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Paul Mattison

Image: Staff

“After starting with Niman Ranch beef, which is raised on small family farms with all-natural pasture and without any antibiotics or growth hormones, I keep my toppings simple. Provolone has the sharpness I like in a cheese, ketchup takes the place of a tomato and lettuce, and raw onion gives it crunch. Mayonnaise adds creaminess, and the acidity of a cold beer balances it all out.” — Paul Mattison, Mattison’s 41, Mattison’s City Grille

“Four years ago I went to The Skillet restaurant in Seattle and discovered bacon jam. They sell it in jars. I bought one, and a couple of chefs and I analyzed what’s in it: spices, cooked onions and bacon diced fine, some roasted shallots, a little bit of garlic, honey and salt and pepper. At my Eat Here restaurant, we’ll take a double patty and layer it with the jam. It just pushes the flavor over the top.” — Sean Murphy, Beach Bistro, Eat Here 

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Sean Murphy, John Holic, Judi Gallagher

Image: Staff

“I’m a spicy kind of person, and I like Gulden’s spicy brown mustard on my burgers along with hot peppers—jalapeños or even habaneros. The heat enhances the flavor. If I’ve got a juicy burger with some outside char and those spicy flavors, I’m in heaven.” — John Holic, Venice mayor and BBQ master

“I don’t believe in smearing a burger with a lot of different flavors. I add just a swath of Hellman’s mayonnaise—I’m from New England, so it has to be Hellman’s. Because it’s made with eggs and oil, the mayonnaise adds a succulent creaminess. When you bite into the burger—which should be on a buttery brioche bun with lettuce and tomato—the juice and fat from the meat and the mayonnaise make it ooze with extra flavor.” — Judi Gallagher, chef and contributing food and wine editor for Sarasota Magazine

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