The ACF Windy City Professional Culinarians announces the Fourth Annual Summer BBQ and Burger Throwdown, a spectacular event produced by local members of the nation’s premier professional culinary association, The American Culinary Federation.

This competition pits Chicago-area culinary schools against each other in a test of culinary skills centered on building the most creative and delicious hamburger as judged by a panel of industry experts. The winners receive the cherished traveling trophy for their school, critical acclaim, bragging rights, embroidered wearables, and knives, and team members are awarded a cash prize for scholarships. Reigning champs Elgin Community College will return to defend its 2011 winning product, The Samurai Burger.

A panel of notable culinary authorities will evaluate classic burgers produced by elite teams assembled by the area’s best culinary schools on flavor, texture, and presentation.

“Last year’s Burger Throwdown, won by Elgin Community College, was very impressive and showed great creativity and thoughtfulness from each team,” says Michael Garbin, CEC, AAC, ACE, HGT, chairman and president of the ACF Windy City Chefs. “If this year’s Burger Throwdown is anything like last year’s, we will be in store for another great variety of burgers created by culinary schools.”

Garbin is executive chef of the Union League Club in Chicago and will serve as lead judge. Other Judges include: former Top Chef competitor Beverly Kim; Gibson’s corporate executive chef, Randy Waidner; Lou Malnati’s consulting executive chef, Jim Freeland; Testa Produce’s corporate chef, Courtney Barton; and national manager of Tyson/Lady Aster, Ira Fingerman.

Attendees will enjoy samples of the contestants’ burgers, and vote for a “People’s Choice” award. In addition to burgers, a light buffet and a selection of soft drinks and local craft beers will be served. The evening is capped off with an extravagant dessert buffet.

This event is underwritten through support from Consumers Packing Company, Tasty Catering, US Foods, Testa Produce, Get Fresh Produce, Coke Cola, Labriola Baking, Goose Island Brewery, DPI, Eli’s Cheesecake, Chefwear, Inc., Ecolab, Southern Wine & Spirits, Smocks and Aprons, ATK Foods Inc., Northstar Pickle. Co, Holiday Foods, Z Baking, Dexter-Russell, Inc., Finer Foods and Homer’s Ice Cream, among several other local vendors and distributors.

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