The Burger Battle in Eastern Market ended with a spray of champagne as Chef Max Hardy of Detroit’s Coop Caribbean Fusion restaurant rose among the eleven chefs and restaurants who vied for the honor of being named best burger chef.
The competition awarded its top prize to the Caribbean-inspired burger filled with jerk mayo and mango chutney.
Winning the competition was no small feat. The 11 contestants had to feed 2,000 people under the bright sun at Eastern Market’s Shed 5. The contest held last June 26, 2022 marked the battle’s return since it was postponed at the start of the pandemic.
Hazel Park’s Kozy Lounge had to defend its title as champion that it won back in 2019. The bar prepared a juicy burger grated with tons of cheese, and filled with green jalapeño peppers. This year, owners Michele and Robert Haskell made it to the battle’s top five.
The second place winner, Frita Batidos, won “Best Presentation” for their quaint burgers filled with cheese, shredded pork, avocados, corn salsa, and fried quail egg. The third place winner, Naked Burger Detroit, served up a double-patty burger with truffle slices, and a crispy cheese layer which also won the “People’s Choice” award.
Joining the top five, The Rolling Stove in Farmington cooked up a peanut butter burger with cheese, grilled onions, pickles, and honey.
The 2,000 attendees voted for these top five burgers. Once selected by public popularity, a panel of five food critics chose the best based on presentation, execution, creativity, and flavor.
We can’t wait until next year when we’ll see if any other fast food joints have learned how to make some killer meat sandwiches because these guys really know their way around fresh patties and fixings.