Wednesday, May 2, 2012


A quick word on burgers, of which I ate just one on my recent travels to Los Angeles, but it was a bloody good one, at a place called Umami Burger, where the fillings are simple but excellent. Take note, Murder Burger Fuelconsin - we don't need your shitty aioli or camemberry. We need very good meat, a nice slice of cheese and maybe one random ingredient (like these green chillies, above) if we're feeling experimental. Ask Auckland chef Nick Honeyman, who's shared his recipe for (IMHO) the best burger in the city exclusively with AFB readers. Or you can just go eat one at Sale Street - you can order it from the bar.

First though, it's been a while since I mentioned my awesome sponsor Samsung, who make some really beautiful and innovative kitchen appliances, like the ones they gave me. Most impressive of all is the induction hob, which I've explained elsewhere, but which my girlfriend wanted me to mention is extremely easy to clean - it's a wipe-clean ceramic-style surface, but without the constant boilovers you get on conventional ceramic cooktops. Induction cooking is exact and instantly responsive, just like gas. There, was that so hard to read about?

I've written a full guide to eating in Los Angeles, but you'll have to wait until it's published - I'll let you know where and when. For now, here's an LA-worthy burger recipe, for which you can use, according to Nick: >any meat, at the moment i am just using angus. Cut it with venison, wagyu etc!". >Oh, one more thing, he's given me massive quantities. I could divide it for you but I'm afraid I'll get it wrong, so work it out yourself, or wait until you have a sufficiently big wedding/funeral/religious cult to cater for.

Wagyu Burger
- 6kg Wagyu Mince
- 4kg beef mince
- 25g szechuan peppercorns (freshly ground)
- 25g juniper berries (freshly ground)
- 100g salt
- 250g tomace sce
- 250g HP sce
- 250g bread crumbs
- 1kg chopped caramelized onion

"Caramelize the onions, then chop them and mix all of the other ingredients together ( whole spices ground). Portion into big patties and cook them like a steak. If you are buying prime mince its was originally prime steak so dont be scared to smash it down pink!"

Enjoy Nick Honeyman's Sale Street secrets while you can. He's off to bigger and brighter things as he's just been employed as executive chef at a new North Shore restaurant being opened by the guys who do Matterhorn, The Roxy and Everybody's. He's a clever and lovely guy, so you'll be hearing plenty more from him. If his name sounds very familiar to you, it's because he was a guest judge on Masterchef tonight. Do people watch Masterchef? I guess I sort of assume people just watch Would I Lie To You on a Sunday night and then turn their TV sets off for the remaining week out of respect for masterpiece they've just witnessed. But perhaps that's just in my house.