The finalists for the UK National Burger Awards 2018 were announced this week and a Newcastle upon Tyne burger is among the last 16.
Smashburger Newcastle, based at intu Eldon Square’s Greys restaurant quarter, will be hoping that their Triple Hot Triple Double burger walks away with a prize. It consists of two of Smashburger’s famous fresh never frozen beef patties, two slices of American cheese and one slice of aged cheddar, Frank’s hot sauce, spicy jalapenos, chipotle mayo and red onion on a spicy chipotle bun, delivering maximum burger happiness in every bite. It’s Smashburger’s beefiest, cheesiest burger and is a favourite for burger lovers everywhere.
Casual Dining magazine’s National Burger Awards is the exclusive trade competition to enter. Hosted at Islington Metal Works in London on February 21, the competition is open to chefs across the casual dining, pub and bar sectors.
The unique one-day competition sees entrants battling to impress the panel of industry experts. The finalists will be required to compete in a cook-off consisting of two rounds. They will firstly be required to cook their own Signature Burger in front of our judges, before creating a Technical Burger made up from a specific selection of ingredients that we will supply on the day.
Sat around the judges’ table at the live final will be Gourmet Burger Kitchen head of food Tim Molema, Las Iguanas head of food development and last year’s winner Glenn Evans, The Telegraph restaurant critic Kathryn Flett, LADbible presenter Kate Ovens, The Burger List blogger Matt Ester and Casual Dining Magazine editor Tristan O’Hana.
“I’ll be judging the burgers on whether you can still taste the quality of the meat through all of the other toppings and ingredients,” says Ester. “Meat quality is my number one factor when it comes to burgers, and no matter how many toppings you stuff the burger with, I can still tell if it’s not up to scratch.
 “I’ve been working in the world of burgers for four years now and I’m definitely not bored by them yet! It’s still one of the biggest aspects of my life and the thing I am most passionate about. After attending the awards last year as a guest I am thrilled to be a judge this time round.”
Three awards are presented; the best Technical Burger, the best Signature Burger and the overall National Burger Awards Champion – who will also take home the £1,000 prize.
 
Iain Duncan, Smashburger company executive chef, commented:
 
“We are absolutely thrilled to have made it to the final of this prestigious competition that involves a broad spectrum of chefs and so many specialist burgers. It’s a huge accolade to be in the top 16 and we are both nervous and excited about the grand final itself. The staff at Smashburger at intu Eldon Square Newcastle are planning on celebrating with a big burger giveaway win or lose so that’s good news for our loyal customers!”
 
Vikki Mather, acting marketing manager at intu Eldon Square, added:
 
“Smashburger has enjoyed huge success during the first year of trading in our new Grey’s Quarter dining development, and it’s gratifying that the Triple Hot Triple Double burger has made it to the final of these esteemed awards. We wish them the very best of luck and hope they really enjoy the competition as much as we enjoy their burgers!”