National Burger Awards: meet the finalists

National Burger Awards: meet the finalists

The National Burger Awards returns to the Islington Metal Works in London on Wednesday 22 February 2017 with a new batch of chefs looking to deliver the best burger in Britain.

This year, the 16 finalists will battle it out in three rounds – the Signature Round, where the chefs will cook their own burger recipe with their own ingredients; the Technical Round, which will see the chefs create a burger using a selection of ingredients supplied by the National Burger Awards sponsors Danish Crown, Speciality Breads, Norseland, Branston, McCain, Buffalo Trace, Charles Wells and Pepsi MAX; and the new Booker Mystery Box round, where chefs will create a burger using ingredients supplied by Booker Wholesale. Chefs will be using grills from Electrolux Professional throughout the final.

Take a look at the National Burger Awards 2017 finalists and their Signature Burgers below, and find out who is crowned the Overall Winner, taking home a prize of £1,000, on Wednesday 22 February.

Annie’s Burger Shack – The North Carolina Burger

The North Carolina Burger

Nottingham favourite Annie’s Burger Shack has entered the National Burger Awards with an authentic American recipe. Founder Annie Spaziano makes up eight-hour slow-cooked barbecue pulled pork – created from an original recipe by her stepmother who hails from North Carolina, USA – and tops it with melted Red Leicester cheese and crispy fried onions.

BurgerFi – The C.E.O

The CEO

Chef Lloyd Hayes will be cooking up The C.E.O for US export BurgerFi, which is preparing to open its second site in the UK. The top dog of the burger menu comprises two patties blended with wagyu and angus beef, truffle aioli, tomato and bacon jam and two emmental cheese slices sandwiched between a branded potato bun brushed with melted butter.

BRGR.CO – Bacon and Guacamole Hanger Steak BRGR

Bacon and Guacamole Hanger Steak BRGR

Established in 2010, BRGR.CO has a site in Soho and another in Chelsea. The restaurant offers customers the choice of a Blade BRGR, a Rump BRGR or a Hanger Steak BRGR, made from Scottish grass-fed cattle. Chef Ahmed Fouad has gone with the latter, which will be smothered with creamy guacamole and topped with crispy bacon, before being nestled between a demi-brioche bun.

Googies – The Kent Essential Burger

The Kent Essential Burger

A finalist in last year’s National Burger Awards, Googie’s makes a return with a Signature Burger dedicated to produce raised and reared in Kent – where the restaurant calls home. The Kent Essential Burger includes 6oz of Dexter beef, which chef Jonathan Cope will cook medium rare, sitting upon roquette and house smoked onion relish jam, and topped with saddle oak smoked seven-day cured back bacon and Canterbury Cobble cheese.

Indie Burger – The Brooklyn

The Brooklyn

Indie Burger will be coming to London from its hometown of Tenby to cook up The Brooklyn. Chef Thomas James will be using two Welsh beef patties made from minced chuck steak from the restaurant’s Carmarthen butcher. Smoked streaky bacon, cheese, homemade barbecue sauce, bacon jam, lettuce and house-pickled gherkins accompany the patties, along with onions braised in Brooklyn Lager.

Las Iguanas – The Buenos Aires Burger

The Buenos Aires Burger

Casual Dining Group’s Latin American restaurant Las Iguanas has secured a place in the National Burger Awards final with The Buenos Aires Burger. Cooked by chef Glenn Evans and inspired by Argentina’s capital city, it consists of a beef patty made with 50% short rib and 50% chuck mince – in homage to the Argentinian beef cut tira de asado – Provaleta cheese, grilled smoky chorizo, caramelised onions, chimichurri and aioli.

Lockhouse – Locked & Loaded

Locked & Loaded

Redcomb Pubs launched its new casual dining concept Lockhouse in Paddington late last year. Chef Chris Spencer will be hoping to put the restaurant and bar firmly on the map with Locked & Loaded – a chuck and rib beef patty topped with dry cured Norfolk smoked streaky bacon and two slices of American cheese, combined with burger sauce, shredded lettuce, red onion and gherkins, between a brioche bun.

The Cosy Club – The Major-General

The Major-General

Launched in 2010, Cosy Club is Loungers’ second brand, which now has 16 sites in the UK. Chef Tony Curry will be cooking The Major-General – 6oz beef patty, macaroni cheese fritter, smoked streaky bacon, mature cheddar cheese, rocket, tomato, gherkin, onions and burger sauce.

Foundry Project – Reuben Burger

Reuben Burger

Foundry Project is coming all the way down from Edinburgh to compete in the 2017 National Burger Awards. The Revere brand, which also offers sourdough pizzas and cocktails at its Foundry 39 site, will be relying on Jon Mahoney to cook the Reuben Burger, which requires 6oz beef patty, salt beef, sauerkraut, Emmental cheese, gherkin, lettuce and Tabasco mayonnaise.

Shrimp and Burger – The New Yorker

The New Yorker

Delicious Dining added Shrimp and Burger to its portfolio in 2014, opening the restaurant in Southampton. Chef Liam Kelly will be cooking a recent addition to the menu The New Yorker, which sees a beef patty topped with American and Swiss cheese, pastrami, dill pickles and bacon jam, all placed on spicy slaw and a slice of beef tomato between a lightly toasted brioche bun.

The Dorset Burger Company – The Smokey Joe

The Smokey Joe

Founded in 2012, The Dorset Burger Company can be found in Weymouth. For The Smokey Joe, ground West Country beef is topped with grated Dorset red cheese, smoked Denhay Farms bacon, smoky paprika mayonnaise and crispy onion bits, served in a brioche bun. Chef Ross Kay will be behind the grill at the National Burger Awards live final.

The Lowry Hotel – Lowrys 5 Star Burger

Lowrys 5 Star Burger

The only hotel to make it into the final, The Lowry Hotel is located on the banks of the River Irwell in Manchester. Chef Ivo Pinto will be cooking Lowrys 5 Star Burger, which combines Cheshire beef brisket with caramelised onions, treacle cured streaky bacon and Godminster vintage cheddar, served with homemade mayonnaise and tomato ketchup, romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and pickled baby cucumber.

Meat and Shake – Meat Me In Texas

Meat Me In Texas

Chef Christian Stoner will be representing Meat and Shake, the US barbecue-inspired restaurant that has three sites in Tooting, Ealing and Watford. He will be competing with Meat Me In Texas, which consists of a beef patty divided equally with chuck, oxtail and brisket, topped with gruyere cheese and bourbon and smoked brisket jam.

Porky’s BBQ – Beale Street Moos!

Porky’s makes its return to the National Burger Awards with founder Simon Brigg taking to the grill, where he’ll be cooking the Beale Street Moos! Combining 80% brisket mince and 20% bone marrow, the patty is topped with barbecue burnt ends, mustard and beer cheese sauce and crispy bacon bits, served on pickleback slaw and between a demi brioche bun.

Hubbox – The Longhorn Blues

The winner of the inaugural National Burger Awards in 2015, Hubbox will be looking to take back the crown with The Longhorn Blues. Cooked by chef Jack O’Hanlon, it includes a beef patty topped with beef short rib, gravy Cornish blue cheese and tobacco onions, on top of aioli and between a brioche bun.

Sushiburger – Cheese, bacon, cheese!

Guildford’s Sushiburger made it into the final 16 with Cheese, bacon, cheese! The beef patty is topped with crispy American-style bacon and two kinds of cheese, garnished with homemade burger sauce, Spanish cow heart tomato, dill pickle and lettuce, with a side of green chilli relish.