A Burger to Die For

DE PERE, Wisc. (WBAY) Chances are some of you will fire up the grill to cook hamburgers on this first weekend of summer.

There's also a good chance they won't be quite as tasty as one local chef's recipe.

On the campus of St. Norbert College, inside Michels Commons, chef Benjamin Sauer is about to showcase his culinary creation.

"Just try to create something that everyone likes and votes on, it's pure joy," says Sauer, St. Norbert College Assistant Head Chef.

Sauer, along with the help St. Norbert event manager Amanda Beck, is competing in the New York-based James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Contest.

"James Beard was a well-known chef, he has since passed, but he was friends with Julia Child, very well-known, so this is almost like the Super Bowl for the culinary world," says Beck.

200 of the nation's top restaurants and burger joints have reached the online voting portion of the competition.

St. Norbert is the only college represented.

When voting ends July 31st, the top five vote getters will travel to the James Beard House to compete for the title.

Right now, Sauer's "Lodi Dodi Smoke Burger" is in 13th place.

"It starts off with our patty which is 75-percent brisket that we grind ourselves and the remaining 25-percent is half grilled portobello and half roasted crimini mushrooms, on our burger also we have a smoked sun-dried tomato and cherry chutney, we have a thick slice of smoked gouda, tangy quick-pickled red onions and then we have deep fried sweet potato straws on top and then that's all held together with a black sesame seed studded brioche bun."

And as I quickly discovered, as good as the burger looks, it tastes even better.

The "Lodi Dodi" gets my vote.

"I've never been in a competition of this size before and it would be really amazing if we could make it to New York and represent this small college in little old De Pere," says Sauer.

Votes for the "Lodi Dodi" burger can be submitted online, once a day through July 31st.

If you want to try it for yourself, it's on the menu next Wednesday from 11:30 am to 1 pm in the college cafeteria.

Click here to vote.