The morning of Saturday September 30, was a typical Napa morning…cool and foggy, but with the promise of a beautiful day ahead. We head out to the Martini Mansion which was well occupied by the good folks of Sutter Home Family Vineyards, and the anticipation was palpable, and not just by the finalists! Everyone is scurrying in some different direction, with a great sense of purpose. The Hearty Boys were early and milling about in the assigned “sky blue” Judge shirts that were provided for the event. I met up with James McNair who was hosting the event (and head judge!), and his partner, Andrew Moore.
We each were served half of 10 burgers, and those burgers were separated into 2 claases: Alternative and Beef. The winner of the Alternative category would win $10,000 and the winner of the Beef category would win $50,000. As luck would have it, I was so busy tasting burgers that I didn’t photograph them, but the winner of the alternative burger was Elizabeth Bennett and her Opa! Burger, which featured flavors of the Mediterranean (lamb, feta, oregano, and the secret ingredient:2 slices of soppresata!), and the winner of the beef burger was Camilla Saulsbury and her Born in Berkeley Burgers (showcasing lemon grilled fennel and arugula-fig topping, teleme cheese and crispy bacon). Not too shabby!
Afterwards, dessert was served,( you guessed it!) in the shape of a burger!
Just as I suspected….a really terrific event!