Cooking contests are nothing new to my family. A few years back we hosted an Iron Chef contest (secret ingredient: Pears) where 2 contestants had full access to ingredients already in the house, plus $20 and 20 minutes to shop in the local grocery store. Having approximately 2 hours to cook, sharing the same kitchen, they needed to serve 6 people (including a vegetarian) an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Judges were blown away by the creativity and quality of each plate, however there could only be one winner. By only 1 point, my sister failed to claim the prize of the golden rolling pin. This year, her determination paid off, claiming first place of the first ever Pidgeon House Burger Throwdown!!!
The Pidgeon House Burger Throwdown started accidentally. At first it was just a simple idea of everyone building their own creative burger to share. No judging, no contest. Five people in one kitchen with one stove, one grill, and one beef burger to create at the same time. Soon it evolved into a contest. Maybe it was the intensity of the chopping or maybe it was the heat of the stove spicing up the craving for competition.
With elbows bumping and ingredients being shared, everyone still managed to offer advice and assist each other when needed in the cramped space. Although each wanted to win, we all wanted to have a creative and well executed burger selection. After all, we were all our own judges.
Before I continue on to show and explain each burger, I have to apologize for the quality of pictures. At first no photos were going to be taken, but once the contest was established, I knew I would need to blog about it.
Each burger was rated on a scale of 1-5 for both taste and presentation. All scores were then tallied up for a possible total of 40 points. The winners:
1st Place: Stuffed Baked Potato Burger (Rachey Face) 39 out of 40 points
Beef patty stuffed with minced bacon, broccoli, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Topped with steamed broccoli slices, grilled green onion, homemade potato chips and sour cream. Served on a sesame bun.
"most creative and well executed...exactly like a baked potato...awesome...would love to order this in a restaurant"
"tastes good...nice touch with fried potatoes"
"really tasted like a baked potato....restaurant quality"
2nd Place: Spanakopita Burger (Kacey) 36 out of 40 points
Beef patty stuffed with sauteed garlic and onions, spinach, and feta cheese. Topped with a roasted red pepper, black olive, and parsley sauce. Cucumber chip garnish. Served on a warm pita bun.
"easy to eat...tasted really good"
"fresh flavors...great sauce...restaurant quality"
"a little dry...more feta needed"
3rd Place: Taco Burger (Mike) 34.5 out of 40 points
Beef patty seasoned with taco mix and topped with a blend of mexican cheeses. Patty wrapped in a tortilla, grilled and then topped with more cheese, nacho chips, salsa, lettuce, and sour cream.
"taco burger true to taste"
"awesome idea with folded and grilled tortilla...fun to eat...would have preferred all toppings to be inside"
"good...needed more in the wrap"
4th place: Pizza Pizza Burger (Mom) 33.5 out of 40 points
Beef patty stuffed with mozzarella. Topped with caramelized mushrooms and onions, pepperoni, and parmesan cheese. 2 slices of NY style pizza as bun.
"tons of taste"
"tastes really good, good variety"
5th Place: Mountain Burger (Dad) 28.5 out of 40 points
Beef patty stuffed with beaten egg, sauteed mushrooms and onions, taco seasoning, salsa, and panko crumbs. Topped with sauteed mushrooms and onions and a heaping of mexican blend cheese. Served on a sesame bun.
"meatloafy...great mushrooms and onion flavor"
"good taste...needs something more"
"heavy but good for small bites"
This was a great idea and we all had fun with it. Another congratulations to my skister for an awesome burger, it will definitely be made again. I was really shocked at how much this tasted like a stuffed baked potato. To be honest, I would have much rather paid $60 for this burger than the Rossini Burger.