The return of a meaty competition is cooking up on San Antonio’s Southside, giving eight area chefs the chance to work their buns off to impress burger buffs.
Hosted at Brooster’s Backyard Icehouse, located at 815 Pleasanton Rd., Burger Showdown 2.0 is an outdoor competition in which attendees, aka burger fans, get to enjoy any or all of the chefs’ burgers and vote for their favorite.
The first-place chef will be awarded a cash prize and a trophy, while second- and third-place winners receive a trophy.
The Burger Showdown debuted in 2019, with the second edition pushed back in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it’s been two years of waiting, chefs are hungry to show off their meaty masterpieces.
Local public relations professional Kimberly Suta of SutaPants Productions is a partner of Homegrown Chef’s Edward Villarreal and explains that the tasty competition originated when some the participating chefs took to Facebook to playfully rib each other about who in town could cook the best burger.
“I commented that we should have a burger competition to prove who’s the best, and it took off from there,” Suta says. “It was a really successful event, and we had intended to do it annually but, of course, [weren’t] able to do it last year.”
Now burger fans and meat slingers are able to safely gather outdoors for the next competition.
Local chefs competing in this year’s event include:
- Diana Anderson of JD’s Chili Parlor, who will make JD’s Whiskey BBQ Bonfire Burger. This beefy beast will include a mesquite-smoked barbecue bourbon cheeseburger with candied bacon, aged sharp cheddar, smoked garlic paste, whiskey-soaked caramelized onions, and bibb lettuce, and will be served on a JD’s jalapeño and cheddar brioche bun.
- Robert Cantu of the Thompson San Antonio, who will prepare his bacon marrow cheeseburger, featuring dry-aged marrow, aged cheddar, candied bacon, tomato jam, and koji mustard.
- Adrian Cruz of Ghost Kitchens SA and the new Los Patios restaurant Gunslingers, who will make the now infamous concha burger, which includes a beef patty, chorizo, strawberry chipotle mayo, cheddar cheese, bacon, and bacon jam, all served on a sweet and colorful concha bun.
- Joseph Thadeus Martinez of Tributary - Modern Texas Cuisine, who will make a Tribute to Texas burger, a seared slider with whiskey bacon jam, goat cheese crema, and chicken-fried jalapeños.
- Joseph Perez of The Esquire Tavern, who will make El Catrin, a wagyu and brisket blended burger with manchego cheese, smoked chipotle mezcal seasoning, tomatillo salsa, guajillo aioli, pickled red onion, lettuce, and tomato.
- James Richard Smith of the toohotfortabc food truck, who will make a Big Bend Smash Burger, a West Texas-style beef burger with sweet heat, bacon jam, avocado, tomato, onion, spring mix, and Wisconsin cheddar on a house-made bun.
- Toby Soto of Humo of San Antonio, who will make Naca Vaca, a charred hatch crema huitlacoche burger with nopal de gallo and smoked queso fresco on a maize bun.
- Ceasar Zepeda of Sangria on the Burg and Alamo Biscuit Co. & Panaderia, who will make an Italian Gouda and thyme burger with a ground beef patty, bacon grease, confit garlic and thyme butter, Gouda cheese, dressed arugula, and candied prosciutto on a potato bun.
Additionally, Villarreal will whip up some french fries, while the pastry whizzes at Cereal Killer Sweets will bake up some cookies for the showdown to offset all that meaty goodness.
The Burger Showdown is also a fundraiser for Big State Produce Co.’s Big Fresh Market Box program, which helps provide fresh fruit and vegetables to San Antonians in need. Locals interested in receiving a box can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets ($55 per person) for Burger Showdown 2.0 are available at homegrowncheftv.com/events. Guests who buy two tickets or more at once will receive one drink ticket per person for use on event drink specials.
VIP admission ($75 per ticket) begins at 4:30 pm, with VIP guests receiving one drink ticket and a certificate for a Big Fresh Market Box. Email email@example.com or call 210-725-2339 to order VIP tickets.