I am super excited that YYC Burger Week is just less than a week away. This year, there will be 30 restaurants participating/competing in 3 price categories – $10 burgers, $15 burgers, and $20 burgers. Last year, for the first ever YYC Burger Week, I only managed to check out 4 of the burgers out of the 16 participating restaurants in that one week. With 30 restaurants participating this year, it’s going to be even more difficult for me to decide which burgers to try as this year’s Burger Week only runs for 9 days, from May 2 to May 10, 2014.
This year the organizers behind YYC Burger Week have decided to introduce a new twist by asking some well-known local food writers, critics and food bloggers to sample the burgers in advance, basically to get a “sneak peek” of the participating restaurants’ burger creations before the actual YYC Burger Week starts. This allows for each of the burgers to be showcased on the YYC Burger Week website and gives everyone a glimpse of what they could expect to savour from each Burger Week participant/competitor.
I was lucky enough to be one of ten people chosen to be a “Burger Ambassador” this year. I happily accepted the task as I really wanted to get a first-hand glimpse of what the restaurants were planning to have in store for everyone during Burger Week. Each Burger Ambassador has been assigned three restaurants to visit, typically one from each price category.
Though I wasn’t assigned to visit Brasserie Kensington, I was super curious about their burger creation after all the banter on twitter so my friend and fellow “Burger Ambassador”, Carmen (@foodkarmablog), let me tag along with her to get a sneak peek of Brasserie Kensington’s YYC Burger Week creation.
Chef Jorel Zielke, Executive Sous Chef of Brasserie Kensington, is the mastermind behind this unique burger creation. For all the carnivores out there, take note! This fully-loaded Brasserie Burger ($20) will satisfy all your meat cravings with its double 3 oz patties – one beef and one pork, along with 1 oz of shredded duck confit and is topped with housemade grainy mustard, housemade arugula aioli, melted brie, and crispy duck fat fried onions on an Engel’s Bakery onion kaiser bun. This burger does not come with any sides, but I didn’t really need any either as I was already quite full after devouring this massive burger. For those seeking a gluten-free burger, the patties are gluten-free and it is possible to substitute the onion kaiser with a gluten-free bun, although there may be a small upcharge.
It’s worthy of note that the meat for the patties is cured for 24 hours and ground in-house so you can order your burger to the desired doneness. What’s unique about the burger patties at Brasserie is the technique which they use to form the patties. As the meat comes out of the grinder, the chefs try their best to gather the strands and stack them in parallel so as to begin forming a log. Once the desired diameter reached, the meat is rolled to form a log and sliced into discs with the desired thickness resulting in loosely-formed patties. This technique apparently helps the patties to maintain shape, even after cooking.
This burger is available all day every day, during both lunch and dinner service, for the duration of YYC Burger Week (May 2 to May 10), with the exception of brunch on weekends. On weekends, this burger is only available after 2pm. Also, take note that Brasserie Kensington is not open for lunch on Mondays. They open starting at 4pm on Mondays.
On a side note, if you’ve got a hankering for something sweet after devouring that decadent burger, I’d highly recommend you try their Foie Gras & Sea Salt Ice Cream Split ($10) with bruleed banana, chocolate, caramel and pineapple. I won’t lie, I’m a foie gras lover so this dessert was right up my alley. I liked that this dessert was actually very well-balanced and not overly sweet. I seriously haven’t had a dessert this good in a long time!
Stay tuned for my next posts as I will be reporting back on the three YYC Burger Week Restaurants I’ve been assigned to visit as a “Burger Ambassador”.
1131 Kensington Rd NW