Boulanger builds a better burger

By Kim Howard
Observer staff

While some of us are mowing lawns or doing other household chores this Saturday, Williston resident Dick Boulanger will be in California’s Napa Valley trying to win $10,000.

Boulanger and nine others were selected as finalists from nearly 9,000 contestants in the 16th annual Sutter Home Winery Build a Better Burger contest. Boulanger will prepare his recipe for Bouillabaisse Burgers with Tomato-Fennel Relish and Saffron Mayonnaise to compete against four others in the non-beef category of the contest.

“I knew I had to come up with something unique or different otherwise I wouldn’t be picked to go,” Boulanger said.

In 1998, Boulanger’s son, Jason, won the contest’s grand prize with a recipe for Caesar salad and flank steak burgers with garlic crostini.

“Instead of like father like son, this is going to be like son like father,” Boulanger joked.

The cooking contest bug seems to run in the family. Boulanger’s wife, Kathy, has won more than 75 cooking contests.

This is Boulanger’s second national cooking contest effort in the last year. In March, he won a set of new kitchen appliances worth $10,000 for the “most innovative” recipe at the annual national Pillsbury Bake-off contest. That recipe was for sugar cookie chocolate crunch fudge.

Boulanger said competition at the Napa Valley event will be “formidable” because professional chefs can enter the contest. Even if he does not win first prize in his category, he and his wife will have enjoyed a free trip to California with gourmet meals, he said.

Boulanger’s recipe is available on the contest Web site: