PF Weekly Reading List #21-Pay me $100,000 And I’ll Flip You A Burger

What's For Dinner Burgers

Winning $100,000 in the Sutter Homes 2012 Build A Better Burger competition for Erin Evenson of Brooklyn, New York must have been a dream come true. I know that putting lots of hard work into something you are passionate about takes a dedication and an optimistic outlook to bring it to life.

Cooking Contests

I think it would be a rush to enter a food contest such as this to see who can create the best burger around. I’m sure we have similar competitions around Canada but I often watch them on the Food Network and let’s be honest, people love to eat.

In the summer bigger cities that I am aware of host a Ribfest competition and judges vote on the best ribs of the weekend. You should see the people who turn out to watch a cooking contest. It’s phenomenal.It’s also fun to watch and fun to eat.

Food On Television

Don’t tell me there is no drooling when you watch Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, or John Catucci on You Gotta Eat Here. You know the funny guy who charges around Canada looking for the best food going. He’s passionate about food and when someone is passionate about something they stop at nothing to follow their dream. I know my stomach is always rumbling and my mind is creating meals when I watch.

I’m often left alone in the kitchen because the wife fears for her life when I’m moving at a million miles an hour. You can often hear my wife joke, “Yes Chef” when I ask her to help me out, but all in good fun. She loves to eat what I create although lately with her low GI diet  and the fact that we are eating less food she has to pick and choose what she tests.

Erin calls her winning burger the “7 Train Caramelized Green Curry Burger” , and what a catchy name that is. The name apparently comes from train 7  that would take her to her favourite restaurant that introduced her to fried watercress, something she had never had before but captured her heart.

Follow Your Passion

The story behind her win is what caught my eye because all foodies who are passionate about what they cook in the kitchen want to have their food to be famous. Some people leave the corporate world to ditch 9-5 or working overtime under someone else’s control. They want to bring their passion to life but for most making that step can be the hardest decision anyone might make.

Erin was laid off from her job but her passion is in food so she stopped at nothing and put everything she’s got into this burger recipe and now she will use this big win to launch her new food career. In most kitchens famous may mean the family digs what you prepared or your friends tell their friends who tell their friends, who all want your recipe.

I know I say my homemade Sloppy Joes are famous but we all know they are only famous in our house not world-wide (yet). Keeping an optimistic outlook when entering competition and spending hours putting together the best creation that you can for the judges will show in your food.

She spent upwards of 4-5 hours a week perfecting her burger over the course of eight months. The best part was that her boyfriend encourages her when she comes up with a recipe idea. I think it’s great when couples can inspire each other to reach their goals in anything that they do. That’s what a relationship is all about, partnership, working together and inspiration.

I’m sure that list should be much longer but in this moment, for this story, this is what I can think of. I know when I get in the kitchen I am always encouraged by my wife to try something new and not to be afraid to fail. If we are afraid to do things because we will not succeed or it will cost us too much money than maybe we didn’t want it as bad as we thought. You have to have passion and drive to make it to the next level. Depending on what you do money helps too but budget cash if you want to work on something that will cost you out-of-pocket.

Food Foraging

Erin talks about how growing up her parents would go foraging for food and watercress was one of the foods she would eat. I think it is a great way to teach kids about different types of food and how we can learn to survive from what is growing around us in the wild as long as we know what we are picking.

I know just walking around our area I can find fiddleheads and asparagus growing in the wild. Not all foraged food is created equal so be cautious. If I want to go mushroom foraging as there are plenty in our area. I never suggest picking wild mushrooms unless you are experienced as some can be deadly if not fatal if you ingest them.

How Is A $100,000 Burger Created? 

Well, have no fear because Sutter Homes has the winning recipe posted along with all the finalists which I thought was brilliant especially with her mix of Asian flavours to create this burger masterpiece. Be careful when you click the recipe link, be prepared for a burger like no other. In fact you can see all the award-winning recipes of current and past finalists since 2004 that have won the build a burger competition, it’s been going on that long.

This towering burger is of a South-east Asia flair piled high with deep-fried crispy watercress salad (this sounds awesome), sweet and spicy green curry glaze, pancetta slices, roasted cashews and a mint bail aioli. I’ve made my own aioli before and it’s easy to make and well worth the time and effort if you can make homemade aioli.

Cooking Substitutions

It’s not always realistic for some families to create everything homemade even if we think it costs less money. Most families have both couples working full-time so picking up some ready-made condiments to speed up a recipe is a time saver.

What I thought was great about this story was at the end Erin shares some tips to make the recipe less time-consuming and convenience short-cuts. There are some ingredient substitutions you can make if  you want to serve this winning burger to your family. If you don’t like cashews, use peanuts and buy store-bought may and toss in some mint and basil and blend and buy store-bought curry paste.

Never give up on your dreams, heck pay me $100,000 and I’ll Flip You A Burger. We all know that hard work means  lots of elbow grease and success is not handed to us on a silver plate, so get out their and follow your dream.

Questions: Have you ever entered a competition that you had to work on to perfect something and won it? If you didn’t win tell us what you had to do and how hard you worked to make your dream come true? Have you left a job or found an opportunity to follow your passion in life? Do you have a famous burger recipe that everyone loves?

Feast Your Eyes On These Blog Posts and then Join me nightly from 5-10 pm on the Canadian Budget Binder Facebook Page and share your award winning “What’s For Dinner” recipes!


Here is this weeks reading list which includes some of the best blog posts from many blogs that I interact and comment on and who also have a common interest in CBB. I’m working hard to customize it so you can all enjoy it and get the greatest benefit from the reads.

I’ve switched it up a bit as requested to see how this works out for my readers who want a bit of variety in their reading list choices each week. I will switch up the categories each week to get a variety of posts for all of you.

Mr.CBB’s Top Pick: The Joneses are Probably Broke- You Only Do This Once

I Can Buy It But Can I Afford It

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  1. Thanks for the mention! People are certainly passionate about their burgers that’s for sure! And one thing I miss the most not having cable is Triple D! I LOVED that show and envy that Guy has that job!

  2. OMG can you imagine?!
    “Hey, how did you afford this great new house?”
    “I made a burger!”
    LOL, I would love to be that person! Just goes to show creativity and persistence pay off in any situation:)

  3. That burger sounds delightful! We love the food shows too, and often dream of going on a Diners, Drive-Thru’s and Dives vacation. :-). A drive-thru not too far from here, called the Dari-ette, was featured on the show a while back, and it is awesome. We just went there this past week again, for my mom’s birthday, and it just solidified in our minds what a great place it is. The best grilled cheese I’ve ever had! We are making sloppy joes today, Mr. CBB, for a small gathering at our house, so I think I’ll try your recipe. Have a great weekend, my friend!

  4. That burger sounds incredible!!! The closest I’ve had is the boys telling me of times they have eaten something somewhere else to come home and tell me it was ‘good Mom…but not near as good as yours’ Guess that’s as famous as I’m going to get….I’ll take it.
    Your top pick on the reading list reminds me of a comic I saw years ago… something about not worrying about keeping up with the Jones….I’ll just meet them on the way down….Looking forward to reading these!!!

  5. I don’t know that my burger is an award winning one, but I do make up a pretty mean burger and is liked by those I have served it to. 🙂 Thanks so much for mentioning Jens post Mr. CBB – you have a great weekend!

  6. Thanks for making me hungry Mr.CBB! Now I have to figure out something awesome for dinner. I appreciate the mention and I hope you have an awesome weekend.

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