Kobe beef burger aside, the lowly hamburger has never really been given its props in the culinary world. But a national food fight is about to change that.
Enter Burger Week, an homage to the hamburger that pits chefs from more than 30 restaurants in each of four Canadian cities in a battle for the best burger.
Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver, and now Winnipeg eateries are set to fire up the grills in this seven-day contest from September 1 to 7.
Vote: CBC's search for Winnipeg's best burger
"It's for bragging rights. I like to call it a friendly competition to show up your peers," says Daniel Gurevich, Burger Week's Winnipeg organizer.
Elements' curried goat burger is topped with tomato-ginger chutney and fried paneer. (Brett Howe)
The rules are simple: Restaurants make any kind of burger, mixed, infused and topped with any ingredient, add cheese, and sell it for $10 or less. About 30 Winnipeg restaurants have signed on for the challenge.
Over the seven-day battle, customers eat the burgers and then head to the Burger Week blog to vote for their favourite one. The burger (and chef) in each city with the most votes wins.
This is just the second year of the event, which was launched in Montreal in 2012. In Winnipeg, Charcoal Collaborative, a group of artists and creative types, including Gurevich, are spearheading Burger Week.
Competitors for the top Winnipeg burger include Boon Burger and Unburger but many other participants come from unexpected places including La P'Tite France, Deseo, Segovia, Pizzeria Gusto, Carnaval Brazilian BBQ and Vietnamese eatery Saigon Jon's.
Shang-awesome, a burger with free-range Manitoba beef, goat cheese, Asian slaw, spicy mushrooms and sweet chilli aioli from Unburger. (Brett Howe)
Gurevich is thrilled Winnipeg, which doesn't yet have the recognition as one of Canada's top food cities, is included in this year's contest.
With Burger Week, he hopes to change that perception held by outsiders and Winnipeggers themselves.
As Gurevich says: "It's to promote culinary awareness in the city."