Restaurants Can Now Enter The James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project

NEW YORK — Chefs, sharpen your knives. The James Beard Foundation today announced restaurants can now begin registering for the 5th Annual Blended Burger Project™ competition, which challenges chefs to make burgers better by blending at least 25 percent of finely chopped fresh mushrooms with meat*.

In addition, to celebrate the growing popularity of the blended burger, the initiative will expand to consumer audiences with a variety of strategic partnerships throughout the year.

“The blended burger is a great example of how plant-forward dishes can not only be sustainable, but also incredibly crave-able,” said Katherine Miller, VP of Impact, James Beard Foundation. “We are excited for the Blended Burger Project competition to achieve this five-year milestone – and we look forward to discovering and sampling the creative entries from participating restaurants.”

The Blended Burger Project launches Memorial Day (May 27) and continues through July 31. Throughout the competition, fans will vote for their favorite “blended burgers”. In August, a panel of food experts selected by the James Beard Foundation will review burgers from the 25 contestants who received the most online votes. They will select five winners, based on culinary creativity, flavor profile and presentation. Winning chefs will each win $5,000 and a trip to New York City to cook their blended burger at the historic James Beard House.

“The Blended Burger Project lines up with our restaurant’s – and our customers’ – philosophies,” said a multi-year participant and 2018 winner Fiore Moletz of Burgh’ers in Pittsburgh. “We seek creative takes on the iconic burger, while our guests want to be served food that lines up with their health-conscious, sustainability-minded and active lifestyles. We call our burger #theblend, and it now generates 10-15% of weekly revenue.”

Registration Opens Today

Registration is now open for the 5th Annual Blended Burger Project. Contestants that sign-up by April 15th will receive a special Blended Burger Project t-shirt and knife roll, one per Contestant, while supplies last.

To take part in the 2019 Blended Burger Project, restaurants can:

  • Develop a blended burger that consists of at least 25 percent fresh mushrooms. (Any ground protein. Any fresh cultivated mushroom. Any favorite seasonings and toppings.)
  • Register to participate at, including sharing a photo, description of the burger and recipe.
  • Menu the burger and encourage guest votes from Memorial Day (May 27) through July 31.

For more information on the chef component of the Blended Burger Project, visit

*Or other protein.

About the James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to promote good food for good™. For more than 30 years, the James Beard Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives. Through the James Beard Awards, unique dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, scholarships, hands-on learning, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in our community, the Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food. To that end, the Foundation has also created signature impact-oriented initiatives that include our Women’s Leadership Programs, aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in the culinary industry; advocacy training through our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change; and the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards, which shine a spotlight on successful change makers. The organization is committed to giving chefs and their colleagues a voice and the tools they need to make the world more sustainable, equitable, and delicious for everyone. For more information, please visit and follow @beardfoundation on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.