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Chef goes Irish to win Prime Burger House/Elgin Community College burger contest

Edward Dolik works his “St. Paddy’s Patty” consisting spiced herbed burger patty covered Guinness Stout reductitopped with potapancake Irish coleslaw

Edward Dolik works on his “St. Paddy’s Patty,” consisting of a spiced and herbed burger patty covered in a Guinness Stout reduction and topped with a potato pancake and Irish coleslaw on a potato bun. He won the fifth annual Prime Burger House/Elgin Community College Burger competition. | Erin Sauder for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 13, 2013 6:04AM



ELGIN — As the youngest sibling, Edward Dolik usually got stuck in the kitchen helping his grandmother with meals.

“My older brother would say, ‘I’ve got other things to do. Go help Grandma,’ ” said the Arlington Heights resident.

And Friday, all that extra KP duty paid off for Dolik, 61, when he won the fifth-annual Prime Burger House/Elgin Community College Burger Competition held at Elgin Community College’s Spartan Terrace.

His burger, called the “St. Paddy’s Patty,” consisted of a spiced and herbed burger patty covered in a Guinness Stout reduction and topped with a potato pancake and Irish coleslaw on a potato bun.

His win also means the “St. Paddy’s Patty” will be placed on the menu at Elgin’s Grand Victoria Casino Prime BurgerHouse Restaurant for a year.

What inspired his creation?

“My birthday is the day after St. Patrick’s Day, and I always kind of felt left out,” Dolik said. “So I thought I’d create a burger that has a flavor profile of Ireland and can celebrate my birthday.”

The retired theater stagehand credits his grandmother for his culinary skills.

“She kind of inspired me my whole life,” he said. “She made a cabbage dish that nobody in our family has been able to duplicate. Cousins have tried it. I’ve tried it. We take a taste of it and say, ‘No, it’s not Grandma’s.’ ”

The contest garnered more than 100 applicants by Elgin Community College’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program students, who were then whittled down to 10. After an in-house competition, six were chosen to vie for scholarship cash during Friday’s event.

Dolik’s win netted him a $2,000 scholarship from the Grand Victoria Casino. Scholarships also were awarded by the casino to the remaining finalists.

Contestants were judged on presentation, creativity, feasibility and flavor.

Other entries included the Spaghetti Burger by Stewart Ream, Elburn; the Lasagna Burger by Sabrina Kozin, Huntley; the South of the Border Chili Cheeseburger by Kathryn Kneidek, Hanover Park; the Paddy O’Reuben Burger by Mary Gorski, St. Charles; and the Pimpin’ Supreme Pizza Burger by Juan C. Ceballos of Elgin.

Ream took second place and won a $1,000 scholarship, and Kneidek placed third and earned a $500 scholarship.

But an announcement by Prime Burger House head chef Glenn Keenan made each of the six contestants winners.

“We are producing every single person’s burger on the menu for a week,” he said. “We’ll call them to let them know when their week is coming up.”

Francois Sanchez, executive chef at the Q Center in St. Charles, was one of the five judges during the event.

He said there is a reason that burgers continue to reign in popularity.

“Comfort food is never going to go out of style,” he said. “And burgers are a comfort food. The burger will never go out of style.”

Sanchez praised all the contestants.

“I think they all did really well,” he said. “Out of the 100 applicants, they were destined to be the six. I can see their confidence, and I think they’re going to do really well.”

Other judges included Daily Herald Managing Editor Jim Baumann; Sun-Times Media writer Janelle Walker; Art Velazquez, owner of Chicks ‘n Salsa Mexican Grill; and Mark Bosanac, associate professor of Culinary Management for Elgin Community College.



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