Vintage Year restaurant is pleased to be named a Grand Prize winner for James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project. In addition to a $5000 cash prize, Executive Chef Eric Rivera will have the honor of preparing his winning blended burger at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City on October 23. The well known culinary foundation partnered with the Mushroom Council and challenged chefs around country to create healthy, sustainable burgers blending in 25% fresh mushrooms. Vintage Year’s winning blended burger featured Alabama Wagyu, Crimini and Oyster Mushroom Burger, Shaved Fennel, Apple & Onion Slaw, Spiced Sorghum Glaze, Red Kale on a Brioche Bun
The 5th Annual contest boasted nearly 500 restaurants in 50 states. All summer, over 400,000 votes were cast to determine the top 25 burgers. Then a panel of food experts selected by the James Beard Foundation chose five winners based on culinary creativity, flavor profile, and presentation. In addition to Vintage Year, the other blended burger winners were Burger Shack in Lahaina, Hawaii, Hops at 84 East in Holland, Michigan, Playalinda Brewing Company in Titusville, Florida and Pompano Grill in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
“As so many talented chefs at top restaurants participated in the blended burger competition, I am honored to have been selected as one of the grand prize winners,” said Executive Chef Eric Rivera. “I am also excited for the culinary recognition that a James Beard award brings, not only to our restaurant but also to the city of Montgomery.”
The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Through the James Beard Awards, unique dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, scholarships, hands-on learning, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in the community, the Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food.
While Vintage Hospitality Group’s flagship restaurant Vintage Year is a fine dining establishment, Vintage Café is a coffee shop, daytime eatery and retail store. Vintage Hospitality Group’s Chef Eric Rivera utilizes simple dishes that focus on twists of distinctive ingredients and flavors that showcase seasonality and quality. Chef’s national press accolades include receiving mentions in the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Newsweek Magazines. Additionally, Chef Eric has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a Smart Catch Leader for sustainable seafood sourcing as well as Vintage Year being on OpenTable and Wine Spectator’s lists for Restaurant Awards of Excellence. A two time winner at the Feast of Flavours event at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Chef Eric has led Vintage Year to be named one of OpenTable’s 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America as well as Montgomery Advertiser’s Best of the Best Romantic Restaurant. Vintage Hospitality Group is dedicated to providing guests with the finest culinary selections, premium coffees, specialty teas, outstanding wines and spirits along with unparalleled customer service.