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Updated: Monday, 28 Sep 2009, 6:06 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 22 Sep 2009, 9:44 PM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Badlands Burgers of Grants bested the best flippers of green-chile cheeseburgers Tuesday to take home a plaque and bragging rights from the New Mexico State Fair.
A panel of judges in a blind tasting awarded top honors to Badlands in the Governor's Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge. Twenty restaurants, pubs and bistros and bowling alleys took up the challenged issued by Gov. Bill Richardson after the Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio defeated chef Bobby Flay in a green-chile burger throwdown on national television in July.
In Tuesday's contest a fresh burger appeared about every five minutes until the judges had sampled all 20. Using a point system based on taste, balance of ingredients and appearance the judges rated each with the Expo New Mexico accounting staff doing the final tabulation.
Each contestant was required to use New Mexico green chile.
“The turnout was fantastic, the competition was fierce but friendly, and I think we’ve got some very satisfied judges,” State Fair Commission Chairman Luke Otero said.
When the results were announced Badlands Burgers was awarded a plaque and automatic entry into the New Mexico Department of Tourisms Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.
Among the spectators for the event was actor Bryan Cranston who won a television Emmy Sunday night as best dramatic actor. Cranston stars if "Breaking Bad," which is filmed in and around Albuquerque.
Cranston told KRQE News 13 he also has the chops to judge a green-chile cheeseburger.
"I'm a little upset because I wasn't asked to be a judge," Cranston said. "Anyone can judge green-chile burger that's an actor."
(For video of the cooking and judging and the complete interview with actor Bryan Cranston, click here .)
The actual judges for the cook-off were Benjie Segovia, New Mexico Department of Agriculture Chile Marketing and Promotion Specialist; Cheryl Alters-Jamison, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author; and chef Tyson Putman, chairman of the American Culinary Federation, Rio Grande Valley Chapter.
“I want to congratulate all of the contestants who entered this friendly competition on their excellent burgers, and I want to thank them for participating in what will become an annual event to promote one of New Mexico’s true culinary delights,” Richardson said.
The event was sponsored by the New Mexico State Fair, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Restaurant Association, Central New Mexico Community College Department of Culinary Arts/Hospitality & Tourism and the American Culinary Federation Rio Grande Valley Chapter.
The competitors were: