Second annual Burger Battle gearing up for Sept. 18

As any foodie can tell you, Sacramento is a really good burger town. No one knows this better than Rodney Blackwell, who has become so enamored with buns and patties and condiments that he started a burger blog and created the Sacramento Burger Battle, a no-holds-barred competition featuring some of the best chefs around.

I caught up with the enterprising and affable Blackwell recently to talk about the second annual competition at Raley Field in West Sacramento. Among other things, he told me he learned plenty from the very successful inaugural event and has made tweaks to improve the experience, including adding more table seating and cutting down on wait times entering the venue.

He also sent me a list of the competitors:

The Chef's Table - Chef David Hill

Krush Burger - Chef Davin Vculek

de Vere's - Chef Wes Nilssen

The Eatery - Chef Jess Milbourn

Capitol Garage - Chef Raphael Kendall

Willie's Burgers - Chef Keith Swiryn

Formoli's Bistro - Chef Aimal Formoli

Bacon & Butter - Chef Billy Zoellin

Ten22 - Chef Jay C. Veregge

Roxy Restaurant and Bar - Chef Jeff DePalma

Papa Dale's Drive-In Diner - Chef Keith Breedlove and Chef Janine Bills

Broderick Restaurant & Bar - Chef Chris Jarosz

Hawk's Restaurant - Chef Michael Fagnoni

Ettore's - Chef Pedro Depina

Relish Burger Bar - Chef Pedro Nuñez

Last year’s event was well attended and this year’s should be even better. Kudos to Blackwell for aiming high and creating something fun and special for the region. It’s an exceptional amount of work pulling all of this together.

I have eaten the burgers at all but two of the eateries listed above and can tell you that the competition will be fierce — and the entries plenty delicious! David Hill is the defending champion. The judges — chefs Randall Selland and Patrick Mulvaney, our own Chris Macias, and food writers Erin Jackson and Russ Parsons (of the LA Times), along with Rick Minderman of Corti Brothers — are going to have their work cut out for them.

Tickets for the event are on sale now. At the Raley field box office, tickets are $55 for general admission and $75 for VIP. Online, they cost $61.80 and $81.30 respectively. Proceeds go to Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America charity. Tickets include complimentary wine from Revolution, Andis and Berryessa Gap, and beer from Lagunitas and Ruhstaller. Of course, you also get sample sizes of all 15 burger entries, and you’re eligible to vote in the “people’s choice” category. For more details, visit