A month of inventive burgers, courtesy of four legit local chefs.

One of Seattle’s most delightfully specific restaurant traditions is back. Dust off your beanies—it’s Burger Month.

Every year, homegrown burger chainlet Lil Woody’s taps four esteemed local chefs to mastermind their own menu item. Each chef’s creation gets a week in the spotlight. This year, burgerphiles who try all four (and fill out a corresponding stamp card) get a commemorative tote bag. (Historically, completists earned a beanie, and in the past Burger Week happened in February, rather than March.)

As collabs and promos go, this one sounds fairly rote, but owner Marcus Lalario has a knack for picking legit chefs who take their burger design duties seriously. This year, as in the past, it’s a mix of ascendant faces (Meesha and Kricket Club chef Preeti Agarwal) and timeless talents (Emily Crawford Dann, the reason the Corson Building has remained so special all these years). Aaron Verzosa of Archipelago falls somewhere in the middle, but is one of those ferociously gifted chefs whose regular culinary realm is so removed from burgers, you can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

Maybe the biggest adaptation this year—bigger than even tote bags or the February-to-March changeup—is the fourth chef in the 2022 Burger Week lineup. J. Kenji López-Alt doesn’t own a restaurant, but he is one of the most influential cooks in the country. And, as of last year, he’s a Seattle resident.

Here, more details on the chefs and burgers on this year's roster.

J. Kenji López-Alt: K²FC

March 1–March 7

The author of The Food Lab cookbook taught a generation of fans how to ensure their at-home smash burgers get properly crisped. But he’s also kind of a contrarian; ergo, he made a fried chicken sandwich, its sensibilities Korean with a healthy dose of Nashville: double-fried thighs with chili oil and a dusting of Korean spices, dill pickles, and gochugaru ranch.

Preeti Agarwal: Bombay Joe’s

March 8–March 14

I love it when Burger Month chefs push beyond beef patties; mad props to one who’s game for a lamb sloppy joe. (It’s also a nod to the street food dish keema pav.) A slow-cooked spicy lamb mince comes with raita, pickled red onions, and jalapeno on a brioche bun.

Aaron Verzosa: The Longgorosa Burger

March 15–March 21

Just like the composed dishes he serves at Archipelago with wife/partner Amber Manuguid, this burger brims with Filipino-American cultural context. Bacon-longanisa marmalade and chili apple orosa sauce give the burger its portmanteau name; additional flavor comes courtesy of queso de bola, turmeric-adobo mayo, and winter atchara (pickled green papaya).

Emily Crawford Dann: Romesco Burger

March 22–March 28

The Corson Building chef and co-owner created a burger not unlike her menu in Georgetown: a little European, a little Northwest. Deeply seasonal and vegetal. A patty of beef and pork spiced with smoked paprika gets dressed with hazelnut-almond romesco. Leeks take the place of regular onions, and escarole in parsley sauce delivers lettuce-esque crunch.

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