My friend and fellow “Burger Ambassador”, Anna (@annasappetite), and I were lucky enough to get to visit Selkirk Grille for a sneak peek of their YYC Burger Week creation, in addition to the three participating restaurants we were assigned to visit. As “Burger Ambassadors”, we were tasked to visit three YYC Burger Week restaurants, one in each of the three price categories ($10 burgers, $15 burgers and $20 burgers) to get a “sneak peek” of the restaurants’ burger creations before the actual YYC Burger Week starts and report back on the YYC Burger Week website so everyone will get a glimpse of what they could expect to savour from each Burger Week participant/competitor.
We were super excited to try Executive Chef Jano Hansen’s YYC Burger Week creation as we had heard rumours about how amazing this burger tasted. This was actually going to be my fourth burger in 3 days. For my first burger, I had tagged along with my friend and fellow “Burger Ambassador”, Carmen (@foodkarmablog), to check out Brasserie Kensington‘s YYC Burger Week creation last Friday night. The next day, as their “Burger Ambassadors”, Anna and I tried out NOtaBLE – The Restaurant‘s YYC Burger Week creation as well as the one from The Fine Diner.
Executive Chef Jano Hansen’s YYC Burger Week creation, known as the Heritage Voyageur Hamburger ($20), consists of a 7.5oz AAA Black Angus beef patty, cooked in duck fat, topped with Oka cheese, foie gras torchon, cotton-fried onions, tomato jam, Brassica mustard aioli, bread & butter pickles, butterleaf lettuce, and diced Hotchkiss tomatoes on top of a Alberta Bakery bun. The burger comes with a choice of Kennebec potato fries or Selkirk House Greens Salad, which consists of toasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese with a Brassica mustard and champagne vinaigrette. For those looking for a gluten-free version, the sesame bun may be substituted with a gluten-free bun and the beef patty is gluten-free.
In keeping with the theme of Heritage Park, where Selkirk Grille is located, this burger pays homage to Canadiana cuisine. Alberta is represented with the AAA Black Angus beef patty while the foie gras torchon is a nod to French-Canadian cuisine. Unlike many burgers which are topped with a seared foie gras torchon, the torchon in this burger is actually not seared. Instead, the torchon is gently melted by the warmth of the beef patty.
Another unique tidbit about this burger is actually the diced Hotchkiss tomatoes. Let’s face it, the sliced tomatoes on most burgers are usually put on as an afterthought and often fall out as you start eating the burger. While I love the taste of tomatoes, I do get annoyed when they fall out of the burger while I’m trying to eat it. Chef Lan Thai, who’s on Executive Chef Jano Hansen’s team, actually came with up this ingenious idea of dicing up the tomatoes and using the Brassica mustard aioli to bind them to the bun. This method works amazingly well and the diced tomatoes never fell out while we were eating the burgers. Props to Chef Lan Thai for coming up with such an ingenious way of dealing with the tomatoes!
Besides the diced tomatoes which never fell off the burger, I was most impressed with how well-balanced the flavours were in this burger. As a foie gras lover, of course, I LOVED the torchon. I thought this burger had just the perfect amount of foie gras. I could taste the foie but it didn’t overpower the rest of the other components. I also really liked the tomato jam, which was made in-house by reducing roma tomatoes with brown sugar, as it provided just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to balance out the richness of the other components.
I can tell you one thing, the rumors were true. This Heritage Voyageur Hamburger did taste amazing! If you want to try this burger, you’d better hurry! This burger is going to be available only for lunch during YYC Burger Week, which runs from May 2 to May 10, 2014. After that, you’re going to be out of luck!
Heritage Park Historical Village
1900 Heritage Dr. S.W.