Thursday night in Santa Fe I had a thoroughly fun time as one of the judges of the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown as eight restaurants competed for honors. Pictured above is the People’s Choice award winner from the Agave Lounge at the El Dorado Hotel under the direction of Chef Anthony Smith. This was my pick for best chile cheeseburger, too. One of the most interesting things I learned from judging these burgers was that some chefs go overboard, thinking that the more stuff you put on the burger, the higher the score. Not true. One of the burgers was topped with a slice of pineapple and some cooked shrimp. The flavor of the pineapple was so dominant that our four judges, including me, could not taste the burger, the chile, or the cheese, turning a green chile cheeseburger into a pineapple shrimp burger. It received the lowest score of any I tasted. Here is the winning burger from the judges:
I think that Enrique’s combination of bacon and avocado for the main toppings won over the judges because neither ingredient overwhelmed the burger but rather complemented it. Congrats to the staff at Edible Santa Fe magazine for successfully producing a truly great event!