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Brave new burger: The humble American sandwich goes gourmet

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Chef Celinda Norton uses ground lamb in her Market Burger at Seattle's 94 Stewart (Photo by Sean Balko)

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Daniel Boulud's $32 burger infused with braised short ribs and fois gras at DB Bistro Moderne in New York City (Photo by H. Amiard)

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Eric Ripert's gourmet burger at his new Westend Bistro in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Rachel Cothran)

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"Hamburger America" author George Motz loves this not-so-gourmet burger with pickels and onions only, from Hudson's in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho (Photo by George Motz)

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Hamburgers are now elaborate culinary creations, with truffles, foie gras, gruyere and bacon compote taking the place of a simple ground beef patty topped with pickles and mustard. But is over-gourmetization by top chefs a help or hindrance to the humble spirit of this classic American sandwich?


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