Food & Wine magazine likes to select the “Best New Chefs” each year. BurgerBusiness.com likes to ask, “But can they make a good burger?” This year’s F&W list is another interesting one and burgers—especially house-signature burgers—are fairly well represented given the fine-dining level of most concepts honored.
Start with Chef Chris Shepherd’s Underbelly in Houston, self-described as “The Story of Houston Food.” Sharing the lunch menu with Slow Braised Wagyu, Crispy Pork Schnitzel and other delights is The UB Double Double Burger (above r.) with double the beef and cheese ($14) and a hefty side of fries.
At Chicago’s Nightwood, Chef Jason Vincent’s Nightwood Cheeseburger is another double-patty creation, this one topped with 8-year Cheddar, an onion ring, pickles, mustard and house special sauce.
Similarly Chef Matthew Gaudet of West Bridge in Cambridge, Mass., is proud enough to name the lunch-menu special the West Bridge Burger. Priced at $10, it combines house-ground beef, bacon and Muenster cheese.
Chef Jamie Malone’s lunch and bar menus at Sea Change in Minneapolis discreetly label her creation as “Burger,” but it’s good to see one at all on a menu otherwise devoted to fish and seafood. The $12 burger is dressed with smoked Cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onion.
So that’s four of the 11 Food & Wine Best New Chefs menuing burgers. The others on the 2013 list, equally deserving praise, are Danny Bowein, Mission Chinese Food, New York City; Justin Cogley, Aubergine, Carmel, Calif.; José Enrique, José Enrique, San Juan, P.R.; Alex Stupak, Empellon and Empellon Cocina, New York City; Andy Ticer & Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis; and Michael Voltaggio, Ink, Los Angeles.