Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hamburger is cuisine again.

In Paris, Burgers Turn Chic - "“It has the taste of the forbidden, the illicit — the subversive, even,” said Helene Samuel, a restaurant consultant here. “Eating with your hands, it’s pure regression. Naturally, everyone wants it.”"

It looks like Alton Brown got his wish. Hamburger is cuisine again. It is being debated and discussed again... in France of all places.

It is fascinating to see what they think is essential and what isn't, where they are experimenting and what people say when they go too far.

What is great is that they aren't going nuts with the potion sizes, not like the HoJos in Hong Kong we stopped at with the 5 pound King Size burger, and the 2 pound King Size hot dog.

It is funny that they think the sesame seed bun is essential. They obviously have never encountered a patty melt, which is a whole different take on the same basic concept. For something more edgy, they can try the pulled pork and sliced brisket sandwiches and let's not forget the tamales and runzas.

It seems to me like these chefs have forgotten their roots; all food was once humble food at some point, but with some TLC and some creativity it becomes something much, much more. They need a Mickey Goldmill for their Rocky.

Alton, or staff, if you're reading this, here is an idea you can freely use. Take a couple of these chefs on a Feasting on Asphalt style tour of burger joints, greasy spoons and BBQ pits. Then sit around in afterwards and discuss and debate what they've learned and where they might go with it. Maybe even end up in Kitchen Stadium for the Mother of All Burger Battles.