Meet the Judges: Denver Burger Battle 2018
Jesse Valenciana- Author, Grill master and Brewery Educator for Goose Island Beer Co
A founder of ManBque, and a 2-time published cookbook author Jesse Valenciana is serious about his burgers. ManBque is known throughout the country as the ultimate grill, beer, and fun fest. Being featured on local publications as well as national news outlets like the Today Show. Since creating ManBque in 2006, Jesse has gone on to write about a multitude of food-based topics, spending years as an educator for Goose Island Beer Co. Jesse will be bringing his grill master experience and love of burgers to the battle this year to help the rest of our expert judges choose the winner.
Jeremy Kossler- Founder of Denver Burger Battle
Jeremy Kossler is the founder of the Denver Burger Battle. He combined his love of food and bringing people together to create the iconic event. Growing up in Southern California he was exposed to some amazing burger variations that sparked his ultimate love for burgers. A true burger coinsurer, he has been known to drive multiple hours just to try the latest burger and takes pride in every burger he makes at home. Since founding the burger battle in 2009 Jeremy has passed the reigns onto Team Player Productions but still plays a crucial role in the production of the event. This year he is bringing his burger knowledge to the judges table to help select the best burger in Colorado.
Kyle Foster- Julep, Owner
Kyle Foster began his culinary journey working in the kitchen with his grandmother as a child. From there he attended culinary school in Florida where he began working in different restaurants. After moving to Colorado, he worked in a few other local restaurants including his time at Rebel Restaurant as the “meat guy”. Eventually he opened Julep with his wife Katy which quickly became a staple in Colorado cuisine. His love of food and attention to detail are qualities that have been essential to his success and are what will make him the perfect judge for this year’s Burger Battle.
Annie Stookesberry- Feast Denver, Creator
Annie Stookesberry describes her perfect burger as “medium-rare with American cheese”. A true Colorado native, she created the @feastdenver Instagram account highlighting some of Denver’s best eatery’s. She is dedicated to Denver restaurant scene, founding the new Feast Locally program which helps locals discover new restaurants in the area. The program offers insider deal and exclusive membership perks. As a Denver foods expert, Annie will be bringing her expertise to the 2018 Burger Battle as one of our esteemed judges. Her experience with local restaurants makes her optimally qualified to help select the best burger in Denver.
Rebecca Treon- Editor, Denver Post
Rebecca Treon is a Denver-based freelance food, travel, and lifestyles writer and has worked on the editorial staff at 5280, DiningOut, and American Bungalow magazines. She’s been a regular contributor to The Denver Post, Edible Lower Alabama, Edible Denver and The Coastal Table magazines, and has written for a number of other publications, including BBC Travel, Eater, Food52, Livability, The Cape Cod Travel Guide, Tasting Table, Vinepair, Alabama Journey, and DRAFT magazines. Her experience reviewing foods across the spectrum make her uniquely qualified for the Burger Battle judges panel. Her dedication to local food and involvement in the Denver community are second to none. This will be her first year as a judge for the burger battle but she is beyond qualified and ready to crown the 2018 champion.
Jason Ganahl- GQue BBQ, Pitmaster and Owner
A true barbecue expert, Jason Ganahl grew up on amazing barbecue. After moving to Denver, he saw a gap for great midwestern style BBQ and decided to fill it with his restaurant GQue. Jason has won multiple accolades including the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association’s Team of the year as well as Top Brisket Cook and Top Pork Cook in 2013 and 2014 and countless Top 10 placements for chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. GQUE remains the only championship barbecue restaurant in Colorado that has won professional contests throughout the country. He knows what it takes to make great food and will not accept anything but best. He knows food, he know barbeque, and soon he will know which restaurant makes the best burger in Denver.