2023 Judges

2023 Judges

What a year 2023 has been! It’s hard to believe that we are winding down another anniversary of our Sutter Home Build a Better Burger® Recipe Contest. It is an absolute honor to be in the presence of the most distinguished judges who are from culinary, wine, and media backgrounds.

This year’s judges really have their work cut out for them! Let’s meet the people who will help pick our 2023 Build a Better Burger® winner!

First up, we have Lars Kronmark who says the condiments, sauce, texture, and seasoning MUST complement the meat and bun!

Lars Kronmark is a native of Denmark. He was educated in Denmark and is now the senior chef-instructor at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Besides conducting wine-related cooking classes, Lars also participates in events at local wineries and has been involved with the Napa Valley Wine Auction for the past 20 years. He was also voted Chef of the Year by Cordon d’Or-Gold Ribbon, Inc.




Next, we have Liren Baker who says the wow-factor comes from the complexity of flavor.

Liren Baker is a New York native who embraced life in California when she moved to San Francisco in 2000. Immersing herself in the Bay Area’s vibrant culinary culture, Liren is the food photographer, writer, and creator of the food blog, Kitchen Confidante, launched in 2010, where she shares seasonal recipes that are inspired by her life in California, the flavors of her heritage, and her travels. Liren was honored to receive The IACP Legacy of Julia Child Award in 2012 for her piece: Homework with Julia. Kitchen Confidante was also featured as one of the 10 Best Food Blogs of 2013 by PBS Food. Liren shares stories of the culinary world in the Kitchen Confidante Podcast and is the author of Meat to the Side: A Plant-Forward Guide to Bringing Balance to Your Plate (Victory Belt Publishing, 2021).


Judge Liam Mayclem is looking for a well-balanced burger. Size does not matter here, folks!

Liam Mayclem , Emmy Award-winning radio & TV personality, is best known as the host of Eye on The Bay on KPIX 5 and as “The Foodie Chap,” celebrating our home-grown culinary stars (daily on KCBS Radio). His weekly entertainment guide “Liam’s List” airs Fridays on KPIX. Find Liam here:



Next, we have Katie Hamilton Shaffer who says she’s looking forward to seeing if the winner is a good ol’ American patty or something more unique and creative!

Katie Hamilton Shaffer moved to Napa Valley to pursue a career in food and wine. She launched Feast Network in 2011, a digital platform seeks to entertain and inspire alongside master chefs, influencers, actors, tastemakers, and musicians. After filming original content for nearly seven years around the country, Katie opened her flagship “click & mortar” in 2018, The Studio by Feast it Forward. This highly visible, live marketing venue in downtown Napa is a film studio + experiential showroom shifting network fans to consumers as everything experienced is an on-camera sponsor — essentially a sandbox for brands to engage visitors with a shop-the-look virtual hub alongside a multi-winery tasting collective.

Finally, meet Chef Ines Chiarello!

Ines Chiarello was raised in New Jersey, and it was her best friend’s chef father who inspired her to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America. After living in various cities, she eventually settled in Napa Valley. Chef Ines then opened a successful restaurant in St. Helena before becoming a butcher at Keller’s Market. It was there that a request for a low country boil, where she substituted lobster for crawfish, sparked the idea that would become the Napa Valley Lobster Co. Known as wine country’s most authentic lobster boil, Chef Ines brings fresh Maine lobster, New Orleans seasoning, and unique Napa charm together for an unforgettable dining experience.

We are thrilled to announce we have found our $25,000 grand prize at this year’s Sutter Home Build a Burger Recipe Contest. Thank you to those who entered! We also invite you all to create your own burger masterpiece and wine pairing. Who knows, maybe next year you’ll be taking home the grand prize.

Stay tuned, we will soon be announcing the $25,000 grand prize winner of this year’s 33rd Anniversary of the Sutter Home Build Better Burger® Recipe Contest, while also sharing their winning recipe and wine pairing. We also invite all of you to create your own original burger recipe and wine paring, so maybe next year, you will be our grand prize winner.

Let’s Give a Big Round of Applause to the Winner of This Year’s Build a Better Burger® Recipe Contest!

Build a Better Burger

Let’s Give a Big Round of Applause to the Winner of This Year’s Build a Better Burger® Recipe Contest!