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June 13, 2016

Drexel Food Lab competing in James Beard 'Blended Burger Project'

Casanova Burger available through June at Sidecar Bar & Grille

Competitions Burgers
061316_BurgerDrexel Source/Drexel University

Casanova Burger competing in James Beard Foundation's 2016 "Better Burger Project."

In order to form a more perfect hamburger, the James Beard Foundation last year launched its inaugural "Blended Burger Project," a call to chefs nationwide to develop healthier and more planet-friendly burger recipes.

In the competition's second year, the Drexel Food Lab at the Center for Hospitality and Sport Management is going all out to win a cooking experience at the James Beard House in New York City this October.

The rules of the competition were left pretty open to interpretation. All burger recipes had to use a combination of ground meat and chopped mushrooms to create a healthier, more sustainable alternative to all-beef patties. Everything else on the burger was left to the creativity of the chefs.

Restaurants may have the edge in guest experience, but the Drexel Food Lab, an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to healthy and affordable eating, is a national leader in culinary science. Eat your heart In-and-Out, In-and-Out Burger!

Led by Food Lab manager Ally Zeitz, culinary science student Andrew Rosenbach and Sidecar Bar and Grille chef Brian Lofink, the Drexel team came up with the surf-and-turf themed Casanova Burger: Kobe beef brisket, chuck roll and crimini mushrooms topped with Bibb lettuce, heirloom tomato and a summer salad of jumbo lump crabmeat, corn, bacon and tarragon aioli, served on an onion-poppy seed brioche bun.

The good news for Philly residents is that Drexel needs your help. From now until the end of July, you can try out the Casanova Burger at the Sidecar Bar & Grille at 2201 Christian Street. A special Drexel night is planned for Thursday, June 16, with an open invitation to students, alumni, faculty, staff, and families.

While you're in a food coma, you can cast your vote here and then do so repeatedly every 24 hours (while you're in the spirit of sustainability, you may be inspired to reduce the waste of precious seconds). Tweets should go out under #BlendedBurgerProject.

If you're looking for a complete summer burger tour, other Philly restaurants competing in the contest include Village Whiskey, Rex 1516, Bareburger and Poi Dog Philly. The top five burger creators will cook for the annual James Beard Foundation Food Conference.