Concha Burger Leads Brothers to National Competition

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MCALLEN – Two chefs from the Rio Grande Valley are headed to a national food competition with their concha burger.

Conchas, also known as molletes, are a staple of Mexican sweet bread. Bobby and Adrian Cruz said they were bored one day and bought two trays of conchas to eat.

“We made the burger out of it just for fun,” recalled Bobby Cruz. He and his brother are chefs at The Orchard Lounge in McAllen.

“The owners loved it and put it out on our menus,” he said.

Adrian Cruz walked through the steps of making the burger. It includes a beef, chorizo and mushroom patty, bacon, egg, chipotle mayo and melted cheese. The concha serves as the bun.

He said, “We're going to actually cook it at the James Beard Kitchen, so it's a historical thing we're doing for the Valley."

Only five chefs across the country are invited to the James Beard Foundation and The Culinary Institute of America’s Blended Burger Project. The competition is in New York in October.

The brothers said they’re excited about the trip. "It's opened a lot of doors,” said Bobby Cruz. “That same week of that event, we're also going to be doing an event for the Food Network."

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