Not all Superheroes wear a cape.
Burgerac is a mysterious figure. They say you’ll only know he’s been to your restaurant when you’ve read the calling card he leaves behind. He’s spent the last 12 months seeking out the best burgers in London and beyond, his website www.burgerac.com is known to some as the ‘Burger Bible’.
There are many more strings to his bow though, and his passion for burgers transcends food, taking in art, clothing and even aprons. He agreed to talk only if we kept his identity a secret.
We like Burgerac.
What gave you the idea to start Burgerac?
I’d had some really super burgers in London during 2010 and found myself fascinated by what makes a burger stand above the ordinary. I felt there was something exciting happening in my city, and that made me want to investigate further (eat more).
How long have you been doing the site?
I started Burgerac almost exactly a year ago – in the first week of January 2011. Someone had asked me before Christmas if I had any New Year Resolutions and I replied “yes, to eat more burgers.” I then mentioned I was thinking of doing a blog charting my exploits – and my friends were like “totally do it”. So I did.
How many burgers do you think you ate last year?
I really don’t count stuff I eat. It’s totally not my thing. You could (if you really wanted to know) probably count my reviews and work out how many I “officially” ate – but the truth is that I ate more than that. Oops!
Where should I go for the best burger in London?
Take your pick – there are loads of good places to go – too many to just prescribe one “best” burger. And besides, just because I like a burger from a particular place, it doesn’t mean that you will too. That’s the fun of tracking down a good burger – it’s a hugely personal journey. Having said that – my current top three places to get an outstanding burger in London are (in alphabetical order) The Admiral Codrington pub, Lucky Chip, and Meat Liquor.
What is the secret to a good burger?
Love. Love and really good, freshly ground beef, preferably with an 20/80 fat to lean ratio. And you have to think about every element – there’s no point cooking an awesome dry aged beef patty and then shoving it in a crusty roll! Basically, you’ve got to want to create something divine. If you’ve got a burning desire to create a burger that will make those that eat it jump up, punch the air and whoop for gastronomic joy, then you’re on the right track.
Do you make your own burgers at home?
Er, can you tell? Yes! I’ve been making home burgers with an ever increasing amount of pride! Over the course of this year, I’ll be sharing my home-burger-making exploits with a view to encouraging people to create burger heaven in the comfort of their own home.
Do you ever go to Mcdonalds or Burger King?
Yes, but probably about once a year, perhaps even less frequently. That said, sometimes I get a Macky Dees or BK itch that needs scratching. There’s something nostalgic about them. They’re how I defined a feel good burger growing up. There were no gastro burgers 20 years ago!
What is the most you have ever paid for a burger?
Just before Christmas I spent £20 on a burger at new Mayfair restaurant Burger & Lobster. That included chips, side salad, additional bacon and cheese. It was a ruddy good burger – the restaurant’s executive chef, John Cadieux is also exec chef at Goodman – probably London’s finest American style steakhouse. Their meat sourcing skills are well known. The burger patties are big (180g) and absolutely delicious. Twenty quid is a bit steep, to be honest, but I can’t deny that I really enjoyed the burger!
Do you ever get fed up of burgers?
A burger is a treat, it’s indulgent. That’s how I think about red meat in general which is why I only eat it once (or very occasionally twice) a week – and when I do eat red meat / have a burger – it’s a special occasion.
What else are you up to – Burgerac isn’t just about burgers, right?
I had a lot of fun cooking up The Burgermat Show with Daniel Young of Young & Foodish / Burger Monday fame last year.
I’ve continued talking to the artists involved and have been cooking up some ideas for various collaborative projects, such as the Burgerac/Crispin Finn Tea Towel. Dry dishes whilst honing your condiment bottle silhouette recognition skills!
Another product went into the prototype stage earlier today which is super exciting – I’ll blog about it as soon as it reaches (fingers crossed) fruition.
What’s the plan with these products?
Really there is no gameplan. I’m just enjoying collaborating with different artists to create new, fun products made with love here in the UK for other discerning burger-lovers… I can’t really think of a more worthy use of my time and energy!