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Shrimp burger wins Big Bad Burger Contest

Event raises money for Hospice of the Panhandle

August 03, 2010
  • Winners of the 2010 Big Bad Burger Contest are from left, PJ and Nikki Orsini, Mike Hornby, Ryan Horst, Jay Steckman and Tad Sargent. At far right is Selina Meehleib, co-coordinator.
Submitted photo,

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The weather wasn't the only thing cooking at the Big Bad Burger Contest on July 24.

Despite record-breaking heat, nearly 20 contestants concocted burgers of all makes in an attempt to win over the judges and crowd at the second annual Big, Bad Burger Contest.

Among beef, venison and chicken burgers, the Crispy Korean Shrimp Burger reigned supreme. Ryan Horst of HMS Technologies Inc. earned $1,000, a trophy and bragging rights for having the region's Biggest, Baddest Burger of 2010, according to a news release.

Other winners included PJ Orsini of Orsini's Appliances (first place, beef); Mike Hornby of Around the Panhandle magazine (second place, beef); Jay Steckman (first place, alternative); and Tad Sargent (second place, alternative).

Event co-coordinator Jason Roach, co-owner and general manager of Sunfire Hearth, Patio and Spa, said the event was a win-win for all involved.

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"We had an amazing group of contestants and the crowd was outstanding. Our event sponsors were so generous. All facets worked together to make a great competition," he said in the news release.

Sponsors included Smallwood and Small Insurance, David L. Peters, Pub Dub V, Potomac Portables and the Jokers band.

Horst heard about the contest from a friend and thought he might have a winning burger, but the cost of shrimp was daunting. When Harry Siegel, president and CEO of HMS Technologies Inc., heard the event would benefit Hospice of the Panhandle, he was more than happy to foot the bill for the entry fee and supplies, Horst said.

According to event co-coordinator Selina Meehleib of MSM Catering, the choice to involve Hospice was easy.

"Every year we look for a charity that can make a serious impact in the quality of life of local residents. Hospice of the Panhandle is a leader in the community for improving the quality of life for residents here in the Panhandle," Meehleib said.

So, what, exactly, makes a prize-winning Crispy Korean Shrimp Burger? Fresh shrimp, bell peppers, onions, celery, scallions, Gouda cheese and panko bread crumbs for starters. Toss in a honey garlic aioli sauce and sandwich it in a Vienna roll.

According to Horst, "The ingredients mesh well together and that is key: the honey mellows the garlic, the roll has a great, crispy texture, and the Gouda complements the entire burger."

Horst credited much of the winning recipe to the advice and support of friend Kathy Salas, who assisted him in preparation and during the competition.

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