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Hamburger Gourmet Hardcover – 7 Nov 2013
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68 recipes from Parisian restaurant Blend, plus tips on mincing meat, grill temps and spatulas --Shortlist
About the Author
David Japy is an accomplished food photographer, Elodie Rambaud is a much sought-after food stylist and Victor Garnier is the founder of the BLEND chain of chic burger bars in Paris. They had a very good time making this book.
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However, from the cook’s perspective, it seems like an awful lot of effort – and no small expense on ingredients – for something that looks like a straightforward end product.
Much of the effort goes into making the buns. The recipe produces sweetish, brioche like buns. They do taste good but tend to be a bit liable to crumble as you eat them, yet feel a bit doughy in the mouth. Perhaps it’s just that I am used to a drier, bready bun but these buns require a lot of time and effort for something that doesn’t feel quite right.
The burgers themselves seem to be nothing more than pressing meat together and hoping it sticks. It does, and it is nice to be given permission to undercook the beef. We all like that. But the burgers themselves tend to lack flavour as they are not seasoned.
The differentiation is in the garnishes, sauces, relishes and cheese. It is all quite straightforward, but the pressure is created by having to get everything to come together at the same time. There’s a lot of banging pots (don’t expect to have many clean pots left at the end of the process) and assembly can be quite fiddly – especially for a family of five. Most of the flavours work well, but the recipe for blue cheese sauce comes out very runny and you’ll only need a fraction of the quantity. Many of the recipes also seem to require some exotic ingredient that will end up with running around town in despair – like an episode of The Apprentice.
I half wonder whether this book was ever intended to be used as a cookbook, or whether it was actually just an advert for the Hamburger Gourmet restaurant to show how much effort their burgers take. Of course, given that the challenge is in doing many things at once, having a fully staffed kitchen would make things much easier. I have found myself starting to cut corners (e.g. buying ready made pesto) and once you start doing that, you might as well be designing your own burger combinations.
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