The Ultimate Cheeseburger Contest Winners
Meet our 15 lucky winners and the recipes that brought them fame. Congratulations to these talented chefs and their new creations.
All winners will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to Wisconsin in the spring, with a chef’s tour and explorations of innovative pairings of cheese and food and beverages with the state’s cheese makers, accompanied by their Territory Manager.
To view the winning recipe, click on the name of the burger.
Chef Scott Anderson
Shepherd University Dining Services
Shepherdstown, West Virginia
I created this sandwich as a breakfast/brunch menu item in our entrée-tainment area. After watching Man vs. Food and eating at an establishment in Atlanta that served a similar burger, I thought the students here would love a more breakfast-style burger creation. It’s been very popular and can be mixed up by adding in hash browns, Canadian bacon or served between French toast or apple fritters. As it is, the sandwich is very popular and has a good following.
Chef Jeremy Brown
Addison’s — An American Grill
The name comes from a partial reference to a Simpsons’ episode. My inspiration comes from my love of burgers.
Chef Trey Cleveland
Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The inspiration for this recipe comes from my desire to serve boldly flavored menu items that are all at once familiar with a nod to the creative use of flavorful Wisconsin cheeses and a "twist" on regularly menued items. Comfortable, but different, if you will!
Chef Roger Duran
Barcelona Tapas Restaurant
It came about due to a lot of traveling and being inspired to fuse together the American and Spanish flavors. A lot of the burgers today seem to be thrown together and do not have a lot of depth or thought put into them! Most chefs pile anything between two buns and call it good, or just name a version of some other burger!
Having seen both sides of the country, I have been exposed to a variety of ingredients along with my partner US Foods and the help of Todd Shepard and Rob Tackett who helped this burger become a reality.
I am a chef who is fanatic about charcuterie, and the Spanish chorizo seems to hit home with me along with quality ground beef and the natural fat of the avocado with the crispness of the fresh veggies. It’s a dish to crave. Some chase it with iced tea, but I prefer to chase it with a cold beer (pale ale).
The inspiration for our Asian Pork Burger was to bring a healthier version with a different ethnic flair to the American Classic Cheeseburger. East meets West in this Asian variety, bringing the countries together for this popular dish.
Chef Zachary Fischer
Spirits Pub & Grub
Cary, North Carolina
The inspiration for this recipe was the celebration of the Fourth of July. I ran this burger as a special and it went very well. The firecracker concept comes through flavorwise in terms of the cheddar-habanero cracker as well as visually with a “firecracker” made of a blue cheese stuffed fire-roasted red pepper, and of course what better way to celebrate the Fourth than with fireworks and a great burger featuring wonderful cheeses from Wisconsin.
Chef George H. Keller
The Grand Oasis Restaurant
Mobridge, South Dakota
My inspiration is to bring the flavors of the Southwest to our restaurant for our customers. I hope you agree that this cheeseburger accomplishes that in a unique, creative and tasty fashion and we’re in it to win it!
Chef Shea McClain
The Help Desk
Inspired by Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody
Chef Mel Melton
Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse
Durham, North Carolina
The inspiration for this dish is from my extensive career as a southern chef, with long stints in south Louisiana, Texas, and now owner of a place in my birth state of North Carolina. Pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes and bacon are southern classic staple dishes. Po’Boys are the famous Louisiana sandwich, so this is a quintessential southern-inspired creation.
Chef Sergio D. Meza
Big Dog’s Brewing Co.
Las Vegas, Nevada
When you say Wisconsin, you’ve said it all! Wisconsin’s comfort foods in a burger: brats, cheese, bacon, German heritage, pretzels and beer. Make this great burger a year-round favorite.
Chef Chad Miller
Red Robin Restaurants
Philly and great meat
Chef Nicholas Miracle
Lumberyard Taproom and Grille
My inspiration for this burger is my absolute passion for Asian cuisine. I was turned on to this cuisine in culinary school and was able to pursue it further while working in some amazing Japanese restaurants in both Scottsdale, Arizona, and San Diego, California. The burger is an adaptation of the classic Bahn Mi sandwich of Vietnam.
Naifeh’s Deli & Grill
Uncle Freddie started in the restaurant business in 1939. As I was growing up, I spent many hours working alongside him. We come from a large Lebanese family where we love food almost as much as we love each other. We love cooking and sharing old family recipes and eating Mediterranean foods.
My wife Kathy and I took over the family business in 1979. We continued serving what had become customers’ favorites such as tabouli, hummus and cabbage rolls to name a few.
In 2004, I decided to try something different. We built a beautiful new building in Cushing, Oklahoma, and Naifeh’s Deli & Grill was opened for business! Some of the customer favorites are still our recipes with a Lebanese influence.
One day while fixing myself lunch, I started to make a burger but just kept adding to it until it became what is now known to Naifeh’s customers, family and friends as "The Nearly Perfect Tabouli Cheeseburger"!
I started with a half pound kafta patty stuffed with feta cheese. I added grilled tabouli salad on top to the cooked patty and topped with melted provolone and cheddar cheese. All it needed was a little fresh hummus on the bun and it became The Ultimate Cheeseburger!
So if you ever find yourself in Cushing, Oklahoma, please stop in and let us prepare for you "The Nearly Perfect Tabouli Cheeseburger"!
Chef Cindy Partin
Branch Bistro and Catering
My inspiration for this recipe was to make a quick and easy family favorite, adding a little spice and zest to the boring cheeseburger. Placing the cheese in the center adds a little surprise for the taste buds. I choose the Bloody Mary ingredients because it has all the components for a party in your mouth. Please try and enjoy.
Fred Raynaud, Corporate Executive Chef
The Nearly Perfect Tabouli Cheeseburger