June 13, 2014
Shack Week: April Bloomfield’s The Breslin Burger
Shack Week, Shake Shack’s week-long 10th anniversary celebration in Madison Square Park, draws to a close today with the final celebrity chef-designed burger.
British chef April Bloomfield first came to prominence in New York after a 10 hour-long interview with Mario Batali (and a recommendation from Jamie Oliver) led to her opening The Spotted Pig. Since opening in 2003, Bloomfield has won two Michelin starred reviews at both The Spotted Pig and her NoMad-based restaurant The Breslin. Bloomfield also runs the kitchen at John Dory Oyster Bar and holds the honor of the highest score of a single challenger on Iron Chef America.
Bloomfield’s Breslin Burger is a meat-lovers dream. The beef burger is a simple dish intended to focus attention onto the creation’s tasty toppings: all-natural applewood smoked bacon and Tickler English cheddar cheese sauce.
We were lucky enough to get an exclusive Q&A with April Bloomfield. See below:
EN: Congrats for being part of this great event!
April: Just to be a part of the ten year anniversary is amazing. I mean, how cool? It’s Shake Shack. These lines are huge. Who would have ever thought. It’s amazing. Shake Shack has become iconic. It’s becoming a part of the American culture.
EN: How did you come up with this burger?
April: I came up with this burger a couple of years ago when I opened The Breslin. I wanted to do something a little bit skinnier because I am normally known for eight-ounce burgers. So I cut it down to a six-ounce burger because I wanted it to cook faster. I decided to smoke my own bacon, so we do apple-smoked bacon in-house and then we fry it next to the bun so it picks up all of the smoked bacon fat. This makes the bun a little crispy. Then the burger goes on top with some cheese and then we steam it a little bit so you get this combination of a juicy burger with really porky bacon and lots of fatty cheese. We adapted the recipe a little bit here. We made Tickler English cheddar sauce, which is great for the cheese. It works just as well and is just as delicious.
EN: How did you meet Danny Meyer and the Shake Shack crew?
April: I met Danny Meyer years ago. We just became great friends and it was nice to get asked to do this. Who wouldn’t want to do this? It’s fun I was just in the kitchen composing all the burgers. It’s nice to get stuck in there and see how they operate. They were telling me I was too slow and that we would never get the burgers out to the people if I stayed in there so I left them to it. But it’s super sweet of Danny and Mark [Rosati] to ask me to do this. It’s awesome!
EN: The Breslin and John Dory are very popular sports in the Nomad neighborhood, what other spots do you like to eat at in Nomad?
April: I am a huge fan of 11 Madison. I go for drinks very often at The Nomad Hotel. Sometimes I go get fried chicken from Hill Country. I get those delicious pork sandwiches from Num Pang. I enjoy all of those places. There’s so much in this area, you don’t need to leave from it! The best thing is, I don’t live quite far from here so it’s convenient for me. I also love Shake Shack and Blue Smoke. All those places are great; this is truly a great area.