Best Burger Cookoffs in New Mexico – 2017

In New Mexico, burgers usually mean a GCCB – a green chile cheeseburger. This summer saw two big GCCB cookoffs – The best GCCB Challenge at the New Mexico State Fair and the GCCB Smackdown, produced by Edible magazines. Judging by the cook-off winners, the best burgers in New Mexico 2017 are . . .

best burger new mexico 2017 - Sparky's
Sparky’s — Photo by Southwest_Gaucho/ TripAdvisor

Sparky’s (Hatch, NM) – New Mexico State Fair GCCB Challenge
Sparky’s not only won the state fair competition, they seem to be replacing Santa Fe Bite (formerly Bobcat Bite) as the favorite burger joint in New Mexico.

115 Franklin St.,
Hatch, NM



Blue Heron at Sunrise Springs Spa (Santa Fe) – Winner GCCB Smackdown
This brisket and ribeye burger was the creation of Santa Fe native, chef, Rocky Durham.  The burger at up-scale Sunrise Springs spa is only available at lunch.

Blue Heron Restaurant
242 Los Pinos Rd.,
Santa Fe, NM

For a list of the other winners (include People’s Choice) see:
These Hamburgers Were Just Named The Best In New Mexico But You Better Taste Them To Be Sure.

Wrap Up – World Burger Championship 2015

World Burger Championship  Wrap Up, 2015

[NOV 2015]  Rusty Johnson won the 2015 World Burger Championship and took home $10,000 in prize money after winning the burger cook-off category at the World Food Championships, in Celebration, FL.

World Burger Championship winner, 2015, Rusty Johnson
Rusty Johnson, New Burger Champ, offers up a winner [Photo: Facebook]
Johnson, a professional BBQ competitor and caterer, from Port Moody, British Columbia, beat out 38 teams who turned in burgers, including two-time Burger Champion, Wade Fortin.

In addition to winning the burger title, Johnson placed third in the Final Table, an event where winners from each of the WFC’s nine cook-off categories vie for the big prize of $100,000.

Other Burger Winners

Sandi Sheppard (Norman,OK), won second place, and last year’s winner and two-time Burger Champ, Wade Fortin (Chicago), took third.

Keep reading to find out more about the winning burgers

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New Mexico Red Chile

When the Answer is “Red”

The official New Mexico state question is “red or green?” You will hear it the very first time you order New Mexican food. What your server is asking is, “which chile (sauce) do you want on your food?”

New Mexico Red
Red chili topping stacked enchiladas

Red or green — there is never a wrong answer — but when the answer is red, you will be getting a rich, gravy-like sauce made from ripened and dried New Mexico chili pods. (The “green” is the same type of chili, but picked younger and cooked when it is fresh).

New Mexico red chile
Whole, dried red chili pods ready to be turned into your abuela’s pot of “red.”

Traditionally, for the red, whole chili pods are cooked, then pureed into a sauce. However, you can make excellent red chile with pre-ground red chile powder.

Either way you start, everyone has their own spin on what is supposed to go into chile — add cumin or not, use stock or water — not to mention the debate about the “cheater” addition of flour. The common ingredients, of course are red chile and a desire for that tongue-tingling bright, earthy rush when red chile meets your mouth.

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