HaysMed’s Rock Garden Café is participating in the James Beard Blended Burger Project. John Fitzthum, executive chef/food service director at HaysMed has created the Blue Hill Blended Burger to enter into the competition.

The Blended Burger Project encourages chefs to create a healthier, more sustainable, and tastier burger that can be enjoyed by consumers across the country, while also educating diners about the many benefits of The Blend and the future of food.  The competition was designed to create awareness that infusing a burger with a perceived more sustainable product (mushroom) not only can reduce the calories and fat, but create unique flavor profiles and create sustainability. Chefs from across the country submit their entries and the public is encouraged to vote.

For the past several years, chefs have faced increasing pressure to serve healthier and more sustainable meals that reduce calories and sodium and still taste delicious. Simultaneously achieving nutrition, sustainability, and flavor is a core value of America's food system.

?Fitzthum’s creation, the Blue Hill Blended Burger, is a blend of Kansas grass-fed beef, mushrooms, garlic, onion and French Roquefort cheese. The burger is served on fresh whole wheat focaccia and topped with lettuce, tomato and cucumber. The burger has 450 calories and 668 mg of sodium. The burger name ties to a prominent grassland area in Kansas and the French Roquefort cheese is fun play on a reference to Kansas role in saving the French wine industry.

“I am always looking for ways to expand my culinary knowledge and knowledge of the idea of sustainability. Said Fitzthum. “The Blended Burger Project was a great tie in to our Healthy Kansas Hospitals Award of Excellence that HaysMed just received”

The burgers are featured at https://www.jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject/vote and the public can vote now through July 31.

Fitzthum is offering the opportunity to taste Blue Hill Blended Burger at the Rock Garden Cafe on June 28 to 30 and again July 12 to 14, July 19 to 21 and July 26 to 28.