Bull Burger Battle 2015 Crowns Third Burger Champ

Chef Matt Stum of The Local Eatery & Pub (14655 N Gray Rd, Westfield, 317-218-3786) took top honors at the third annual Bull Burger Battle held Saturday at Family Leisure, earning a spot among the competitors at this year’s World Burger Championship to be held November 6–8 in Kissimmee, Florida. Stum’s “Backyard Burger with a Twist,” which married a classic juicy burger with cheese, garden tomatoes, and pickled mustard seed on a mammoth onion roll, beat out 15 other area restaurant chefs and home cooks, who enlisted such innovative burger toppings as chiles rellenos, blueberries, whiskey barbecue sauce, and waffled macaroni and cheese for their entries.

Popular Pendleton Pike pub Whiskey Business (11915 Pendleton Pike, 317-823-5078) took second place, while Fortville newcomer Foxgardin Kitchen & Ale (215 S. Main St., Fortville, 317-485-4085) came in third in its first year in the competition. Additional competitors included last year’s second place winner, Punch Burger (137 Ohio St., 317-426-5280; 12525 Old Meridian St., Carmel, 317-564-0637), as well as chef Dan Jarman of Fat Dan’s Deli (5410 N. College Ave., 317-600-3333) and crowd favorite Tie Dye Grill (1311 Shadeland Ave., 317-353-9393).

In addition to a spot in the World Burger Championships this fall, Stum took home a bull grill and local bragging rights for serving up one of the area’s most succulent burgers. Indianapolis’ Bull Burger Battle is one of dozens of qualifying events around the country for the World Food Championships, which begins with a preliminary round and concludes with finalist events and a Final Table competition, where champions of categories such as chili, pasta, seafood, and desserts are eliminated one by one in front of a panel of celebrity judges.

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.