Build a Better Burger Cook-Off & 2012 Winners

| Posted by Heather for Sutter Home

The sun was out, the wine was chilled, and burgers were on the menu this weekend! A total of ten finalists (five in the beef category and five in the alternative category) had been waiting all year for Saturday – the big Build a Better Burger cook-off – to arrive. After a few days of wining, dining, and mingling with the press at the Sutter Home Family Vineyards in St. Helena, the finalists were ready to compete to win the title of best burger and a $100,000 grand prize.

BBB Highlights

Contestants were sent out to their cooking tents one at a time, 10 minutes apart, so that each had one and a half hours to prepare their respective burger recipe for the judges. Each finalist’s tent was stocked with their own ingredients and supplies, and they all had access to dozens of cooking tools provided by Kitchen Aid and Weber BBQs to grill their burgers to perfection. Take a look at their cooking process on our Vine account (just search “Sutter Home Wines” in your Vine mobile application) or on Twitter.

Our guests were also treated to each of the ten finalist recipes and cast their ballots for the fan favorite beef and alternative burgers. But the other prizes were up to our distinguished panel of judges that included Head Judge since the contest began in 1990 – James McNair, 2011 Build a Better Burger winner Jennifer Beckman, City of Hope Ambassador, cookbook author, television host and food blogger Katie Chin, Weber’s Grill Master Kevin Kolman, and multi-award winning author, television host, lecturer and journalist Steven Raichlen. These judges had a difficult – although delicious – task of tasting and scoring each burger. Plus, you can find photos from the entire weekend on our Facebook Page.


(Left to right: James McNair, Katie Chin, Steven Raichlen, Jennifer Beckman, Kevin Kolman)

After each finalist prepared and presented his or her recipe to the judges, ballots were scored and we announced the winners. Congratulations to:

  • $100,000 Grand Prize, Beef: Erin Evenson of Brooklyn, NY., 7 Train Caramelized Green Curry Burger

  • People’s Choice Award, Beef: Mark Pyne of Sheboygan, WI., Grilled Green Tomato Burger

  • $15,000 Prize, Alternative: Mark Richardson of Snohomish, WA., Indian Lamb Burger

  • People’s Choice Award, Alternative: Kim Jones of Bloomingdale, IL., Better than Breakfast in Bed Burger

(Clock-wise from upper left: Erin Evenson, Mark Pyne, Mark Richardson, Kim Jones)

If you’d like your name on a $100,000 check, too, enter your original recipe in the 2013 Build a Better Burger contest!

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