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A burger you take home to mom after the first date. This one's by chef Shota Nakajima.

Li'l Woody's annual burger takeover is back for its fourth year of culinary collaboration in between two buns. Every year a lineup of four local chefs put their respective spins on the basic burger. For this year's Burger Month (Jan 30–Feb 26) each burger will bless the menu of all four Li'l Woody's locations.

Burger lovers who consume all four of these chefs' creations (and duly track such greatness on the stamp card) can earn a limited-edition Burger Month apron...and my sincerest admiration. See yourself to the Burger Month website for details. Now time for some burgs...

This week actually kicks off with a comeback: Rachel Yang's Relay Burger returns to whet your appetite from January 25–30. (Psst: Yang will also be signing her new cookbook My Rice Bowl: Korean Cooking Outside the Lines at the Li'l Woody's in Ballard on January 25 from 5 to 7.)

As for this year's agenda...

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Holly Smith (Cafe Juanita): Ranch Lamb Burger

January 30–February 5

The James Beard award-winning chef, a self-described lover of lamb, has raised the burger bar with this lamb version with curry-lime mayo, pickled red onion, shaved cauliflower, and arugula. 



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Shota Nakajima (Adana): Osaka Burger

February 6–12

Last year Nakajima shifted gears when his kaiseki restaurant, Naka, pivoted into a casual-yet-refined reincarnation. In other words, the guy knows how to imbue fast-casual fare with Japanese elegance. Case in point: this burger inspired by Osaka street food which has miso aioli, shredded cabbage, a sprinkling of seaweed, a sunny side up egg, and Calbee chips.

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John Sundstrom (Lark): The Oishi Pork Burger

February 13–19

No stranger to Japanese ingredients, Sundstrom—a fellow James Beard award winner—employs quite a few of them at his raw bar inside Lark. But here he combines kurobuta pork (aka heritage breed Berkshire hog) with maitake mushrooms, bright-and-peppery yuzu kosho aioli, and scallions on a sesame bun.


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Shaun McCrain (Copine): The Tuxedo T-Shirt Burger

February 20–26

The Copine chef puts his finesse on this beef burger, a burger that wants to be formal, but still have a good time, he says. In burger-speak that translates to: grass-fed beef patty, red leaf lettuce, bacon relish, foie gras aioli, Beecher's Flagship cheddar cheese, and fried duck egg...because what this burger needs is more duck, for sure.

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