I am dazzled by the transformation of Central City over the last half decade. Tonight KP and I visited a new establishment, Central City BBQ. I am delighted by the artful and homegrown approach to urban bbq! Central City BBQ hosted the Culinary Fight Club competition tonight—the challenge: burgers with 25% mushroom blend—the competitors: Chef BJ Creswell, Room Chef at Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort, Chef Ryan Andre, Corporate Chef, City Pork Hospitality and Chef Mike Newhall, Executive Chef, Elite Catering & Events. Judges were Isaac Toups, Chef/Owner, Toups’ Meatery and Tory McPhail, Executive Chef, Commander’s Palace, and Chef Will Avelar from Meril.
Central City BBQ is one of my new favorite institutions in town. Loved watching these chefs get off to the races and down to business fighting for the best burger in town.
The clear winner was Chef Ryan Andre—who made a delicious double-patty umami-flavored king oyster mushroom blend for the burger. Incredible flavor.
So thrilled to be given the opportunity to be a voting participant in the the Taste Bud Challenge. Glad my winner took home the golden knife and top prize! Ryan Andre! Given my belief that a burger too frequently will prematurely end your life, I recently fixed burgers for my family and Jazz Fest guests, with a mostly bean blend. (and a little chorizo).
Pinto Bean Burgers
Adapted from Martha Stewart
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped shallot
1/3 cup toasted almonds, chopped, plus more for serving
1 3/4 cups cooked pinto beans
2/3 cup panko
1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup cooked and chopped andouille or chorizo sausage
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
Sprouts, sliced avocado, and lemon wedges, for serving
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallot and cook until soft, 3 minutes.
Pulse shallot, almonds, beans, panko, 1/4 cup roasted peppers, sausage and egg in a food processor until just combined. Season with salt and pepper and form into four 3 1/2-inch patties.
Wipe skillet clean; heat remaining oil over medium-high. Cook patties, flipping once, 8 minutes.
Mix yogurt and remaining 1/4 cup peppers. Spread on burgers and serve, with sprouts, avocado, lemon, and almonds.
I’ll end with a little pig art to delineate male and female bathrooms at Central City BBQ. Top notch artwork.
And all my new favorite chefs. I love you New Orleans.