Wednesday, November 14, 2012

World's Best Burger: Utah's Lucky 13

Salt Lake City's Lucky 13 Bar and Grill won the World Burger Championship, held in Las Vegas Nov. 1-4. 
A first-time event at Caesar's Palace, the World Food Championships consisted of seven different contests — burger, barbecue, chili, sandwich, chef, side-dish and recipe. Lucky 13's owners Jason Stucki, Rob Dutton and Ron Lay won the burger category with a Spicy Candied Bacon Cajun Burger. It was one they had never made before.
"We're known for our fresh, never-frozen beef, and our house-smoked bacon, and that got us into the top 10," Stucki said in a telephone interview. "But in the finals, we weren't allowed to use the ingredients we brought with us, in order to level the playing field."
Each team drew out a "flavor inspiration," and Lucky 13 ended up with Cajun.
The trio had to create a burger based on ingredients they were given, including the sponsoring product, A-1 Sauce. They topped their blackened burger with caramelized bacon and roasted red pepper aioli. The won the $10,000 prize after garnering the highest score from the judges, who were prominent chefs and food writers.
"I recognized some of them from food TV shows," Stucki said. "We were blown away when they announced us as the winner."
In the "Final Table" round, all the champions from the seven different contests were eligible for the grand champion prize of $50,000. Lucky 13 came in second place, earning an extra $10,000. The grand champion was Robert Butler, chef at The Paris Las Vegas, and his sous chef, Lowell McCain, who had won the Best Sandwich category.
Stucki said the winning Cajun-flavored burger is likely to end up on the menu, "But we're not going to rush it out there. We want to make sure we can execute it really well so it can stand up to the demand. It's really labor- and time-intensive to make."
Lucky 13 is located at 135 W. 1300 South and has been in business just over three years.

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