Sutter Home Build A Better Burger® Announces Its Top 10 Finalists

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Five Competitors Will Vie for $100,000 Grand Prize

Many contestants pull from a favorite food from childhood and deconstruct it. Others tuned into what spices and cooking styles are hot from the food magazines and local restaurants and incorporate them into their recipes. In the end, it all comes down to the cook-off and how they pull it all together under pressure.

Sutter Home Build a Better Burger Contest and Cook-Off®, one of the nation’s largest recipe contests, announced its top 10 finalists who will be flown to Miami to “grill for the gold” on Thursday, September 23. The cook-off will be held at Collins Park at 7824 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. The grand prize money doubled this year to $100,000 to celebrate the contest’s 20th anniversary.

The contest received close to 7,000 burger recipes from all over the United States. None of the finalists are professional chefs, but all of them are passionate about cooking and burgers. In the beef category, the five contestants vying for the $100,000 grand prize are: Jaeger Stoltz, stylist, Blonde hair salon in Seattle, for his Strawberry BBQ Bacon Burgers; Jeanette Nelson, homemaker from Sophia, W.Va., for her Sweet Chili Citrus Changsha Sliders with Sriacha Grapefruit Mayo and Ponzu Jicama Slaw; Christine Capone, a nursing instructor from Seattle, for her Bengali Blaze Burgers; Kathi Jones-DelMonte, a homemaker in Rochester, N.Y., for her American Smokehouse Burgers; and Peter Kim, a New York lawyer, for his Venezuelan “¡Olé!” Arepa Burgers with Crispy Chorizo, Chipotle-Queso Sauce, Caramelized Onions and Guacamole.

In the alternative category, the five finalists competing for the $15,000 top prize are Regina Haase, a homemaker from Wallington, N.J., for her Lucky Tiki Sliders; Barbara Estabrook, a homemaker from Rhinelander, Wis., for her Minted Lamb Burgers, Greek Style, with Mediterranean Relish and Feta-Yogurt Spread; Mark Pyne, a former plant manager from Kent, Wash., for his Cranberry Ultimate Pork Burgers with Garlic Cherry Mayonnaise, Smoked Ham, Bacon and Gruyere Cheese; Deborah Biggs, a substitute teacher from Omaha, Neb., for her Herbed Chicken-Walnut Cheeseburgers with Lemony Frizzled Shallots and Blueberry Mustard; and Teresa Ralston, a homemaker from New Albany, Ohio, for her Ono Ohana Burgers.

The contest opened on March 1, 2010 and took entries until July 31, 2010. At the cook-off, finalists will have three hours to prepare and grill their burgers before presenting them to the esteemed panel of judges.
Since the contest began the judges have included some of the nation’s top chefs and personalities from the culinary world. The 2010 roster of chefs includes Daisy Martinez, host of Viva Daisy! On the Food Network; Steve McDonough and Dan Smith, aka The Hearty Boys, owners of The Hearty Boys Catering and hosts of several shows on The Food Network; Lucy Buffett, cookbook author and owner of LuLu’s at Homeport Marina and Fran Carpentier, senior editor of Parade Magazine. They join Burger Parties co-authors James McNair, head judge and prolific cookbook author, and Jeffrey Starr, culinary director and executive chef for Trinchero Family Estates. Burger Parties, which features 16 themed celebrations using winning burger recipes from previous Build a Better Burger Cook-Offs, was released in March.

“The judging is very comprehensive,” said McNair, who has been head judge since the contest began. “We look at presentation, taste, creativity and ease of preparation. Many times a great recipe on paper doesn’t translate to the plate; other times, we are surprised by some very artistic presentations that just wow
the taste buds.”

“The contest recipes also reflect ethnic food trends and regional cooking flavors,” Starr adds. “Many contestants pull from a favorite food from childhood and deconstruct it. Others tuned into what spices and cooking styles are hot from the food magazines and local restaurants and incorporate them into their recipes. In the end, it all comes down to the cook-off and how they pull it all together under pressure.”

For a wealth of information about Sutter Home’s Build a Better Burger, including rules and burger and wine pairings, visit http://www.sutterhome.com.

Trinchero Family Estates is wholly owned and operated by the Trinchero family, Napa Valley vintners since 1948. The company produces more than 22 brands of wine including Sutter Home, Trinchero Napa Valley, Main Street, Napa Cellars, Terra d’Oro, Montevina, Trinity Oaks, Folie à Deux, Ménage à Trois, and the number one alcohol-removed wine, Fre. The company also imports Angove Family Winemakers and Little Boomey wines of Australia, and markets and sells the Three Thieves and Joel Gott brands. http://www.tfewines.com

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