Meet our Judges
It’s hard to believe that 2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of our Sutter Home Build A Better Burger® Recipe Contest. Fortunately for us and all who’ve entered this year’s contest, our distinguished judges are once again some of the best culinary chefs in the country.
We’re so excited to find out who they’ll choose to be the winner of this year’s contest and the $30,000 grand prize. While we are all waiting on the edge of our seats, let us introduce you to our illustrious judges.
MEET MICHELIN RATED CHEF DOUGLAS KEANE, OF THE CYRUS AND HEALDSBURG BAR AND GRILL
Cornell University graduate Douglas Keane’s career began in New York but blossomed in the Bay Area, where he sharpened his culinary acumen and met future business partners at San Francisco’s Jardiniere and Gary Danko. At Jardiniere, Douglas was honored as the Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle and earned three and a half stars for his cuisine. Douglas then partnered with Nick Peyton to open Cyrus, a luxury restaurant that opened in Sonoma County in 2005. Cyrus and Chef Douglas have been the recipients of abundant accolades, which include two stars from the Michelin Guide, four stars from Michael Bauer at the San Francisco Chronicle, Gourmet magazine’s Top 50 Restaurants in America, Esquire magazine’s Chef of the Year and Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chef. Douglas was also awarded the James Beard Best Chef-Pacific award in 2009. Douglas and his business partner, Nick Peyton, are currently in the permitting and designing phase to rebuild their restaurant, Cyrus, in the middle of the vineyards in Geyserville, Alexander Valley.
MEET CHEF JUSTIN YOUNG, NAPA VALLEY CHEF AND U.S. COAST GUARD VETERAN
Chef Justin Young is a U.S. Coast Guard Veteran whose food and wine experience spans the valley’s top culinary programs. A Culinary Institute of America (Greystone) graduate, Justin has contributed his wine pairing expertise to the culinary and special events teams of Kendall Jackson Family Wines, Far Niente/Nickle and Nickle Cellars, Joseph Phelps Vineyards and, most recently, Silver Oak Cellars following his 17 years of U.S. Coast Guard service.
MEET CHEF LARS KRONMARK, CWP PROFESSOR OF CULINARY ARTS, AND ONE OF OUR FAVORITE RETURNING JUDGES
Chef Kronmark’s interest in wine developed over the past 20 years and has culminated in his recognition as a certified wine professional. In addition to conducting wine-related cooking classes, he also participates in events at local wineries. Chef Kronmark has been involved with Auction Napa Valley for the past 20 years and has been chosen as the chef for the barrel auction at CIA for the past 10 years. In 2010, Chef Kronmark was asked to be the celebrity guest chef at the wine auction VIP event at Meadowood, joining top chefs from all over the United States. Most recently, Chef Kronmark served as the auction chair for Auction Napa Valley in 2019.
Stay tuned, we will soon be announcing the $30,000 grand prize winner of this year’s 30th Anniversary 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.