Build a Better Burger Contest Winners – 2010

Build a Better Burger Contest Winners – 2010

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Build a Better Burger, the Cook-Off was relocated from our Napa Valley home base to the great party scene of Miami Beach, Florida. Headquartered at the spectacular Loew’s Miami Beach oceanside hotel, the ten finalists, sponsors, and judges enjoyed several days of Florida sunshine.

On Cook-Off Thursday, the morning skies were ominous with the threat of showers. Shortly after the first finalists began cooking, torrential rains drenched the beach park location and almost everyone involved. The stalwart Sutter Home staff, some soaked to the bone, miraculously managed to keep the contestants and their burgers dry under a canopy of giant golf umbrellas held aloft over the finalists as they worked at at their shiny new Weber grills.

Inside the big tent, invited guests and sponsors were kept dry and cozy as Trinchero Family Estates President, Bob Torkelson, and Sutter Home Senior Director of Marketing, Wendy Nyberg, presided over the festivities, made even more exciting by the stormy weather. Guests lunched on samples of the ten competing burgers prepared on site by the caterers, and then marked ballots to determine the $2,500 People’s Choice winners in both the Beef and Alternative Burgers categories.

When introducing his fellow judges, each returning to BBB from previous years as part of the anniversary celebration, Head Judge and Honorary Chairman, James McNair, quipped that the event should be renamed “Build a Wetter Burger”.

For the first time in BBB history, a slider recipe took one of the two top prizes when self-described domestic diva Jeanette Nelson of Sophia, West Virginia won $15,000 for the Best Alternative Burgers for her Lucky Tiki Sliders.

Jaeger Stoltz, a stylist from Seattle, Washington, was joined in his victory dance by judge Daisy Martinez after he was proclaimed winner of the $100,000 Grand Prize for his Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burgers. He was still dancing a week later when he cooked his winning burgers on the Today Show in New York.


Sutter Home staff members screened about 7,000 recipes during the summer and sent over 4,000 qualified recipes to Head Judge James McNair and his culinary associate, Andrew Moore, who selected their favorite recipes. They were joined by Sutter Home’s Culinary Director and Executive Chef, Jeffrey Starr,  and Sutter Home chef Matthew Bennett to narrow the field to 10 recipes in each category. During a two-day preliminary Cook-Off, the group chose five finalists in each of the two categories.

Cook-Off Event Manager

Michele Ashby, Marketing Event Manager, Sutter Home Winery


  • Grand Prize (Beef Burgers): Jaeger Stoltz, Seattle, Washington: Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burgers
  • Grand Prize (Beef Burgers) People’s Choice Award:  Jeanette Nelson, Sophia, West Virginia; Sweet Chili Citrus Changsha Sliders
  • Grand Prize (Beef Burgers) First Runner-Up: Peter Kim, New York, New York: Venezuelan “¡Ole!” Arepa Burgers
  • Grand Prize (Beef Burgers) Second Runner-Up: Jeanette Nelson, Sophia, West Virginia; Sweet Chili Citrus Changsha Sliders
  • Best Alternative Burgers Prize: Gina Haase, Wallington, New Jersey: Lucky Tiki Sliders
  • Alternative Burgers People’s Choice Award: Mark Pyne, Kent Washington: Cranberry Ultimate Pork Burgers
  • Alternative Burgers First Runner-Up: Teri Ralston, New Albany, Ohion: ‘Ono ‘Ohana Burgers
  • Alternative Burgers Second Runner-Up: Mark Pyne, Kent Washington: Cranberry Ultimate Pork Burgers

Other Grand Prize (Beef Burgers) Finalists

  • Christina Capone, Seattle, Washington: Bengali Blaze Burgers
  • Kathi Jones-DelMonte, Rochester, New York: Americana Smokeshack Burgers

Other Alternative Burgers Finalists

  • Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska: Herbed Chicken-Walnut Cheeseburgers
  • Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin: Minted Lamb Burgers, Greek Style


James McNair, Head Judge
Lucy “Lulu” Anne Buffett
Fran Carpentier
Daisy Martinez
Steve McDonagh
Dan Smith
Jeffrey Starr

Build a Better Burger Contest Winners - 2009

Build a Better Burger

Build a Better Burger Contest Winners - 2009