Jeff Boudreaux wins $1,000 at World Burger event

Jeff Boudreaux’s prowess in cooking burgers sent him to the World Burger Championship in Las Vegas where he finished eighth — good enough to win $1,000.

Boudreaux won the Bull Burger Battle - Baton Rouge in June with his “Italian Burger” creation, securing him a chance to compete in the World Burger Championship at the second annual World Food Championships, on Nov. 7-10 in Las Vegas.

“For the Friday night (Nov. 9) semifinals, I cooked the burger I won with in Baton Rouge and finished fourth,” Boudreaux said.

That 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.

“There were 38 competitors, but three were disqualified because they didn’t turn their food in on time,” he said. “We had to cook our burger and also a patty melt.”

The contest’s organizers gave each competitor five frozen hamburger patties that had to be used to make the patty melt, he explained. “Mine was two pieces of Texas toast with sautéed onions and Swiss cheese. I put just mustard and onions on that one.”

His fourth-place spot in the semifinals earned him the chance to cook “for the big money” the next day, Boudreaux said. The burger contest winner got $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 winner burger, the El Toro, was made by Wade Fortin, of Chicago, who has been cooking professionally for 20 years and teamed up with Andrew Wiegand to form the Second City Smoke competition barbecue team.

“We had to cook a burger that included A-1 Steak Sauce in the recipe,” Boudreaux said. “I used my winning (Baton Rouge) recipe and put A-1 sauce and mustard in with the sautéed vegetables.

One judge said it was the best burger she had tasted out of the 10 semifinalists, “but the other nine judges didn’t agree. I came out eighth in the final overall deal, but that was still good because we had some big-time chefs there. I was just a little backyard cook and at least three chefs didn’t make the cut.”

Boudreaux’s cooking assistant was his brother, Brian Boudreaux, of Slaughter.

Dave Elliott, pitmaster for the competition barbecue team Porky McBeef and the Cluckers of Olathe, Kan., competed in the dessert category.

He won the $50,000 prize at the World Food Championships’ Final Table with an adaptation of his mother’s carrot cake recipe.

Boudreaux said he used some of his $1,000 prize money to buy his daughter, Molly, a string of pearls for her wedding day in March.

For more information on the World Food Championships, go to: http://worldfoodchampionships.com, Facebook.com/worldfoodchampionships or Twitter @WorldFoodChamp.