The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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April 8, 2024

Local burger joint takes third place in world championships

Looking for a world-class burger? Look no further than the nearest BGR: the Burger Joint, a Bethesda-based chain that took home third-place in the World Burger Championships last month in Las Vegas.

BGR: The Burger Joint offers several varieties of burgers. The award-winning Wellington Burger has roasted mushrooms, onions, garlic, blue cheese and "Mojo sauce." Photo courtesy whatnowatlanta.com.

“There is no other food competition like this,” said Jeff Morris, Communication Director at MMA Creative, the marketing and advertising agency that promoted the event. “The World Food Championships is an event that basically takes the champions of all these different events across the country and puts them against each other to determine the best of the best.”

A committee at the World Food Championships selected the country’s 50 top burger joints based on regional best burger competitions and awards. Whitman parent Mark Bucher founded BGR in 2007 in Bethesda and has expanded the franchise to the entire country. BGR was named best burger in Washington by Washingtonian and won best of Tampa, best of Memphis and best of Atlanta in 2012, which earned the franchise a nomination to attend the World Burger Championship Nov. 1-4, according to Bucher.

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The competition had multiple rounds and a panel of judges who assessed each burger on three factors: execution, appearance and taste. In the first round, contestants had a chance to prepare their signature burgers with their own recipes and ingredients.

Bucher selected BGR’s famous Wellington Burger, which won at the regional competitions. BGR came in first out of all 50 burger joints in the first round, automatically bypassing the middle rounds and advancing to the final round of 10.

In the final round, contestants chose a burger theme from a hat—including Cajun, spicy, Asian and sweet and sour— and were only allowed to use ingredients provided by the competition.

“It put us all on a level playing field, so now it was all about skill,” Bucher said. “We used their ingredients and came up with a recipe on the fly.”

After drawing sweet and sour as his final round burger theme, Bucher’s on-the-spot performance earned him third place in the second round. Judges combined each finalist’s first and second round scores to determine the winner, and BGR finished third overall.

The award-winning Wellington Burger is available at any BGR for $9. The Wellington is garnished with roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic, blue cheese, “Mojo sauce” and a pinch of mustard seed all on a toasted brioche bread. Bucher has perfected it over the years, according to his daughter.

“Before the restaurant opened, our family and some friends spent more than enough time trying to create the perfect burger, like burgers every night kind of deal,” junior Maddy Bucher said. “It’s awesome to know his work has paid off.”

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