Scenes from the 2013 Hamburger Hop at Chicago Gourmet

[Photograph: Dennis Lee]

The Hamburger Hop is the kickoff event for one of the biggest annual food events in Chicago: Chicago Gourmet, sponsored by Bon Appétit. It took place last Friday, bringing 15 chefs from across the city in a massive battle of the burger. Judges included Lin Brehmer from WXRT; Molly Each, managing editor of Chicago Sun-Times Splash magazine; Graham Elliot, judge on FOX's MasterChef; Yoshi Katsumura, owner/chef of Yoshi's Café (Judge's Winner, Hamburger Hop 2012); Hubert Keller, owner/chef of Fleur de Lys; and Keith Villa, founder of Blue Moon Brewing Company.

After all the charcoal smoke cleared, two winners emerged. The People's Choice award went to Food Network star Jeff Mauro for his burger featuring engine sauce, crispy cherry pepper, and jalapeño Havarti. The Judge's Choice award went to chef Scott Walton for the Howells & Hood Kimchi Burger.

The 15 participating restaurants were:

  • Cortland's Garage
  • The Gage
  • Rockit Burger Bar
  • Phil Stefani's 437 Rush
  • Rosebud Restaurants
  • Keefer's Restaurant
  • Benny's Chop House
  • The Park Grill
  • Stanley's Kitchen and Tap
  • "Sandwich King" Jeff Mauro
  • RL Restaurant
  • Haray Caray's Italian Steakhouse
  • Three Aces
  • Hackney's
  • Howells and Hood

Check out all the fun burger action in the slideshow, folks!