and was included in the PBS show “Cookoff America” in 1998. In 2003, The Food Network featured it on the first season of the series “Food Network Challenge.”
Judges rate burgers based on taste, creativity, ease of preparation and availability of ingredients. On May 19, the winery’s culinary center in St. Helena will host the finals where each finalist will prepare their recipe for the judges. The contest will announce the winners on the Sutter Home Build a Better Burger website and Facebook page around May 20, 2016.
All finalists will receive $1,000 toward the purchase of Weber products. Voting for a People’s Choice Award will take place on April 1, 2016 and the winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize.
“The idea behind Build a Better Burger has always been to take America’s favorite wines and pair them with America’s favorite food—the burger,” explained Wendy Nyberg, vice president of marketing for Sutter Home. “Passionate everyday cooks don’t hesitate to experiment with flavors, and we love to see that creativity in the burger recipe entries as well as wine pairings.”
Click here to see a slideshow of the 2015 finalists.