July 2004 Edition
Grill to Thrill

Hamburgers. Not just for cookouts and summertime holidays anymore. They've taken on quite a twist since the advent of such classic toppings as onions, pickles, ketchup and mustard. In other words, this is definitely not your father's hamburger. Canadian appetites for cutting-edge cuisine have led the charge for a contemporary spin on an old favourite. So fasten your seat belts - it's going to be a scrumptious ride!

As the saying goes, "Rule were made to be broken." That adage has never been more true than when it comes to creating new culinary concepts to serve up the latest and greatest hamburger trends. From pizza sauce to pita bread, practically anything goes when keeping guests' taste buds on their toes.

Throw curve balls with unexpected toppings such as cranberry relish, steal home with a burger served on an asiago cheese bun and hit one into the bleachers with a salmon burger that is bound to please even the most devoted red-meat lover. Whatever flavourful infusion of ingredients you can imagine, a signature burger will beef up your menu and your bottom line.

Serving up gourmet burgers that make guests' stomachs growl with delight is easy when you let your hamburger brainstorming include everything from mushrooms to mozzarella. For example, a Mediterranean burger that blends equal parts ground beef and ground lamb with ingredients such as chopped fresh mint and crumbled feta cheese will have your guests lining up for an overseas experience that is out of this world. Or try blue cheese or Gorgonzola 'stuffed' into ground sirloin patties to create a burger that delectably disappears off diners' plates when topped with slices of cheddar and crisp bacon. And, don’t forget to reach out into unexplored taste territory with tempting tuna burgers covered with chopped olives and provolone that leave your customers expecting the unexpectedly delicious.

Keep your eye on the bun, too. Fresh baked Parmesan rolls, cheddar-beer buns, toasted sourdough bread and other delicious bun or bread options serve as a tantalizing showcase for your signature burger.

When it comes to hamburgers, grill to thrill - your guests will love having so many unforgettable culinary choices. Break the plain hamburger barrier and keep in mind that even just a "little of this and a little of that" will add a whole lot of smiles to your customer's faces. ¨

Making the Top Ten

Hamburgers are consistently in the top ten menu items that Canadians order when they dine out. Second only to French Fries, according to CREST data, hamburgers are the second most popular food. Source: CREST/NPD Foodservice Information Group and CRFA

A Job Well Done

There are endless opportunities to be deliciously imaginative when it comes to turning a simple hamburger into a special presentation.

According to Susan Evans, Foodservice Communications Manager with the Beef Information Centre, there is a trend at white tablecloth restaurants to features Canada's favourite dish, the hamburger, all dressed up.

"These restaurants are raising burger-making to a fine art," says Evans. "They have replaced the usual toppings with high-end fixings, such as gorgonzola or fresh parmesan instead of processed cheese slices, prosciutto instead of bacon, and they've added rosemary or tarragon as seasonings."

For effortless, inexpensive ways to jazz up your hamburger selection experiment with buns, seasonings, sauces and toppings.

The Bun

Substitute a run-of-the-mill burger bun with baguettes, bagels, focaccia, cheese buns or wraps.

The Seasonings

Go for the gusto with Sysco Imperial/McCormickâ spices - there's a spice to suit any global cooking style - Cajun Spice, Steak Spice Mix, Spanish Paprika, Crushed Chilies or Italian Herb Seasoning to name a few.

The Sauces

Sysco Imperial Ready to Use Sauces will top it off - Honey Mustard, Teriyaki or Szechwan provide flavourful choices that you can add with ease.

The Toppings

Pile them high - specialty cheeses, peppers, salsa, baby greens, onions, ham, bacon, tomatoes - and the list goes on.

Introducing Fire River FarmsTM Beef Burgers

Developed for the unique needs of foodservice operators, Fire River Farms Beef Burgers combine high quality beef ingredients with a special blend of spices and a made-from-scratch appearance that your customers will love. With foodservice friendly packaging - burgers are packed in 4 resealable bags in a 20 lb box - Fire River Farms Beef Burgers provide a whole new level of foodservice safety and freshness.