Two Robson Resort Communities Competing in James Beard Blended Burger Project

Two Robson Resort Communities, Robson Ranch Texas and PebbleCreek in Arizona, are competing in the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project.

PebbleCreek chefs, Mary Ahrens (Eagle’s Nest Restaurant) and Robert Nixon (Toscana’s Grill) and Robson Ranch Texas’ Wildhorse Grill Executive Chef, Aubrey Daniels, have entered the contest, which runs May 29 through July 31, 2017. The Blended Burger Project is to inspire chefs to make better burgers by blending ground meat with chopped mushrooms. The James Beard Foundation says the patty is then “healthier and more sustainable.”

Customers are asked to vote for their favorite based on the burger’s “creative use of mushrooms, flavor profile, and appetizing appearance.”

At PebbleCreek’s Eagle’s Nest Restaurant, Chef Ahrens has blended portabella and button mushrooms roasted with garlic, thyme and shallots and then ground with brisket, jalapenos, garlic and bacon and mixed with ground beef. Atop the burger is lettuce, tomatoes, a bourbon bacon jam, house-made pickles and a devil dog sauce made of beer, mustard, mayo and pickle brine mix. Also included is American and Havarti cheese on a brioche roll.

At PebbleCreek Toscana’s Grill, Chef Nixon has created a pan-seared burger blended with house mesquite smoked button mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, caramelized onions, shaved lettuce, fresh watercress, Applewood bacon, aged-smoked cheddar and house-made Arizona cowboy candy mayo served on a King’s Hawaiian bun.

At Wildhorse Grill at Robson Ranch Texas, Chef Daniels has created the Forest Burger- a blend of portabella and cremini mushrooms, lamb and ground beef. The burger is grilled and topped with gruyere cheese, sweet-pickled red onion parsley slaw and an arugula spinach pesto on a toasted brioche bun.

The three restaurants at Robson Ranch Texas and PebbleCreek will be competing with restaurants across the country. The five chefs with the most online votes will win a trip to the historic James Beard House in New York City where they will showcase their blended burgers at an exclusive event in 2018. Voters will also be entered to win an expenses-paid trip for two to the 2018 Blended Burger event.

The James Beard Foundation was created in 1986 in honor of James Beard, a cookbook author, television personality and teacher. The foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.

The three burgers will be on each restaurant’s menu throughout the contest period. Each restaurant is encouraging patrons to taste the burger and vote. We’d love to see a Robson Resort Communities chef in New York, so even if you can’t make it to the restaurant to taste the burger, you can still vote online and support your community.

Vote online at: Then search for the restaurant; Toscana’s Grill, Eagle’s Nest or Wildhorse Grill.