Helen Schwab

James Beard’s ‘better burger’ project in Charlotte

Bonterra’s (left) and Dogwood’s burgers.
Bonterra’s (left) and Dogwood’s burgers. Bonterra and Dogwood Southern Table & Bar

Bonterra and Dogwood Southern Table & Bar are taking part in the James Beard Foundation’s Better Burger Project: That’s a national contest, challenging chefs to create “a delicious, healthier and more sustainable burger” by blending ground meat with finely chopped, cultivated mushrooms.

Both places, and more elsewhere, shown here, will sell their burgers through July 31.

Blake Hartwick at Bonterra created a wood-grilled Border Springs Lamb burger with hen of the woods mushrooms, arugula, air-cured black olives, goat-milk feta and romesco, on a brioche bun. With fries, it goes for $15.

Tim at Dogwood created a burger of Brasstown Beef and mushroom duxelles (cremini mushroom, shallot, butter), and serves it with green tomato relish, pimento cheese, roasted sweet corn aioli, Boy & Girl Farms mustard greens, on a sourdough bun from Dukes Bread. It comes with a side for $13.

Diners can vote for their favorites via Instagram:

▪ Post a photo of the burger on Instagram and hashtag it #betterburgerproject, adding the handle of the restaurant and/or the chef who created the burger

▪ Say what’s better about it in the caption.

The five chefs with the most photo uploads on Instagram when the contest ends (11:59 p.m. EST July 31) win a trip to New York City in October their “better burger” dish at the James Beard House.

Bonterra: Cleveland Avenue at East Worthington Avenue; Dogwood: 4905 Ashley Park Lane.