World Cup referee Howard Webb showed the red card to four finalists in a gourmet burger competition this week, leaving Coal Aston medic Sumeet Vohra to take the spoils.
Woodseats diner Swanky Franks received more than 150 entries after issuing the ‘design a burger’ challenge. And on Monday five finalists went head to head in a cook-off at the diner.
Each competitor had to produce his or her perfect burger, with help from head chef Stuart Berry. Then the results were sampled by Howard – a self-confessed burger fan – and diner owners Adrian Bagnoli, Marco Mori and Paul Brady, who judged the dishes on taste, appearance, creativity and customer appeal.
After much deliberation the top prize went to Sumeet Vohra and his Portobello Belle: buffalo mozzarella melting into a flame-grilled burger, topped with a juicy portobello mushroom and finished off with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, red chilli, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
Howard said: “It was an enjoyable afternoon. The quality of meals from all five finalists was top-drawer.”
Finishing a close second was Rebecca Sykes with a spicy Mexicana cheese burger topped with rings of green jalapeno peppers, crispy brown onions and a touch of tomato and tobasco ketchup.
Other runners-up were Natalie Mccormack, seven-year-old Callum Roddis and ten-year-old George Surtees with his gran Liz Thomas, who each received £25 in Swanky Frank’s vouchers.
Sumeet took the trophy and £100 in vouchers; his winning burger will now go on the Swanky Frank’s menu. He said: “I didn’t think I’d make the final five, never mind win it. My kids encouraged me to enter and they’re absolutely over the moon. It was a fantastic experience.”