Recent growth in London-centric gourmet burger eateries was continuing to build momentum, Diaz told FoodManufacture.co.uk. And restaurants such as Bar Boulud featured a “mouth-watering selection of New York grilled burgers”, he said.
“But Boulud is not alone with … Dirty Burger in Vauxhall serving brilliant burgers and craft beers, delicious crinkle cut chips and onion fries. This will not have gone unnoticed by our retail creative development aficionados and is set to feature as a key trend for summer 2014.”
Diaz urged product developers to visit New York eateries to get a real flavour of what could work well.
‘Worth crossing town for’
“Must visits will include The Spotted Pig, an über cool West Village tavern serving succulent flamed burgers on brioche buns with shoestring fries – worth crossing town for. Burger and Barrel takes things to another level with its white truffle burger special.
“Then there’s Shake Shack – expect to wait in line for an hour, but at the end to experience the perfect cheeseburger. Succulent thin patties, soft squidgy buns oozing with American cheese. Without doubt you will be spoilt for choice.”
Turning to what made the perfect burger, he cited another US restaurant, Minetta Tavern, which insists beef had to be matured for a minimum of 42 days. It also opts for a blend of short rib rib eye and brisket.
For restaurant quality, cattle breed, age and maturity, selecting the right cuts, careful mincing and grinding and applying the right pressure pressing and shaping patties were also important, Diaz said.
“Press too much and you destroy the mince structure, not enough and your burger will fall apart.”
Robust supply chain
Investing in global travel to generate ideas and in building a robust supply chain to deliver the right ingredients was essential for top quality product development, he stressed.
“Often the answer means identifying a global food expert relevant to the cuisine or food concept you want to develop, getting on a plane and travelling to the centre of excellence.
“Eating and experiencing truly authentic food and having the ability to refine and adapt dishes for the UK without losing their all-important authenticity are crucial.”