Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shortish quote: logistics

Wherein I think I've read elsewhere that the buns are a brioche I
should make some brioche buns



Richard Blais:
Why one type of bun if you have 14 kinds of burgers? When we first started we were like, "OK, here's what we have to do if it's going to be a chef-burger restaurant: We're going to have to have our own butcher room, and we have to bake our own bread, and if we're going to do 20 different varieties of burgers, then they all have to be different and all the bread has to be different, and ..." then, you know, when you have a kid walking through a toy store?

As a chef, you get over excited. I wanted to have a window in the kitchen so you could see a butcher shop thing going on. It would have been an extra $200,000 to set up the facility to grind all of our meat in here. That's an extra three to four people on staff so it's a ton of extra labor. And honestly, there is a huge liability issue with grinding your own meat in a restaurant. So with the meat-and I'm really going backwards to get to the bun-we decided that we would find a meat factory plant, let them deal with the liability issues, that's what they do. We'll give them the recipe; it will be our blend. That was a financial decision and at the end I think a smart one.

And then the same thing with the bun. You think, "We'll bake all of our own buns here, and they will all be different." Then you're like, "OK, that's a six-person baking staff that is now a 24-hour labor of staff."

Instead we found a baker in town. We went through a lot of bakers, and we tested a lot of bread. We started with a generic type of bread that you are going to get at a McDonald's or a Burger King and soft, squishy stuff you're going to buy in Publix or Kroger's. Then we went all the way and said, "Let's get the most serious baker in town." What we got was bread that's almost not American, crunchy. Honestly, who wants to eat a burger on a Kaiser roll?

America wants soft bread, personally, that's what I think. Or that's what I want, so maybe that's just my opinion. So we got another baker in town. We worked on the recipe with him. They bake every night, they ship every morning.

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