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
During this unprecedented time, we are focused on During this unprecedented time, we are focused on the safety and well-being of our employees, client partners and everyone we serve. We are also implementing measures to help our valued field associates and support local communities. Our teams are here to help with any questions, concerns, or thoughts you may have. Please visit out website in bio to learn more.
We believe wellbeing is fundamental. Our health an We believe wellbeing is fundamental. Our health and wellness managers help students make healthier decisions and establish positive, lifelong habits.  Learn more about how to help jumpstart your health and wellness program with the link in bio. #harvesttablecg
Did you know? Our pork is Third-Party certified, h Did you know? Our pork is Third-Party certified, higher animal welfare, and never given antibiotics or artificial hormones. #tacotuesday #harvesttablecg
It’s our job to help make students feel at home, It’s our job to help make students feel at home, especially if it is their first time away from their families. We’ve got the details on how you can increase student satisfaction on campus to provide them with an amazing dining experience. Check out the link in bio. #harvesttablecg
Whatever career path you take, we are with you eve Whatever career path you take, we are with you every step of the way. Learn more about our programs we offer with the link in bio.  #harvesttablecg
Our guest feedback matters to us. Our napkin talk Our guest feedback matters to us. Our napkin talk feedback wall allows our guests to share their thoughts and our managers can respond to their needs in a unique way. Learn more about our napkin talk program with the link in bio.  #harvesttablecg
Healthy, hearty, and delicious blueberry pancakes Healthy, hearty, and delicious blueberry pancakes to celebrate #nationalblueberrypancakeday #harvesttablecg
At Harvest Table, our mission is to help you bring At Harvest Table, our mission is to help you bring fresh, new flavors to students and do your part to strengthen the community. Check out our recent blog post where we share three easy ways to build a sense of community at the link in bio. #harvesttablecg
What do you get when you combine 🍄 and 🍔? A What do you get when you combine 🍄 and 🍔? A delicious, plant-forward, and sustainable recipe for success! We teamed up with #ChangingTastes to take on the challenge and opportunity to reimagine one of the most popular dishes on college campuses today – hamburgers. We created a new hamburger recipe featuring 70 percent grass-fed beef and 30 percent mushrooms and the feedback was tremendous! To read the full announcement, click the #LinkInBio
Our chefs are constantly seeking out new partners Our chefs are constantly seeking out new partners who can provide campuses with fresh, seasonal ingredients—all while offering local business the support and infrastructure they need to keep business running smoothly. Link in bio on how we help connect you to local farms and businesses and build these partnerships.  #harvesttablecg #local
Have you checked out our brand NEW website? Link i Have you checked out our brand NEW website? Link in bio to see what the buzz is all about! #harvesttablecg
The Harvest Table team was out in full-force this The Harvest Table team was out in full-force this week introducing our inspired food experiences to a new campus community. Interested in dining with us? Check the link in our bio! #harvesttablecg #hospitality #inspiredfood
#Repost @inharvest with @get_repost ・・・ This #Repost @inharvest with @get_repost
・・・
This week The Farmers Market at High Point (N.C.) University served up these gorgeous tacos filled with a 50/50 blend of ground beef and our flavorful and highly nutritious Greenwheat Freekeh (TM), all seasoned with a spice mix produced by Harvest Table Culinary Group. A qualified hit with students! 🌞
.
.
#grains #wholegrain #wholegrains #legumes #lentils #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoods #plantforward #vegcentric #betterforyou #ancientgrains #foodservice #foodserviceindustry #foodmanufacturing #foodmanufacturers #foodprocessing #retailfood #privatelabelfoods #naturalfoods #foodinnovation #heirloomgrains #foodtrends #foodtrends2019 #foodtrends2020 #HarvestTableCG #HPUDining #tacos #studentdining #freekeh @harvesttablecg @hpudining @chefjayz
On the heels of the first snowstorm of the season On the heels of the first snowstorm of the season in Upstate New York, our hospitality team is always ready to welcome Guests to the table! #harvesttablecg
We are proud to announce that we have partnered wi We are proud to announce that we have partnered with @FarmForward, a non-profit organization that implements innovative strategies to promote conscientious food choices, reduce farmed animal suffering, and advance sustainable agriculture, as part of its Leadership Circle. To read the full announcement, click the link in bio.  #htculinary #farmforward
This is how you take a simple favorite to a new le This is how you take a simple favorite to a new level! Thanks to Chef Jay our recipe is #locallyprocured #additivefree & #freshlyprepared http://ow.ly/yrqK50wgo7p #HTCulinary
Harvest Table is attending the American Culinary F Harvest Table is attending the American Culinary Federation’s National Convention -the country’s largest and most prestigious professional chef organization. Two of our chefs became certified this year and are being celebrated on this massive wall on the trade show floor. Congratulations again to Chef Jordan Rogers from @deacondining and Chef Christian Froelich from @hpudining for earning the Certified Executive Chef this year. #acfchefs #acfnatcon @acf_chefs
Great job today @htredlands #Repost ・・・ Fant Great job today @htredlands #Repost
・・・
Fantastic first day on campus! We are so incredibly excited to bring inspiring food experiences to the @universityofredlands! #harvesttablecg #HTCulinary
We are proud to announce a new partnership with @U We are proud to announce a new partnership with @UniversityofRedlands! Join us this year at the Table at Irvine Commons. Our hospitality team @HTRedlands has been preparing all summer for your arrival! #HTCulinary #hospitality #kitchenbrigade