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You know Marc Murphy from his regular appearances on Chopped and as a guest on Iron Chef. He’s also a champion of NYC-based food nonprofits Share Our Strength and City Harvest and works on the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. State Department. We know him as chef-owner of a handful of our favorite restaurants, including Ditch Plains, where you’ll find Murphy’s award-winning burger.

This was the burger we brought to Burger Bash at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in 2009. My thinking was, “Let’s just make a good burger!” And lo and behold, we won the People’s Choice Award.

A burger is a burger, but what separates a passable burger from an exceptional one is the quality of the meat. If you can, get your butcher to grind the meat fresh for you — the difference is quite notable. You also want to balance out your flavors and textures. When you bite into a hot burger, it’s a nice contrast to taste the cool, tangy pickle against the char of the meat. And the cheddar and black pepper bun, my spin on brioche, is just a bit more exciting than your run-of-the-mill bun. While making your own hamburger buns might seem like a lot of work, once you taste one, you’ll know it’s definitely worth the trouble, and it will give you an edge on your competition.

Reprinted with permission from Season With Authority