How to make the best burger with world champion chef Joannès Richard?

Growing up in a family of wine growers, in the south of France, in a small village near Nîmes with his grandmother and mother who cooked a lot, Richard Joannès always knew the true taste of products. “I was in a family where we grew everything, vegetables, truffle oaks, we had everything. Until maybe 13, I didn't eat a canned vegetable that didn't come from the family garden. » Also passionate about rugby, the chef did not immediately head towards cooking, preferring to study STAPS “but I missed the culinary environment” he explains. After obtaining a BTS in dietetics, to combine sport, nutrition and food, he launched into catering in 2017, followed by numerous competitions such as the French Burger Championship in 2021 which he win.

After a first participation in Dallas in 2022 with his partner Benoît Sanchez, where they took third place, they decided to try their luck again. “In 2023, we prepare much better, we learn from our mistakes of the previous year. » We leave two weeks before, to meet the butcher, the breeders, we go see the livestock on the farm, the vegetables, the jalapeño producers, we do real product sourcing. The important thing was to have a storytelling on the burger that we were going to offer, that there was a story to tell. Cuisine is above all about providing emotions to the consumer, telling them a story, taking them on a journey. We wanted to create an atypical and 100% local burger. It is ecological nonsense to take products found in France and cook them there. »

To defend their place, the French relied on ketchup spiced with pineapple, mango and chipotle pepper; a Texas wagyu hamburger steak; a creamy Jack Daniel's smoked cheddar; cucumber pickles; a fresh herb blend with cilantro, coffin, Thai basil, parsley and a little arugula; virgin sauce, tomato, red onion and citrus fruits; crispy bacon; and for crunch, roasted pecan muesli, popcorn and fried onion. An entire program !

© Press

After tasting, bingo, this burger, with sweet-salty notes, slightly spiced and refreshed with herbs, allows the French to win gold. The Holy Grail for this competition enthusiast who has nothing more to prove in terms of titles, but plenty of advice to give to foodies!

The right ingredients for a burger

“For me, a burger is a bun, a meat, a protein which can be breaded chicken or something else but we stick with a protein, a cheese, pickles and a sauce. The pickles provide the acidity, the protein is the central element of the Burger, the cheese brings this creamy side, the sauce, the touch of deliciousness. Whether it's ketchup or mayo, we're not looking for the same things and that's what's funny.
It's logic. Like a dish, you have to find a mixture of textures and flavors, and then you bring them with different elements,” explains the chef.

SHE at the table. – Can you give us some advice regarding bread?

Joannes Richard. – Above all, you have to toast it. When you make a burger at home, cut your bun in half, brush it with a little butter on both inside sides and toast them in the pan before topping the burger. This creates a thin protective layer. If you pass the knife, you hear a noise. In fact, we managed to create a protective layer that prevents the bread from soaking up the blood from the meat or sauce.

SHE at the table. – Regarding meat?

J.R. – If you can get meat from the butcher, it is always better and ask for a mixture of lean and fatty parts. I really like using brisket because it provides a lot of fat and the fat provides flavor. So ask your butcher to add beef brisket to obtain meat with between 20 and 25% fat.
Afterwards the idea is to form a nice ball by squeezing the meat tightly. When you are going to cook it, the heat penetrates much more slowly into tight meat, by crushing this ball more or less using your spatula, you more or less manage the cooking. If you crush it thoroughly, with 2 to 3 minutes on each side, you will have a well-cooked result and if you crush it much less, you will have blue cooking with the same cooking time. The way you crush your steak allows you to manage the cooking.

SHE at the table. – About the sauce?

J.R. – It depends on what type of sauce you want to make, either it’s ketchup or mayo. The first tip for mayonnaise is to take the eggs out of the fridge and have the eggs at temperature. The funny thing about mayo is that you can make all kinds of it, add herbs, spices, condiments like cucumber, capers, lots of little things. You can vary by using different oils. At Christmas, I really like to make walnut oil mayo with small roasted walnuts when serving.

SHE at the table. – Your advice regarding cheese?

J.R. – Take a cheese with good melting. If you take a Pélardon or goat cheese type, often it has a slightly floury texture and you have a less attractive melt. Cheddar definitely works well, cow cheese, emmental cheese too. To have a well-melted and creamy cheese, once you turn your steak over to cook the second side, you put your slice of cheese on top and then, using a small mixing bowl, you shake it. You can also use a lid, this allows the cheese to melt, to be present evenly throughout the steak and also to speed up the cooking of the steak a little because it acts like an oven by keeping the heat.

SHE at the table. – Your advice regarding pickles?

J.R. – The pickle recipe that everyone knows is the 3/2/1 recipe with 3 parts water, 2 parts vinegar and 1 part sugar. For my cucumber pickles that I put in most burgers, I deliberately remove the water and I combine the sugar and the vinegar to have that “sweet and sour” side that we find in the pickles in the USA. There is no real recipe for pickles, there must necessarily be acidity and sugar, then it's up to you to balance. In this recipe, I already add turmeric to give a yellow color, a sprig of dill, mustard seeds, a little allspice, and Pili-pili to spice them up a little.

Another idea that was a little more original, I made a 3/2/1 brine base in which I put star anise for melon pickles. Star anise melon, it worked incredibly well. You really have to give the course free rein to its ideas.

SHE at the table. – Your advice regarding herbs?

J.R. – I always have a salad in a burger because it also adds texture, chewiness, a fresh side. Arugula has a little peppery taste, while iceberg or romaine add freshness and crunch. You can also use a lot of aromatic herbs for freshness, the vegetal side. I season with a little vinaigrette in which I put a little neutral oil so as not to give an extra taste, lemon, lime, and onions for a tangy touch.

Crunch the pie
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30210 Saint-Hilaire-d’Ozilhan

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