FIU Student Submits Italian-Inspired Burger Recipe for $10,000 Scholarship

FIU student Dillon DiBartolomeo submitted his Italian-inspired burger recipe to the Golden Robin Contest for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship. Photo courtesy of Dillon DiBartolomeo.

Irina Barneda/Staff Writer

The Manja Manja burger, created by FIU student Dillon DiBartolomeo, is one recipe that might have what it takes to win a $10,000 scholarship, a feature at Heineken Burger Bash and a chance to be on the Red Robin menu.

The Golden Robin Contest is an annual burger recipe contest that closed its applications on Nov. 15.

DiBartolomeo was one of the applicants.

“I have always loved cooking,” said DiBartolomeo. “I am a communications major but my passion is also in the kitchen, so when I heard there is an opportunity to win scholarship money by creating a burger I thought, why not?”

DiBartolomeo’s recipe starts with preparing toasted garlic bread buns enveloping an all-beef patty that is topped with mozzarella cheese.

He then makes a pesto aioli, a sauce made of pine nuts, basil, garlic, lemon juice and parmesan cheese, which goes under red cherry bruschetta salsa that is then topped with two pieces of pancetta or bacon with fresh arugula.

“I purposely used green, red and white ingredients because I wanted to have the colors of the Italian flag,” said DiBartolomeo.

The burger’s name of “Manja Manja” comes from DiBartolomeo’s childhood memories.

“The reason it is called the Manja Manja burger is that my grandmother—who is always in the kitchen cooking—would say ‘Manja Manja’ when the food was ready,” said DiBartolomeo. “She raised nine kids and they would all run into the kitchen when she called out.”

He has a clear idea of how he would use the scholarship money.

”I want to be able to get my masters at FIU and I am really interested in the Global Strategic Communications program,” said DiBartolomeo. “ I would love to be able to put the money towards that.”

The winner of the contest will be invited to present their burger at The Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Heineken Burger Bash, hosted by Rachael Ray on Friday, February 21, 2020.

The 19th annual edition of SOBEWFF will take place on Feb. 19 to 23 at Lincoln Road, Miami Beach and is open to FIU students and the community.

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