Friday, April 8, 2011

Four Seasons Burger Cooking Class

What luxury hotel chain invites bloggers and related media writers to an evening of cooking, eating and drinking in their kitchen under the tutelage of the executive chef? Why, that would be the Four Seasons, specifically the warm and friendly Kristan Fletcher, Director of PR and the amazingly generous, super fun and down to earth executive chef Brooke Vosika. But this wasn't just any cooking class, it was actually a complimentary burger cooking class in honor of the upcoming month of May being National Hamburger Month.
What's all the fuss about a burger anyways? The Four Seasons Bristol Lounge just so happens to serve up, arguably, one of the best burgers in the city. The Bristol Burger is two time winner of the Boston Burger Battle and the biggest selling item on the menu. I'd say that's reason enough to celebrate all May long! Several local bloggers and I (some of whom I was finally meeting for the first time, others with whom it was fantastic to catch up!) were given the opportunity on the evening of Tuesday April 5th, to create our very own burger. Here's a look at what went down:
A warm welcoming from the Chef included a run down of the evenings agenda - we're creating our very own burgers! and what goes into the makings of The Bristol Burger. Wines were filled promptly upon arrival to encourage creativity. Refills were plentiful.
The burgers are made of fresh ground chuck (a ratio of 80% meat to 20% fat.)
The patty is coated in olive oil and seasoned with fresh salt and hand ground pepper, and grilled to order. Chef Vosika believes strongly in a simple preparation with house made ingredients.
Back in the front of the kitchen we were given an explanation of the toppings available to us. Cheese galore, bacon, mushroom, onion and house made pickles were among them.Roasted garlic, house made ketchup, mustard, pesto, mayo, balsamic vinegar and fresh vegetables round out the bunch.
Decisions, decisions. We were not limited to the ingredients that sat before us, either. The kitchen stressed that they could provide more ingredients upon request and they certainly came through with whatever we needed. In an organized fashion we were each given a number 1-10 (in the order we were standing, I was 10) to choose our toppings wisely and invent our burgers. We were instructed to create one large burger and then chef would replicate mini-burgers for the group to sample and share. So, what did we do in between our turns? Drink more wine, encourage burger topping creativity and eat amazing appetizers like Buffalo Brussel Sprouts which are crispy fried with house-made hot sauce and served with creamy Berkshire Blue Cheese.
Avocado Fries are served with shaved jalapeƱo, aged cheddar and cilantro dipping sauce. I've basically died and gone to heaven. Fried Brussel Sprouts and Avocado Fries? What incredible transformations to happen to my favorite green vegetable and fruit, respectively. French fries at The Bristol Lounge come in three forms (left to right) BBQ, Sweet Potato and Truffle Parmesan. Outstanding. They might also have the best fries in this city.
Did I forget to mention there were house made salt and pepper chips?
I watched as "sous chefs" (hey, that's what our aprons said!) went to town mixing aiolis and requesting more ingredients; topping burgers with everything from prosciutto and tomato, to bacon and avocado, mushroom and onion, jalapeƱos, house made pickles and even french fries.
It was definitely a lot of fun to taste what everyone else created.
Eventually, it was my turn. On an instinctual whim I chose my ingredients: Fennel Slaw, Goat Cheese, Sauteed Mushrooms and Lettuce on a Grilled Bun
Chef encouraged my choices (maybe he could tell I was a bit hesitant) stating that the goat cheese and fennel will work really well together. When I inquired about the addition of lettuce he responded that the lettuce would balance out the strong fennel taste. Perhaps trusting my instincts paid off so far. Even though the mash up of ingredients sounded good in my head, the chef affirming my choices made me feel confident in my burger.  I put it together, fennel slaw down first as the base, then the patty layered with the melted goat cheese, next the sauteed mushrooms and finally two leaves of lettuce. The verdict? I felt like I used a little too much goat cheese, but I did enjoy how well all the ingredients tasted together. So did Adam when I brought the big guy home for him to feast on! I was stuffed, but later I managed to enjoy some macaroons from the Four Seasons parting gift-bag.
We were delighted to learn that each of our burgers will be featured on the menu for one day in the month of May. My namesake burger will served on Tuesday May 3rd! (Soo I guess I'll get to dine out and be my own food critic, weird!) Care to join me?
Did I mention the Four Seasons is a gorgeous Boston landmark situated overlooking the Public Garden? That the Bristol Lounge features elegant living room-esque dining with big couches and floor to ceiling windows? If you come in and order my burger it would also be the perfect excuse to try the avocado fries and buffalo brussels sprouts.
Thanks so much to everyone at the Four Seasons, especially Kristan and Chef Vosika, for hosting such a memorable and more importantly a super fun evening in the kitchen. Can't wait to see you in May!

34 comments:

  1. All of those toppings look amazing. I love that jar of caramelized onions.

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  2. what a great night. fried avocado is the best thing ever

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  3. What a cool opportunity! Looks like so much fun! I'd love to try everything featured here, minus the burger - the avocado fries and brussels sprouts and regular fries look amazing.

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  4. I'm so jealous of this amazing event! Such great topping choices and I NEED to try those Buffalo Brussel Sprouts!! Glad you had fun

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  5. Awesome post! And I totally regret that I was too full to enjoy your burger :( It was fabulous to finallyyy meet you and hopefully I'll see you soon!!

    Sues

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  6. Dude, I havn't had my breakfast yet...I am pretty much starving now!

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  7. Sounds like such a fun time - I love the Bristol Burger!

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  8. congrats, honey! that sounds awesome! we should plan a big night out there. either way I'M GONNA HAVE SEX WITH THOSE BRUSSELS SPROUTS!

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  9. What a special day and treat to be in that AWESOME chef's kitchen! Can't wait to hear what the customers think of the Kristen Burger!

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  10. I'm a vegetarian and I am DROOLING! Especially over the brussel sprouts and avocado chips! Are all of these things on the menu at the Bristol Lounge? YUM! Thanks for a great post!

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  11. Oh come on, fried avocado? & those fries? All look delicious! I don't even eat burgers but I would those! Chefette Kristen ~ love your pic. May 3rd ~ huh? That's a Tuesday. Maybe we made a date?

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  12. I guess we both had burgers on the brain today! ;) Your creation looks and sounds delicious!

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  13. omg i basically want everything here!!! those avo fries and buffalo brussels sound amazing.

    i think it's offical- screw fashion, i need to be a foodie! lol

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  14. that sounds like a fun class. For some reason I cant cook a burger to save my life. :)

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  15. This is SO FUN! Love it :) The four seasons is amazing, looks like you had a blast!

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  16. wow! that looks so fun and those fries look SO good!

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  17. hoooooowwooowwww!!! if a pregnant girl doesn't drool when she reads this post, i don't know who will? my haven, my heaven, burgers and fries!! i wish i could join you in may...good luck with your outcome. much love to my cousin.

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  18. This is soooo cool! Now I want a burger. Had a fab time last night, see you again on Sunday!

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  19. I hope we can make it in to try the Daisy burger!

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  20. Can't wait to get to try it on the 3rd! And also must get the avocado fries and brussel sprout thingys, looks amazinggg

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  21. What a great event! And your burger sounds awesome! Fennel, goat cheese, mushrooms? All my favorite things...oh yeah, so are brussel sprouts and avocado. Amazing! Although I'm not sure I'd want those sprouts after De has her way with them. I would love to make it over to try your burger. If i can still walk at that point...or maybe you can deliver one to me in the hospital :)

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  22. Um, sign me up to go try your burger with you! I think it looks (and sounds) great!

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  23. What an amazing opportunity for you Daisy! I actually stayed at this Four Seasons the last time I was in Boston - it is really beautiful. I didn't get to see the the kitchen though obviously! Lucky you!!

    Have a lovely weekend!

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  24. oooh now i want a burger for dinner tonight!

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  25. Those are super looking burgers....! So hearty and delicious!

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  26. Oh no... I think I have plans on Daisy burger night. And it sounds like such a fabulous burger too! What a fun night. And I'm so glad you got to try those brussels. Love them. And now I must try the avocado fries.

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  27. truly one of the best blogs ever see you on the third wish it was the eight tho go huskies

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  28. dave and i want to try to come on may 3 too! looks delish!

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  29. these recaps make me incredibly envious. I can't get over all those toppings!!

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  30. SO COOL! Does your burger have a name? The Daisy burg?

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  31. What a fun class and awesome burger creation!

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  32. to judge from the pics the hamburgers seem delicious. I have to admit that the best ones I have ever tried are those of Argentina. Of course, because they have the best meat industry. I had an apartment rental in Buenos Aires when I was there and a "parilla" restaurant next to me. Obviously, I went there every single day!
    Kim

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