PebbleCreek chefs to compete in James Beard Blended Burger Project

Sherry Jackson, RCI Corporate Communications

Two new limited-time burgers are on the menu at PebbleCreek and we’re asking for your vote.

PebbleCreek chefs, Mary Ahrens and Robert Nixon, have entered the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project. The contest, which runs May 29 through July 31, 2017, is to inspire chefs to make better burgers by blending ground meat with chopped mushrooms. The James Beard Foundation says the patty is then “healthier and more sustainable.”

Customers are asked to vote based on the burger’s “creative use of mushrooms, flavor profile, and appetizing appearance.”

At Eagle’s Nest Restaurant, Chef Ahrens has blended portabella and button mushrooms roasted with garlic, thyme and shallots and then ground with brisket, jalapenos, garlic and bacon and mixed with ground beef. Atop the burger is lettuce, tomatoes, a bourbon bacon jam, house-made pickles and a devil dog sauce made of beer, mustard, mayo and pickle brine mix. Also included is American and Havarti cheese on a brioche roll.

At Toscana’s Grill, Chef Nixon has created a pan-seared burger blended with house mesquite smoked button mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, caramelized onions, shaved lettuce, fresh watercress, Applewood bacon, aged-smoked cheddar and house-made Arizona cowboy candy mayo served on a King’s Hawaiian bun.

The PebbleCreek chefs will be competing with restaurants across the country. The five chefs with the most online votes will win a trip to the historic James Beard House in New York City where they will showcase their blended burgers at an exclusive event in 2018. Voters will be entered to win an expenses-paid trip for two to the 2018 Blended Burger event.

The James Beard Foundation was created in 1986 in honor of James Beard, a cookbook author, television personality and teacher. The foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.

Chef Ahrens burger will be on the Eagle’s Nest menu and Chef Nixon’s will be on the Toscana’s Grill menu throughout the contest period. The restaurants are encouraging patrons to taste each burger and vote for their favorite.

Vote online at: