May the Best Burger Win

October 3, 2022

Over the summer, chefs, cooks, and managers of the residential and retail campus dining locations formed teams to compete in a Burger Cook-Off.

Last semester, the Heilman Dining Center (HDC) started using ground beef from Seven Hills Food Company, a local meat company that supplies some of the best restaurants in RVA. In order to showcase the new locally-sourced beef, as well as the Impossible Burgers already on the HDC menu, each dining location on campus was invited to compete in a burger cook-off. The competition consisted of six different teams: HDC AM, HDC PM, HDC Catering/Cold, HDC Bakeshop, The Cellar, and Tyler’s.

Each team developed two different burger concepts and submitted them for approval prior to the competition. At the cook-off, the teams had two hours to prepare their burgers for judging. A panel of staff and students from different departments around campus, from facilities to student life, tasted each burger. They judged the burgers based on execution/creativity, taste, aroma, and presentation. Eight of the burgers were chosen to be showcased every Wednesday this fall at the Provisions 804 made-to-order burger bar.  

The winning burger was the 2AM Burger from The Cellar team. This double-patty bacon cheeseburger on an English muffin with sriracha aioli was wildly popular among the judges. Student athlete Katie Tritt of the women’s soccer team was one of the eight judges on the panel. “It was neat to see and taste all of the unique combinations of flavors and ingredients the chefs put together,” Tritt said “I was impressed by their creative work and enjoyed seeing their excitement throughout the competition!”

“It was a fun, creative, and engaging way to showcase our burgers and the skills of our dining team,” said Andy Kerscher, the HDC Chef de Cuisine. “Anything that opens the door for creativity and healthy competition is a good time. It also got everyone excited about the fall semester and the students coming back.”

Kerscher’s personal favorite burgers from the competition are the Impossible Bahn Mi and the Volcano Burger. Keep an eye on the D-Hall menu for these featured burgers every Wednesday:

10/5 - 2 AM Burger – By The Cellar team

10/12 - Chipotle Avocado – By the Tyler’s team

10/19 - Volcano Burger – By the PM HDC team