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3 questions with food blogger Dianna Nicolas 

Meet the diva of burgers

For food blogger Dianna Nicolas, burgers are not just the occasional-cookout food; they are an art form. Growing up on her family's traditional Caribbean food, Nicolas didn't have the experienced burger lifestyle that she has now. It wasn't until she was in her teens that she even had her first burger from McDonald's, and soon her uncle began grilling his own - with a Haitian seasoning, of course. Nicolas' intrigue of the cuisine turned into a passion that stayed with her for years and eventually led her to start her blog BurgerDivas. Now two years after starting that blog, she's hosting a BurgerDivas event at VBGB on Saturday, June 22, which will pair four globally-inspired burgers with a side and beer. In planning the event, Nicolas worked with VBGB chef Matt Pickard. "I think we came into each other's lives for a reason," she said of their seasoned destiny.

She goes on to say, "I just want people to come and have a good time, for all their senses to be enlightened and entertained and to have a diva-licious moment."

Creative Loafing: How did the blog evolve into hosting events?
Dianna Nicolas: [It] evolved because the followers that I started to get, it was growing. A lot of the restaurants were asking me to come and try their burgers. So I figured, why not try to come up with something inspiring. I love food. I want to be in the food industry. I don't necessarily want to be a chef, but I want to work with food.

What's the most bizarre burger you've ever had?
It was from here, VBGB. [It] had a wonton with a wasabi mayo. So it was a fried wonton, wasabi mayo inside, sriracha on both sides of the bun with bacon on it and a pepperjack cheese with a wanko sauce. It was an explosion of flavors. You could taste everything that was going on. The way that you build a burger is very important to having a good burger experience. If you're layering all [the ingredients] on the same location on the burger, you're going to get all those flavors together at once and then you'll taste the patty. But if you separate the locations [of the ingredients], you're going to get the full experience.

If you were to make a burger that reflects Charlotte, what would it be like?
Since I've been here, I've noticed the Carolina burger has cole slaw, chili and onions on it. I don't like onions. I don't like cole slaw. But I love chili, so I might attempt a chili. A good Carolina burger, to me, would include pimento cheese, bacon and a patty. That's it. I've been here three years now, and my first time experiencing pimento cheese was in Charlotte, and if done well, I love it. Bacon, pimento cheese on a patty and a pretzel bun is a Carolina burger... You know what, I'm going to add some chili to my pimento cheese Carolina burger. So it will be pimento cheese, chili, patty on a pretzel bun... I keep adding. I'm going to add some fried pickles on there. Pimento cheese, bacon, fried pickles, chili and a patty.

BurgerDivas Presents A Culture Experience. $15. Saturday, June 22, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. VBGB, 920 Hamilton St. Purchase tickets here.

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