Campus Dining | Courtesy Photo

Campus Dining’s Buffalo Mushroom Burger made its debut at the James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project, a national competition that calls on chefs to create patties with a blend of meat and mushrooms.

The burger is sold on campus at Canyon Cafe in Poly Canyon Village, Bishop Craft Burger in the Avenue and Campus Market.

Campus Dining Executive Chef Ken Kline is the creator behind this caramelized Portobello sandwich.

Kline uses 75 percent buffalo burger and 25 percent Portobello mushrooms mixed with fresh sage. The burger is topped with agave caramelized onions, arugula, Havarti cheese and fresh sliced tomatoes on a whole wheat bun. Buffalo burgers are higher in protein and lower in fat than beef.

It’s a delicious craft burger that just happens to be healthy, sustainable and packed with stuff like caramelized onions and Havarti cheese,” Kline said.

According to Cal Poly Corporation Communication Specialist Aaron Lambert, the James Beard Foundation has hosted the Blended Burger Project for the last three years. Chefs across the nation have competed. This year, the competition is open to chefs on college campuses.

According to the James Beard Foundation, burgers with a blend of mushrooms and meat create a tasty meal that is healthier and more sustainable than solely beef burgers.

“This is a fun opportunity to introduce a delicious, sustainable and healthful new menu item to Campus Dining venues, all while participating in a national James Beard Foundation competition,” Lambert said.

Cal Poly is in the competition with schools with more than 15,000 enrolled students, according to Lambert. At the moment, the Buffalo Mushroom Burger has 233 votes, placing ahead of Stanford and University of California, Riverside.

“How often are you going to get the chance to go up against the likes of Penn State, Virginia Tech and USC and vote for Cal Poly in a best hamburger competition?” Kline said.  

Anyone can try the Buffalo Mushroom Burger on campus. Visit to vote through Dec. 15. Those who vote are entered to win a $1,000 on-campus gift certificate or a $100 VISA gift card.

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