American Culinary Federation’s Build a Better Burger 2002
We are very pleased to announce the results of American Culinary
Federation’s Build a Better Burger 2002, sponsored by Sutter Home
Winery and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. A year of
hard work and planning culminated in a fantastic event at Zinfandel
Ranch this weekend attended by 500 burger lovers to support City of Hope
Breast Cancer programs. We thank everybody who contributed to the
success of this event, but there are some who merit special
Our hospitality team: Barry Wiss, Susan Smith, Belinda Dubnow and
their staff’s attention to detail and expertise ensured the
success of the event—arguably the biggest and most complex
undertaking of the year for their department.
Our culinary team: James Houghton, David Tankersley, and Jeffrey
Starr managed to figure out a way to prepare and serve ten completely
different delicious burgers to 500 people. This was an extraordinary
feat of organization to say the least, and a lot to ask of any culinary
department. Our guests enjoyed the chance to taste each and every one of
the finalist burgers, and truly felt part of the excitement.
A special thank you to Jeff who despite the demands on his time in
terms of preparation for the cook-off made himself available for four
television appearances and three radio interviews to promote the winery
and the event. Ketchum Public Relations did a great job pitching Jeff as
a burger “starr” and also coordinating the live remote
broadcast by Gene Burns from KGO Newstalk Radio 810. Thanks to Julie
Hamilton, Drew McGowan, and Ken Hooper from the agency for their efforts
with the media on our behalf. Incidentally, the Food Network will be
airing a program on the Build a Better Cook-Off (filmed at last
year’s event) on the “Cook-Off America” program
November 4. Check your local listings for details.
Our volunteers: thanks to everybody from the winery who came out to
make sure things ran smoothly and that our guests had a great time. Your
team spirit and support are most appreciated! Although we hesitate to
single anyone out, special mention has to made of the volunteer who
traveled the farthest—Dennis Steward and his fiancee who came up
from Southern California to man the ticket table!
Head Judge James McNair: James narrowed over 1,700 recipes down to
ten, and pulled together an incredible panel of judges including the
Senior Editor of Bon Appetit Magazine, the Food Editor for USA Today
Weekend, and the host of the television program “Bay Cafe.”
James and partner Andrew Moore are a huge part of the success of Build a
Better Burger year after year.
Joanne Gold and Michelle Fuller from City of Hope: We’ve been
seeing a lot of these two lately. In fact, we’ve spent the past
three weekends together in conjunction with our Oakland A’s Breast
Cancer Awareness program and the BBB Cook-Off,and will work together
again this weekend at the Oakland Walk for Hope Against Breast Cancer.
They have a very busy schedule this time of year, and we appreciate
their support of our winery activities on behalf of City of Hope.
John Zehnder, Michael Baskette, and Leslie White from the American
Culinary Federation and Steve Wald from the National Cattleman’s
Beef Association: The ACF has been a terrific partner this entire year
in their new role as presenter and the NCBA added an exciting dimension
with the beef/veal category. Applause for John Zehnder, owner of
Zehnder’s Restaurant in Michigan and a chapter president of the
ACF who performed admirably as our Master of Ceremonies.
Michele Moline, Liz Hartley, Erin Wassum: Last but not least, led by
Michele, these three formed the core production team for the event. From
contestant management, to handbook assembly, to coordinating the
thousands of details that go into producing BBB, without their efforts
and dedication this event would not be possible.
As judge Charles Neave, editor and publisher of Destinations Magazine
commented: “There are three great events in Napa Valley: Home
Winemakers, Hands Across the Valley, and the Build a Better Burger
Cook-Off at Sutter Home Winery.” That’s quite an endorsement
considering the number of events that take place here in the valley each
Winners of the 2002 Build a Better Burger
Best Beef or Veal Burger—$20,000
An Italian-inspired creation using ground veal blended with hard
salami and prosciutto served on focaccia bread…
Annelle F. Williams, Martinsville, Virginia
Best Alternative Burger—$10,000
Spicy Summer Shrimp Burgers with Crisp Pancetta
A light, fresh rendition featuring ground shrimp mixed with sweet
corn kernels, sun-dried tomatoes and a touch of horseradish…
Kelly Bailer Krauss, Little Falls, New Jersey
Chipotle-Honey BBQ Bacon Burger with Gorgonzola Cheese
A meaty beef and pork sausage burger with a sweet and smoky
Adam J. Payson, Omaha, Nebraska
For all the recipes, visit www.buildabetterburger.com.
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Note: ACF’s online media room can be accessed at www.acfchefs.org/media/.