Build a Better Burger Contest Winners – 1991

Build a Better Burger Contest Winners – 1991

To promote the 1991 contest, cookbook author and head judge James McNair was asked to edit the prizewinning recipes from the first cook-off, prepare and photograph them, and design a brochure for distribution in grocery stores throughout the participating states. To create the building theme, James commissioned an architectural blueprint of a burger for the brochure cover, positioned grilling tools in a carpenter’s box, and used various raw woods as backgrounds of the prizewinning to further emphasize the construction theme.

Festive red, white, and blue balloons and red-checkered tablecloths decorated the grounds of Sutter Home, where contestants and guests enjoyed a festive party along with the cook-off. The Judges quickly narrowed in on the lamb burgers grilled by Rob Chirico and served in warm pita pockets with a fresh herb sauce.


Entries were screened and twelve regional finalists were chosen by The Gold Group agency in Santa Monica, California.

Event Manager

Diana Schwam of The Gold Group


  • Grand Prize: Robert Chirico, Greenfield , Massachusetts – Lamburgers à la Grecque with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
  • First Prize: Debbie Russell, Colorado Springs, Colorado – Hazelnut-Crusted Lamb Burgers
  • Second Prize: Caryl Welsh, Clarksville, Maryland – Italian Burgers with Confetti Salsa
  • Third Prize: Dr . Helen Conwell, Fairhope, Alabama – Calypso Burgers
  • Award for Creativity: Theodore Skiba, Tequesta, Florida – Three-Nut Turkey Burgers with Tropical Fruit Salsa

Other Finalists

  • Karen Davis, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Tea-Smoked Ginger Sesame Burgers
  • Monty Degenhardt, Indianapolis, Indiana – Tuna, Mint, and Wheatberry Burgers with Three-Citrus Salsa
  • Margie Godwin, Greensboro, North Carolina – Stir-Fry Topped Burgers
  • Janet Hill, Sacramento, California – Golden Salmon Burgers
  • Carol Ann Islam, Corvallis, Oregon – Oriental Shrimp Burgers with Mushroom Relish Sauté
  • Judith Mettlin, Snyder, New York – Hunan Chicken Burgers
  • Julie Winter, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan – Third Coast Grilled Veal Burgers


James McNair, Cookbook author, Head Judge
Kathleen Buckley
Elaine Corn
Elaine Johnston
Harvey Steiman
Bob Trinchero
Bill Rice

Build a Better Burger Contest Winners - 1990

Build a Better Burger

Build a Better Burger Contest Winners - 1990