A popular burger chain based in the capital has stormed this year’s National Burger Awards, claiming the night’s biggest prize, as the event celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Bleecker, which has sites in Spitalfields, Victoria, Bloomberg and Westfield, wowed a panel of industry judges, including The Pem’s Sally Abé, and El Perro Negro’s Nick Watkins and Anthony Murphy of The Beefy Boys – both former winners of the competition.

The brand’s signature burger, the Bacon Double, featured double grass-fed dry-aged beef, double American cheese, onion, bacon and house sauce.

The dish, cooked by Celine Raeburn – who previously won the title back in 2020 – saw off stiff competition from 15 elite burger creations found all over the UK. Raeburn’s triumph means she is just the second person to win the National Burger Awards twice, joining Watkins in that particular hall of fame.

Raeburn says of her win: “I feel a bit speechless and emotional. I did shed a tear, but I’m really happy. This burger is damn good, it’s so good. I cooked it today, yes, but you can come into the shops anytime and it’ll be that good.

“It’s the second time we’ve won – we had to wait a little while in between, so hopefully it won’t be as long next time, but it does make it feel that bit more special.”

Burgers from Mollies Motel & Diner and Black Bear Burger came second and third respectively.

Alongside the Signature burger challenge, the competition saw chefs compete in a Technical round, requiring them to make the ultimate burger creation from a selection of sponsor ingredients in a bid to claim the title of National Burger Chef of the Year.

That winner was Farbez Uddin of London’s Bun & Sum, who cooked the George Motz Oklahoma Smash using a Redefine Beef Mince patty, Violife Original Sliced plant-based cheese, Flora Plant Butter, American Mustard, Spanish onions and Küne accompaniments, sandwiched between an Americana Grill Marked Bun.

An independent trader from Bristol topped the Plant-Based Burger category, with Fattso’s Hamish Macdonald impressing with a dish called Mi-so Hungry. It featured a premium burger patty from Redefine Meat, Violfe’s Sliced mature Cheddar, miso garlic vegan mayo, pickled vegetable slaw, Korean dressing and Kühne accompaniments in a Gourmet Bun from Americana.

Other winners of the night included Wholebeast’s Sam Bryant, who won the hearts of foodie bloggers @thefatfoodie and @kate.ovens with his Signature Aged Cheeseburger and claimed the Bloggers’ Choice prize.

In a first for the event, this year also saw the introduction of the Freakshake Challenge in association with Horlicks. Francesca Hudspeth of MeatCastles became the category’s inaugural winner, hitting the sweet spot with her apple crumble-inspired Forbidden Fruit shake, topped with a drizzle of Aimia’s caramel sauce.

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