ALBUQUERQUE-The 2009 New Mexico State Fair, in association with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Restaurant Association, Central New Mexico Community College Department of Culinary Arts/Hospitality & Tourism and the American Culinary Federation Rio Grande Valley Chapter, will host the inaugural statewide “Governor’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge” on Tuesday, September 22.

Governor Bill Richardson called for the statewide culinary challenge after the Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio, New Mexico garnered the state national attention on the Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” In the episode, which first aired in late July, Buckhorn owner Bobbie Olguin defeated host Bobby Flay in the battle for the best green chile cheeseburger and had viewers all over the country craving a bite of one of New Mexico’s culinary treasures.

“The Buckhorn’s victory sparked excitement all across New Mexico and triggered debate throughout the state on what makes the perfect green chile cheeseburger,” Governor Richardson said. “With so many great choices and everyone swearing by their favorite, I thought it was time to put them to test, head-to-head. There’s nothing like a little fun and friendly competition to showcase the best from around New Mexico.”

“We’re thrilled to host the “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge,” said New Mexico State Fair General Manager Craig Swagerty. “We envision this as an annual competition that will give as many statewide restaurants as possible an opportunity to face off during the biggest show in New Mexico in front of tens of thousands of New Mexicans and out-of-state visitors.”

The winner of the “Best Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge” will receive a special plaque and automatic entry into the New Mexico Tourism Department’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail. Visit for more information.