As Minnesotans, we’ve got the burger thing covered. Between our amazing farmers and our innovative culinary community, we are consistently delivering yum on a bun. But like most classics, burgers are constantly being reinvented with new flavors and concepts. To get the scoop, we sat down with Corey Rose, HMSHost Executive Chef at Ike’s, a Minneapolis and MSP institution, to learn what’s happening on the burger front across the nation.
FLY: Ike’s is known for perfecting the traditional American burger made of, essentially, ground beef, American cheese, and a bun. What are some unconventional burgers that are popping up around the country?
Corey Rose: How about a meatless burger that looks and tastes like the real thing? We actually went out to San Francisco and did a whole taste test with the new Impossible Burger, a first-of-its-kind meatless “meat” burger. It’s the same consistency, even bleeds like a regular burger—but it’s plant-based, not beef. And, if you just did a blind taste test, it’s actually really good. To make it, they use different kinds of proteins to recreate the taste and texture you’d see in a beef burger. I think we’ll get a lot more of this in the next few years.
Here at home, we’re seeing a lot of the breakfast burgers served with an over-easy egg on top. At the Ike’s location in Concourse F, we have our take on it called the Red Eye Burger. It’s made with hoisin- and ginger-infused ground Angus and an Asian-spiced pork belly.
We know the food industry is going through some big changes, especially around sustainability and transparency. How is this trend changing how we buy, cook and eat burgers?
Consumers are really interested in where their food comes from, and restaurants are responding by calling out where items on the menu are grown, produced or farmed. It goes hand in hand with the sustainability trend. We’ve made a few changes at Ike’s in the past few years, including a focus on fresh, local ingredients when possible.
Our meat is fresh—never frozen and never pressed. Our onion and sourdough buns are delivered fresh every morning from Denny’s 5th Avenue Bakery just a few miles away.
If you could change one preference that Minnesotans have about their burgers, what would it be?
While crazy can be fun, don’t be afraid to keep it simple. Salt and pepper are still the best seasonings you can put on a burger for flavor. It really brings out the organic iron and grass-fed flavor.
You don’t need another excuse to eat a burger, but if knowing that May is National Hamburger Month helps, consider yourself told.