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A funny theme, preparation and a juicy burger helped Dorsey Culinary Academy take home their second consecutive Burger & Brew Bash win Friday night at the Royal Oak Farmers Market.

Their “Uncle Rico Touchdown Burger” stole the hearts of a panel of judges, the clear winner among the 19 competitors vying for the title of Best All-Around Burger, a prize that won the students a ticket to November’s World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Serendipity Cakery of Wyandotte, the winner of Best Sweet, will also get their entry fee paid for at the WFC. They entered a bourbon caramel cupcake and cake drops.

“We really came a lot more prepared this year,” said Dorsey Culinary Academy catering director and instructor Natalia Tarnavsky. Their “Napoleon Dynamite” themed burger had people buzzing from the start of the sold-out burger and beer event because it was served with a little pipet stuck into the bun with au jus. Squeeze it, and the burger becomes instantly juicy.

“Last year we did the aloha burger, it had the pineapple habanero relish and the bacon jam on it. This year we did the “Uncle Rico Touchdown” burger so it had Havarti and a little pipet with au jus to inject into the burger to make it a little juicier. With ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ the whole theme is tater tots so we did smoked Gouda poutine tater tots with bacon and green onion,” Tarnavsky said.

While the top two prizes were awarded via blind judging, the rest of the honors were chosen by the attendees.

Parker’s Hilltop Brewery of Clarkston won the people’s choice for Best All-Around Burger and Best Desserts, and Cuisine with Colleen’s peanut butter and bacon burger won the Most Unique Burger title. Basement Burger Bar was named Most Flavorful Burger by voters.

The nearly 1,800 burger fans who attended the indoor and outdoor event were able to try unlimited samples from several area restaurants, caterers and culinary schools. Burgers were made slider-style with patties grilled and topped on-site. All the meat used was from Fairway Packing.

Sliders, sides and desserts were washed down with craft beer, local ciders and mixed drinks.

Adding to the party was live music inside and out, and games like baggo and giveaways. Intermittent rain showers didn’t spoil any fun, and those who didn’t mind getting wet got to enjoy much shorter lines at the outdoor burger stands.

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2402

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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