For the second year in a row, Maurice Williams of Louisville is taking home the title of Derby Burger Champion, in the 6th Annual “Derby Burger Challenge” sponsored by Kentucky Beef Council and coordinated by the Kentucky Derby Festival. Williams’ recipe for his SmoFried Café Burger was selected as the overall winner after a cook-off this morning at the Kroger in Middletown. It features ground beef covered in coffee and cocoa powder, provolone cheese and pickled onions, all served on a toasted pretzel bun.
“I wanted to put together something conceptual and simple. Fortunately the burger just seemed to work the first time I made it,” said Williams. “I didn’t expect to win the competition a second time. I knew that it was attainable, but I also knew how great some of the other recipes would be. I am beyond thankful.”
The Festival received dozens of submissions for the annual competition. More than 12,000 beef lovers voted online to help pick the top 4 finalists. At the final cook-off, a panel of judges determined the overall winner based on points accumulated from four factors – Taste, Appearance, Creativity and Ease of Preparation. John Overfield finished runner up with his Winner By a Nose Burger. Other finalists included Tanya Hicks of Salem, Indiana, with the Pineapple Mango Pico Burger; and Scott Wisdom of Prospect, with the Mint Julep Bacon Burger.
Williams’ winning Derby Burger recipe will be available to try at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville this year during its nine-day run, as well as sampled at BeerFest Presented by American Founders Bank, and recognized in Louisville-area Kroger stores. From May 8 to June 30, it will also be a featured menu item at Louisville’s Napa River Grill.
Williams also receives VIP tickets to Thunder Over Louisville, Waterfront Jam and BeerFest at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville, as well as a $100 gift certificate to Kroger and a grilling package from Kentucky Beef Council.
From now through April 14, all purchasers of fresh ground beef at any of the Kentuckiana Kroger stores (excluding Lexington locations) will receive a code at checkout (on the bottom of the receipt). The message encourages you to register online at www.KDF.org/Beef for a chance to win VIP tickets to a Waterfront Jam Concert at Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville or BeerFest Presented by American Founders Bank.