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Birth of a Concept: The Blend

For the past several years, chefs have faced increasing pressure to serve healthier and more sustainable meals that reduce calories and sodium and still taste delicious. Simultaneously achieving nutrition, sustainability, and flavor is a core value of America’s food system.

Broadly offered on American menus, the beef-and-mushroom-blended burger, otherwise known as “The Blend,” was conceived of and incubated by the Healthy Menus R&D Collaborative (HMC), an educational initiative of high-volume culinary leaders developed by the Culinary Institute of America in partnership with its founding member, the Mushroom Council. The Blend concept is an example the innovative and strategic culinary insights that are used to address the substantial health and environmental imperatives that face the foodservice industry. Read more about “The Blend” and “The Protein Flip” here.

Many have perceived this groundbreaking development as an opportunity to change the way Americans eat. This year marks the third annual Blended Burger Project, in which chefs across the nation, including those who already menu some of the best burgers around, have the opportunity to work with the James Beard Foundation and show guests how great taste, better nutrition, and increased sustainability can come together to improve the quality of the food they eat.


How to Make Burgers Better with The Blend:


About the James Beard Foundation and Blended Burger Project™ Partnership

Over the last seven years, through its Impact Programs, JBF has become more involved in the conversations around health and sustainability in our food system. These programs and initiatives include the annual JBF Food Conference, where JBF explores timely subjects with top researchers, food entrepreneurs, farmers, biologists, activists, chefs, and other professionals; the yearly Leadership Awards, which recognize visionaries creating a more healthful, sustainable, and safe food world; and the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, which provides a unique opportunity for civically and politically minded chefs to become more effective leaders for food-system change.

This year JBF is pleased to once again partner with the Mushroom Council to host the Blended Burger Project™, which encourages chefs to create a healthier, more sustainable, and tastier burger that can be enjoyed by consumers across the country, while also educating diners about the many benefits of The Blend and the future of food.

The Blended Burger Project™ is supported by: