people infront of mushroom burger sign

The Perfect Blend

How Matthew Thompson and his team at Harvest Table created their satisfying blended burger.

chefs working together

We all know eating less meat is healthier for our bodies and our planet. But how do you convince students to put down the nuggets and choose a healthier option? The idea of blending meat and veggies to create a hybrid burger isn’t new, but it is in the higher education industry.

Facing an audience who sees meat as a staple and creating a product that tastes good and is financially stable– a blended burger wasn’t going to be easy, but Chef Matthew Thompson and his team were up for the task.

We were really worried about what students would think. – Chef Matthew

When we started concepting, we made a pact to do this right, so we could get the best outcome. Of course, choosing blended is better for health and the environment, but we refused to disrupt the students experience.

chef reading materials
We started with vehicles they were familiar with. – Chef Matthew
blended mushroom burger

A great burger experience is more than the patty. It’s the cooking technique, the bun, the toppings, the sauce. We made sure every part of the burger enhanced the flavor of our new blended patty.

Then we met with the US Mushroom Council. – Chef Matthew
mushrooms in a bowl

The US Mushroom Council has worked with big name brands, like Sonic, to develop blended meat products. Together, we developed six new options using different percentages of meat to mushroom and various mushroom blends. Our final patty made Harvest Table the first company to blend 100% grass-fed beef with roasted mushrooms.

It was time to see what the students thought. – Chef Matthew
blended mushroom burger with onion rings

Part of the Harvest Table process is feedback, feedback, feedback. So, we launched our new burger for thirty days and the feedback was unexpected. Students were obsessed. The loved the flavor, juiciness, format, and that it made a positive impact on their health, community, and carbon footprint.

The blended burger project was so successful, Chef Matthew and his team are now looking for other blended strategies for taco meat, meatballs, and Bolognese sauce.

man and woman showing off burger

See what we're up to
today on Instagram.

View All Posts
As students return to campus, we know they are facing a whole new level of uncertainty during these unprecedented times. Which is why @nacasnational launched their new NACASCARES Annual Giving Campaign to help provide funding such as housing, counseling, and food to students. The Harvest Table Culinary Group leadership team is participating in this years run/walk on 9/28-10/4 to support this amazing cause. Join us to help make a difference! linkinbio #whywecare #nacascares
We are proud to announce that we are participating in @nacasnational annual NACASCares virtual run/walk that will take place 9/28-10/4. This program raises money to help students have access to basic necessities throughout their collegiate experience. Click the link in bio to learn more about the program and how you can help support this amazing cause! #whywecare #nacascares
Today, we will honor and remember the heroes and those we tragically lost. Thank you to our first responders who keep us safe and those who continue to defend our country. #neverforget #honor911
Happy Labor Day! We hope all of our guests and team members enjoy a day of relaxation and hopefully treat themselves to a sweet treat, like our housemade tarts. Thank you to our dedicated team for all of their hard work each and every day.
Happy #nationalhotandspicyfoodday! Execute Chef Jason Walker is keeping it 🔥in the kitchen with his spicy catfish recipe in the link in bio!
Congratulations to Chef Tony Pignagrande, Ryan Melino, and Jeremy Joy, our Harvest Table food service heroes! We are so proud of their leadership in supporting their communities during the pandemic. Link in bio to view the story! #foodserviceindustry #makingadifference
The clean team at @hpudining is eagerly awaiting for students to return in a few weeks!
Chef Adam is sharing with us his irresistible cookie skillet recipe for #nationalchocolatechipcookieday Check out the link in bio to see the video and copy of the recipe!
Over the past few months, life has changed, but true hospitality on your campus does not have to. As colleges and universities plan for students return to campus in the fall, check out the link in bio to discover the value Harvest Table Culinary Group is committed to ensuring for our partners and students.
Make breakfast your number one morning priority to help kick start your day! After prolonged fasting during the night, morning calories jump-start our energy reserves and brain power.
We are proud to support the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 30th Anniversary. Today we celebrate this important civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. #ADA30 #ThanksToTheADA #DisabilityIndependenceDay
Whether dining in our restaurant or taking it to go, quality is our commitment.
As student dining trends continue to focus more on convenient options, we break down how to elevate convenience on your campus and what factors to consider in the link in bio!
Breathe in, breathe out. To be your best, you need to take care of your mind and body. Get re-energized by taking a few minutes every hour for some deep breathing or light stretching. Half way through the week, you got this!
Bring on the week! Celebrating #nationalfriedchickenday with housemade biscuits, cheddar, and ofcourse, fried chicken.
In preparation for the 4th of July weekend ahead, Chef Matt has put together a video with some healthy grilling recipes to celebrate as well as a simple, yet delicious dessert! Link in bio for the video and recipes
One-third of U.S. consumers are worried about the extent to which the coronavirus might affect their lifestyles — including their return to college campuses. Discover how to reassure current and prospective students in this must-read guide in our bio.