Dr. Glenn Azzari is a chiropractor by day and a food and art enthusiast by night. As the president of the nonprofit Scottsdale League for the Arts, he and his team are pitting 17 local restaurants against each other in this year’s Four Peaks Burger Battle on Friday, March 22.
In its seventh year, the fundraiser for Scottsdale League for the Arts will decide the state’s best burger at the Scottsdale Waterfront at Southbridge through celebrity and public judges.
“All of the contestants are restaurants that really take a lot of pride in their hamburgers,” Azzari says.
This all-inclusive event allows those ages 21 and older the chance to enjoy unlimited burger tastings, fries, milkshakes and beer, live music by The Walkens, and lawn games.
Burger Battle asks vendors to offer quarter-cut samples of their burgers or sliders free of charge.
“You can sample each restaurant hamburger and come back for more if you want to,” Azzari says. “What terrible problem to have: for the ticket you buy to get you unlimited tastings.”
Burger Theory is one of the vendors competing for first place. The restaurant’s food and beverage director, Matt Loesch, says he is eager to show off his new chef Alex Rivera.
“We are looking forward to just getting ourselves out there,” Loesch says. “We have a brand-new chef and he is phenomenal. We’re excited to get his name out there and get the idea of Burger Theory out there.”
Loesch says Burger Theory is trying something special for the event—The Theory. He declined to discuss the ingredients.
“We don’t even see how it’s going to lose,” he says.
The stakes are high during Burger Battle. Restaurant are competing for a golden ticket to the World Food Championships.
In addition, there will be a judge’s choice award where celebrity judges including nationally acclaimed chef Suzanne Clark and radio personality Joey Boy Rodriguez will vote on their favorite burger.
Burger Battle’s most important function is raising money for the arts.
“We’re all dedicated to helping support the arts throughout Arizona,” Azzari says.
Some of the institutions the organization helps include Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Rosie’s House and Scottsdale Arts, which includes the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.
“We donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the art education programs throughout our community,” Azzari says.
Burger Battle not only promotes the arts, but the restaurants as well.
“It’s wonderful to see restaurants get that prestige and get that exposure to people who may have never gotten a chance to try their food before,” Azzari says.
Burger Battle, Scottsdale Waterfront at Southbridge, 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, scottsdalefest.org/burgerbattle, 7 to 9:30 p.m., $65 general admission, $85 VIP.