The powerful blueberry burger was born in Bath, Maine in the summer of 2016, urged into the world of culinary delights by students exploring in the kitchen of the Hyde school, a 50-year leadership school in this fair city.
The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine in Orono awarded a grant of $50K, tasking Hyde’s Student Nutrition Program with creating four recipes incorporating blueberries that could be scaled to 20, 50, and 100 servings for school food service kitchens in the state.
Director of Student Nutrition, Chef Michael Flynn, who is already deeply involved with the Department of Education, Maine Child Nutrition Services and Food Corp, was happy to experiment. To bring the project full circle, Chef Flynn had a team of student helpers for the Summer Leadership Program connecting food to the classroom.
The burger, which received the name of “The Wildly Maine Crispy Blueberry Burger,” combines the tasty State of Maine berry, toasted quinoa, organic Garbanzo beans, cilantro, and sweet red bell pepper and is topped with a coulis of blueberries and honey. The prototype was served to students, faculty, and staff during a luncheon in January.
Chef Flynn is a Certified Executive Chef in his third year at Hyde School. In that time he has made some gradual but stunning changes to school menus with more emphasis on plant-based foods and the reduction of processed and fried foods. Flynn said, “The Maine Wild Blueberry is a perfect addition. I was thrilled when Jen Lobozzo, Director of the Summer Leadership Program, implemented course work with the kitchen here at Hyde School. Perfect timing with The Wild Blueberry Commission along with Mrs. Lobozzo’s student curriculum design…a perfect partnership to develop a perfect recipe. You cannot build a better recipe designing team than including the judges themselves, the students!”