Bell County Burger Battle seeking competitors

Published 12:19 am Monday, August 26, 2019

The Bell County Burger Battle is seeking competitors for their upcoming competition.

The competition is taking place at the Middlesboro Community Center on Sept. 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., which gives you three weeks to be preparing to go to war with local burger connoisseurs. The competition is the first of its kind to be held in Bell County and is being sponsored by The Big One 106.3 WRIL.

“We all know there are thousands of ways to make a burger,” Judge and “Cheferee” John Day said. “What makes the perfect burger? Is it the meat? The bun? The toppings? For this battle, cooks will compete to make the most perfect burger for the perfect juicy bite. We want to see what your perfect burger is.”

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Day explains that if you don’t want to compete but want to sample the burgers, there is an opportunity for you to participate as well. Your admission will grant you the access to watch the competition and then taste.

“You will sample each entry and vote for your favorite, crowning a People’s Choice,” Day explained. “Every spectator must have a ticket, so there is no sharing.”

There are a limited number of tickets available, 50 to judge and 10 to compete.

“This competition may have a few twists involved,” Day said. “You will never know what will be thrown at you next.”

For those wishing to compete, you can find the event on Facebook at Bell County Burger Battle. There you will find a list of what you can bring, a list of what you cannot bring, five secret ingredient rules, what will be provided for you, and your pantry items. Each contestant or team must register online and submit their biography and photo one week prior to the competition.

Registration is $50 per team or contestant of up to 4 members.

Each contestant must be checked in 30 minutes prior to doors opening and are allowed up to 4 members on their team. Only the team captain or the head chef will be presented a trophy.

Day wants to remind contestants that they will have up to 15 minutes to prep and check stations and deliberate on strategy before the pantry race.

“No burners can be turned on or allowed prepping of food until cooks are qualified and the pantry race is final,” he said. “Remember, your five secret ingredients cannot be prepared or cooked. It must be sealed and raw in its original form. Spices are acceptable as a part of your secret ingredients but need to be sealed and labeled.”

For the competition, each contestant will have a maximum of 45 seconds to run for their pantry. The items in the pantry are limited, and Day suggests that teams strategize.

“Contestants have 60 minutes to cook their dish,” he explained. “Each contestant must create five final plates, and each final plate should be equivalent to a gourmet plate showing as much of your culinary skills as possible. You must bring your own presentation plates. If you do not have one, we will provide a plate for you.”

Contestants are judged on four categories:

Execution (final plate was executed per theme of the competition) — 10 points;

Creativity (given the competition condition, how creative was the final plate) — 10 points;

Appearance (the aesthetic of the final plate) — 10 points;

Taste (is the dish an item we’d come back for) — 20 points.

Contestants are encouraged to ask questions.

“We are here to give and share as much information on the competition as possible,” Day said enthusiastically.

The prizes are as follows:

• Winner of Taster’s Choice will receive $100;

• Winner of Judged Plate will receive $200 and a trophy.

Everyone in the community is invited and encouraged to attend.