ECC culinary arts students get creative in burger competition

ELGIN – Six students from the Elgin Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality program competed for $3,800 worth of scholarships at the fifth annual ECC-Prime BurgerHouse Burger Competition on Nov. 8 at the Spartan Terrace Restaurant, located in ECC’s Culinary Arts Center in Elgin.

Six finalists from two rounds of competition prepared their burgers on-site and were selected by a panel of judges.

Ed Dolik of Arlington Heights and his “St. Patty’s Paddy” won first place, receiving a $2,000 scholarship.
He also will have his burger featured on the menu for Prime BurgerHouse for a year. Prime BurgerHouse will feature the rest of the finalists’ burgers on its menu as well.

Regarding his winning burger, Dolik said in a pre-competition questionnaire that the St. Patty’s Paddy “provides a palette of Ireland,” and included parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme; a reduction of Guinness Stout; a potato pancake with Irish cheese, leeks, green onion and corned beef; and Irish coleslaw; between a potato bun baked at a local bakery.

Stewart Ream of Elburn took second place, receiving a $1,000 scholarship. Reams burger included a homemade Italian sausage patty topped with spaghetti on cheesy garlic bread.

Katie Kneidek of Hanover Park won third place, receiving a $500 scholarship. Kneidek’s burger included a ground beef chuck patty with American cheese, homemade chili, cilantro, lime and sour cream, garnished with cilantro on a toasted bun.

Remaining finalists Juan Ceballos of Elgin, Sabrina Kozin of Huntley (fourth-place tie) and Mary Gorski of St. Charles each received $100 scholarships.

Ceballos made the “Pizza in Your Mouth” burger. Kozin put a modern-day spin on lasagna by combining Italian sausage with ground beef smothered in sauce and cheese with a lasagna noodle on Texas toast garlic bread. Gorski created a blend between a Reuben sandwich and a hamburger.

Prime BurgerHouse is located at the Grand Victoria Casino, 250 S. Grove Ave., Elgin.