Jeff Boudreaux won the Bull Burger Battle – Baton Rouge without ever tasting his “Italian Burger” creation.
His burger, a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage mixed with Italian bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, was topped with Swiss cheese and sautéed vegetables.
“I had made it one time a time long ago at work, but I had never tasted it,” the Denham Springs resident said a few days after the June 15 contest. “I cooked it again for the contest, but I didn’t taste it until I got home that night. I had some extra meat left over. … It was a pretty good burger.”
It was good enough to secure him a chance to compete in the World Burger Championship at the second annual World Food Championships on Nov. 7-10 in Las Vegas. The World Burger Championship will feature 50 burger cooks, chefs and restaurants competing for a share of the competition’s total prize purse of $25,000, a news release said. The winner of the burger contest will get $10,000 and a chance to compete against six other category champions at the World Food Championships’ Final Table for a shot at an additional $50,000.
The Bull Burger Battle – Baton Rouge, which took place at Goodwood Hardware, was the second of six burger cook-offs to qualify local burger cooks for the Las Vegas competition, organizers said. Boudreaux also won a premier Bull Outdoor Angus grill and a free trip to the Las Vegas cooking competition.
Boudreaux, 47, said the Baton Rouge burger competition was only his second food contest.
“The first one was a jambalaya cook-off in a little community south of Hammond a couple of months ago, but I didn’t place at all,” he said.
His brother, Brian Boudreaux, of Slaughter, also took part in the Baton Rouge contest.
“My brother cooks in competitions at the time so I entered just to beat him,” Jeff Boudreaux said. “I’ll be nice and take him to Vegas with me. … Brian takes it all so serious,” he said.
Jeff Boudreaux’s approach was more laid back. “I didn’t get my stuff together until Friday night for Saturday morning. I bought everything at the last minute with no game plan other than to cook a burger.”
The meat for his hamburger was a mixture of “plain old ground chuck and Italian sausage from LeBlanc’s grocery store in Zachary. I think it’s an AG store sausage.”
Boudreaux plans to take a supply of the sausage with him to Las Vegas.
“I think that’s the wise thing to do. If I get the sausage in Vegas, it won’t be the same, won’t have the same taste, same mixture,” he said.
He grilled his burgers on a flat, black iron skillet.
“We had to make one complete burger for presentation and six samples for judges. I topped it with sautéed bell pepper, onions and mushrooms and Swiss cheese. I also had lettuce, tomatoes and pickle. Oh, and I mixed mayonnaise and mustard and put that on the burger, too. I like a hamburger bun called a Kaiser. I think it was a Hillshire brand.”
Boudreaux, who works in restaurant maintenance, was told he “got the highest score out of all the competitions across the country up until now.”
The brothers began cooking “as soon as we could walk with Grandma or Mom or somebody,” he said. “I love to cook. You’ll find me in a kitchen before a barroom. I love cooking with a passion.”
He added, “My only professional experience is flipping burgers at Dairy Queen in high school.”
The World Food Championships, produced by Trybe Targeting, will be a tournament-style competition inclusive of several rounds leading to the Final Table where the champions from the seven competing categories will vie for the World Food Champ title in front of a panel of food celebrity judges. This year’s categories are Barbecue, Chili, Burger, Sandwich, Dessert, Bacon and Pasta.
For more information on the World Food Championships, go to: http://worldfoodchampionships.com, Facebook (Facebook.com/worldfoodchampionships) or Twitter (@WorldFoodChamp).