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Highlights From New York City’s Burger Week

Highlights From New York City’s Burger Week


Some restaurants really pulled out all the stops

Jane Bruce

The Burger Bistro's Donut Burger won our hearts. Or our arteries, at least.

When it comes to burgers, the possibilities really are endless. This was certainly on display last week in New York City, where plenty of restaurants celebrated Burger Week by pulling out all the stops and offering some truly creative inventions. The folks at Delivery.com, whom these creations were designed especially for, decided to surprise us by having about a dozen of these burgers delivered to The Daily Meal’s offices.

Click Here for the Highlights From New York City’s Burger Week Slideshow

These were some truly wild creations, running the gamut from relatively tame to downright ludicrous. There was the Juicy Turkey Burkey from David Burke, stuffed with Swiss cheese and mushrooms; the Nutty Hawaiian from Sidewalk Café, topped with pineapple, peanut butter, bacon, American cheese, sautéed onions, tomato and Peruvian huancaina sauce; Mikey’s Double Down, a double burger topped with corned beef and grilled onions with bacon and Cheddar cheese sandwiched between the patties; and the surprisingly balanced Popeye Burger from Big Daddy’s, topped with spinach artichoke dip and melted Cheddar. And, of course, there was a donut burger in the mix: this one, from Brooklyn’s Burger Bistro, sandwiched a burger, bacon, American cheese, and a fried egg in between two halves of a glazed donut. And the list goes on.

Click through to check out some of the craziest burgers that you’re likely to find in New York City. And if any really strike your fancy, don’t be surprised if these restaurants will whip one up especially for you, during Burger Week or not.


A Bob's Burgers Pop-Up Restaurant Is Now Open In New York City

Last year, Los Angeles got to experience 10 days of Bob Belcher-inspired burgers. If you weren't one of the lucky ones able to attend, there's another opportunity this week, and this time it's on the east coast. Chefs Club Counter in New York City is hosting a Bob's Burgers Pop-Up from December 18th to the 24th, once again led by Chef Alvin Cailan. Each day will feature a different burger from the show's "Burger of the Day" board, sold from 11:30 a.m. until they run out.

According to GrubStreet, the burgers are as follows:

  • Monday, December 18: Baby You Can Chive My Car &mdash Burger topped with sour cream and mustard spread, chives, and fried pickles
  • Tuesday, December 19: Don't You Four Cheddar 'Bout Me &mdash Burger smothered in four types of cheddar cheese, lettuce, bacon, and onion
  • Wednesday, December 20: Foot Feta-ish/Never Been Feta &mdash Burger with feta cheese, arugula, mayo, and mustard
  • Thursday, December 21: Dark Side of the Shroom &mdash Burger with shiitake mushroom, pineapple, and teriyaki sauce
  • Friday, December 22: Hit Me With Your Best Shallot &mdash Burger with caramelized shallots, chèvre spread, and arugula
  • Saturday, December 23: We're Here, We're Gruyère, Get Used To It &mdash Burger with sweet pickles, gruyère, and caramelized onions on an au jus-dipped bun
  • Sunday, December 24: Bet It All On Black &mdash Burger with mozzarella, spinach, and black garlic spread

Each burger costs $20, and comes with a side of fries, a Bob's Burgers key chain, and a sticker. Proceeds from the event will go to the Los Angeles Fire Department, which has been working hard to combat the California wildfires.

If you're planning on going, we suggest getting there early &mdash on the first day, the restaurant sold out in an hour and a half.

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Live Updates

In the case of Impossible Foods, the debate centers on its use of soy leghemoglobin, which the company’s engineered yeast produces and forms an important ingredient behind the business.

The company was started in 2011 by Pat Brown, a biochemist at Stanford University. His approach, involving genetics, microbiology and cutting-edge chemistry, attracted venture capitalists also eager to find plant-and lab-based replacements for hamburgers and chicken wings.

Impossible Foods sought to woo top chefs with a splashy sales pitch about how the burger mimicked the aroma, attributes and taste of real beef. When soy leghemoglobin breaks down, it releases a protein known as heme, giving it that meatlike taste and texture.

Within three years of its founding, Impossible Foods landed big-name investors like Khosla, Mr. Gates and the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing. This month, Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, joined an investment round that added $75 million to the company’s coffers.

“I love V.C.s and particularly the ones that invested in us,” Mr. Brown said at a TechCrunch conference in May, referring to venture capital firms. “But it’s truly astonishing how little diligence they do in terms of the actual science that underlies some tech companies.”

The F.D.A.’s approval is not required for most new ingredients. Companies can hire consultants to run tests, and they have no obligation to inform the agency of their findings, a process known as self-affirmation.

Impossible Foods adhered to that procedure, concluding in 2014 that soy leghemoglobin was safe. But it went further, seeking the regulator’s imprimatur.

“We respect the role the F.D.A. plays in ensuring the safety of our food supply, and we believe the public wants and deserves transparency and access to any information they need to decide for themselves whether any food they might eat is safe and wholesome,” Ms. Konrad wrote in an email.

The F.D.A., however, wanted the company to show the ingredient was safe specifically for humans. It told Impossible Foods to establish the safety of the more than 40 other proteins that make up part of its soy leghemoglobin. F.D.A. officials said the company’s assessment of the potential for the ingredient to be an allergen was deficient.

“This product has been touted as the ‘secret sauce’ in the Impossible Burger,” said Jim Thomas, program director at the ETC Group, the Canadian environmental organization that started the Freedom of Information request. “Now we know that the F.D.A. had questions about it, but it was put on the market anyway.”

Ms. Konrad defended the burger, saying it “is entirely safe to eat” and “fully compliant with all F.D.A. regulations.” She said the company was “voluntarily taking extra steps beyond what’s strictly necessary so that our extensive testing data is in the public record.”

“We are taking these additional steps because the public wants and deserves full transparency about the foods they eat — and because transparency is a core part of our company’s DNA,” she said.


NEW CLASSICS

The newer burgers — some inspired by the flattop classic, some not — that will undoubtedly stand the test of time.

Au Cheval — According to Bill Addison, this haute Chicago diner burger, which boasts two beef patties on the "single" hamburger, represents "one of the country's best examples of the flattop-griddled burger hoisted to haute levels without losing sight of its diner roots." American cheese slices and a Dijon/lemon/mayo-based sauce adds depth of flavor, and "the kitchen nails the ratios: It's impressive how well the bun cradles all those calories without meddling with the meaty savor." Addison adds one pro tip: "I know some people relish the power move of adding foie, but after trying it with and without the liver I don't think this burger needs any more embellishment." 800 W Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607

Craigie on Main — Alongside Michael Schlow's well-loved Radius burger, Eater Boston editor Rachel Blumenthal calls the Craigie on Main burger a "pioneer of Boston's 'upscale' burger class." Chef Tony Maws' now-iconic version features a house-made milk-style bun, Maws' mace ketchup, vinaigrette-dressed greens, and a patty highlighting " impeccable ingredients," Blumenthal says. As for how it tastes? "From the giant, juicy patty to the bun that achieves that perfect texture between soft and firm, it's one of the best burgers you'll eat." 853 Main St., Cambridge, MA 02139

The General Muir — This Atlanta restaurant, an elegantly re-imagined take on the traditional New York City deli, serves two different versions of its burger. At lunch, there's what Addison calls a "tamer version" of chef Todd Ginsberg's much-heralded burger at his previous restaurant, Bocado. But at dinner, Addison says, the "frizzled pastrami, Gruyere, and caramelized onions appear," yielding delightfully chaotic results. "There's beauty in this beast," he says. "It is an unholy mess to eat, slipping and sliding as you try to wrestle it, but all the elements come together so masterfully and each bite is so different that it's worth the handfuls of napkins." 1540 Avenue Pl. B-230, Atlanta, GA 30329

The Spotted Pig — This is a burger with a Michelin star, the work of chef April Bloomfield at her 11-year-old Greenwich Village gastropub the Spotted Pig. "You might not think you're a roquefort-topped burger person, but the Spotted Pig will make you one," says Eater associate reports editor Hillary Dixler. Bloomfield serves her burgers atop an ever-so-slightly sweet toasted brioche bun, and Dixler offers a pro tip: "Don't forget to ask for some dijon mustard: just a tiny bit cuts through those rich flavors and takes the thing home." 314 W 11th St., New York, NY 10014

Husk — "This is basically God on a squishy bun," Addison says of chef Sean Brock's now-famous burger, which exists in slightly modified versions at his Charleston and Nashville Husk outposts. The nod here goes to the original beast, featuring hickory-smoked Benton's bacon ground directly into the chuck blend. "By grinding bacon with the ground beef the burger takes on the quality similar to Southern vegetables long simmered with pork," Addison says. "The flavors meld, becoming indistinguishable from one another." The burger's also topped with American cheese, a noted Brock necessity. Says Addison: "I can't think of another burger I'd more like to eat right this minute." 76 Queen St., Charleston, SC 29401

Minetta Tavern — The famous Black Label burger at Minetta Tavern has been turning heads since it was introduced as part of restaurateur Keith McNally's relaunch of the historic restaurant in 2009. ​One of New York City's essential dry-aged burgers, ​it's a dry-aged ribsteak burger topped caramelized onions, and served with french fries. ​It's a personal favorite of Eater founder Lockhart Steele and Nick Solares​ adds​:​ ​"Minetta​'s​ is the highest expression of the hamburger without using extraneous ingredients."​​ 113 Macdougal St., New York, NY 10012

Shake Shack — Danny Meyer's burger chain that really really really could. ​Shake Shack has grown from a one-off burger stand in New York City's Madison Square Park to a publicly traded company with locations across the globe. There's a real nostalgic flair to the Shake Shack burger, from the Martin's Potato Roll bun to the proprietary beef blend and Shack Sauce, to the crisp griddled edges and the wax paper wrapper. "It has spawned a legion of imitators and gone some way to defining a NYC style," Solares says of Shake Shack's burger architecture: " Griddle-seared, five-ounce burgers on potato buns with American cheese." Various locations website


The Test of Times

Sending a query out to friends for favorite recipes always yields good results. Amanda Hesser embraced the idea, but instead of pinging her e-mail contacts, she asked the entire readership of The New York Times.

Six years and 6,000 suggestions later, the result is The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century.

Make no mistake: Although it will fit nicely on your shelf next to Craig Claiborne's seminal 1961 The New York Times Cookbook, Hesser's tome is not an update. Instead, it's a chronicle of American cooking--one that's incomplete in the most wonderful way, as it highlights what we love (or loved) to eat.

It's filled with recipes from current luminaries like Mark Bittman, Marcella Hazan and Nigella Lawson, plus all-time favorites like Marian Burros's purple plum torte (1983) or Jean-Georges Vongerichten's cliché-but-still-delicious molten chocolate cake (1997).

To get you started, we've plucked out the 1966 recipe for David Eyre's pancake (the second most popular recipe in the book the plum torte was first). It's an impressive (but blessedly easy) Dutch-style pancake that's topped with a shower of confectioners' sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice (click here to download the recipe).


New York City Marathon Training, Race Day and What to Eat – The Best Tips Podcast

Ashley Diamond is a runner, blogger, wife and mom working in e-commerce in New York City. She’s run and spectated the New York City Marathon several times and considers it her favorite race. Today I’m asking her for all the best tips on training, race morning, the course and where to eat. She’s currently training for a half marathon and you can keep up with her at My Healthy Happier Life

Tips for the NYC Marathon – How to have the best race day at one of the best races in the US!

1. Let’s start with training…

What’s the NYC Marathon course like? Any specific training we should incorporate?

– Start time / Logistics is challenging… how do you train for that with fuel & hydration?

What and when to eat race morning!

2. Tips for the expo?

She’s volunteered at the expo a few times too!

3. Race day Tips and Reminders:

NYC Marathon start line logistics are very unique! When I ran it I took a bus to the start line. But I think you’ve taken a ferry? Let’s talk about our race morning experiences & tips for each.

– The options to get to the start.

– Corrals / Running with Friends

– How to find your people after the race – great tips for spectators! What to wear, where to stand and other notes to make sure you don’t miss your cheerleaders.

4. The Course

I think the best thing about the race is the amazing crowd support. There’s nothing like it.

We talk about the bridges, boroughs and Central Park.

What is your favorite part of the NYC Marathon course?

What should runners make sure to enjoy?

5. Victory Lap – (Best Food / Fun in the city)

What is the BEST post race victory lap?

All her running favorites:

> Favorite race / distance to run? Half Marathon – she’s going for a sub- 2 hour half marathon this weekend!

> What are your favorite running shoes? Brooks Levitate 2 – good support and cushion & bright colors

> Must Have Running Gear? Apple Air Pods – they stay in place and stand up to sweat // Brooks Greenlight 7” Shorts (they’re my fave too)

> What did you listen to on your last run / workout? Running Podcasts – Ali on the Run, Another Mother Runner, Hustle…

> What’s your favorite post-run / post- race victory lap? Burger & Fries

You can follow her on Instagram @Healthy Happier and her blog is My Healthy Happier Life

I ran New York in 2013 – here’s my blog recap of the race and pictures:

New York City Marathon Race Recap – there are a lot of pics in there too

(I think the only post-race picture I have was with Ben) I was freezing after the race and just wanted to find him and get inside. He was watching the race with friends and as soon as they found me they snapped a pic of use together and we headed inside.

Podcast Awards:

1st place goes to SR aka Skinny Runner aka @BarlesHambone for being my only friend, photographer, and agreeing to sleep with me but not actually touching me.

2nd place – Brooks Running sent me a pair of the special edition NYC Marathon running shoes! They are so fun! I love them!!

If you have a question or a topic you’d like me to cover for an upcoming podcast… let me know!

Email me at [email protected] with Podcast in the subject line or call the RER voicemail.

What are you doing while listening to podcasts?

>>> Let me know what you’re doing while you listen by tagging @RunEatRepeat on instagram!

[ Photos courtesy of The Healthy Happier Bear on Instagram and Facebook ]


Donna Hay’s Best Veggie Burgers

With 27 cookbooks under her belt, Donna Hay knows a thing or two about what separates a good recipe from a great one. That&rsquos why we trust her when she says the veggie burger recipe from her newest title, Week Light, is truly the best.

With many homemade veggie burgers, you have to bust out your food processor or stock up on a bunch of random ingredients you&rsquoll never use again. This one, on the other hand, requires no fancy appliances or extra trips to the store. We&rsquoll take an extra pickle spear with ours, please and thanks.

Text credit to Donna Hay from Week Light: Super-Fast Meals to Make You Feel Good, published by HarperCollins Publishers.

One 14-ounce can (400g) black beans or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup (150g) firmly packed grated carrot (about 1 carrot)

1 cup (150g) firmly packed grated beet (about 1 medium beet)

2 tablespoons black chia seeds

½ cup (140g) crunchy peanut butter

1 teaspoon smoky sweet paprika

½ cup (12g) fresh parsley leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 seeded rolls or burger buns, halved

8 small slices cheddar cheese

⅓ cup (100g) mayonnaise or relish

4 large dill pickles, quartered lengthways

1. Place the beans in a large bowl and press with a fork until roughly mashed. Add the carrot, beet, chia seeds, peanut butter, cumin, paprika, parsley, salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape into patties.

2. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the patties and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side

3. Divide the buns between serving plates and assemble the burgers with the lettuce, veggie patties, cheddar, tomato and mayonnaise. Serve with pickles on the side.

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.


Best museums in New York

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Opened in 1880 and situated on Central Park, this iconic New York institution contains 5,000 years of art&mdashfrom prehistory to the latest in contemporary works&mdashunder one roof. Its unparalleled collection comprises more that two million objects that include Old Master paintings, the Ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur and the museum&rsquos famed period rooms.

Don&rsquot miss the Roof Garden Commission by Alex Da Corte "As Long as the Sun Lasts," which balances Big Bird on one side and a modern mobile on the other, and the retrospective of Alice Neel, "People Come First."

2. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

After three years of planning and construction&mdashincluding a four-month closure this summer&mdashthe Museum of Modern Art has finally thrown open its doors to a shiny, reconfigured self, offering the public more MoMA to love (or at least to ponder) than ever.

Learn about the relationship between architecture and the spaces of African diaspora communities with "Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America" and see "Degree Zero: Drawing at Midcentury," which features works by Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, Alfredo Volpi and others.

3. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Frank Lloyd Wright broke the mold on museum design when he completed his building for the Guggenheim in 1959. Since then, millions of visitors have come to the Gugg to gawk at its spiraling rotunda, but they stay for its daring art shows and its collection, which includes Peggy Guggenheim&rsquos trove of Cubist, Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist works, as well as the largest collection of Kandinskys in the United States.

Get a glimpse of abstract works by avant-garde painters and "Off the Record," which questions and challenges dominant narratives in mainstream documentation.

4. Whitney Museum of American Art

In 2015, the Whitney Museum finally slammed the door on its status as the also-ran of major NYC museums by moving into a gleaming new building designed by world-class starchitect Renzo Piano. Standing at the foot of the High Line along Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District, the 63,000 square facility boasts three outdoor sculpture spaces providing views of the Hudson and surrounding neighborhood.

Catch 70 artworks by Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu .

5. Brooklyn Museum

The third-largest museum in the five boroughs, the Brooklyn Museum follows the encyclopedic template of the Metropolitan Museum with a collection housed in an 1897 Beaux-Art building that includes period rooms, Ancient Egyptian and African Art, and modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures and more.

See striking photographs by John Edmonds as well as the first major survey of KAWS's gigantic works.

6. The Jewish Museum

In addition to a superb collection of Judaica, The Jewish Museum also mounts important exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Housed in the 1908 Warburg Mansion, the museum maintains a collection of more than 28,000 works of art, artifacts and media installations.

"Scenes from the Collection" are selected works in thematic scenes that weave together centuries of art and Judaica. And you can't miss "Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine ."

7. Fotografiska

The Fotografiska gallery in Stockholm, Sweden has opened a New York Branch in the heart of the Flatiron District that features three floors of exhibition space as well as Verōnika, a dining room and bar operated by award-winning Philadelphia restaurateur, Stephen Starr. Named for the patron saint of photographers, Verōnika is being helmed by executive chef Robert Aikens and will offer a menu inspired by cuisines from Northern France, Austria and Eastern Europe, all served up with a side order of seasonality and sustainability. The gallery itself mounts temporary exhibits featuring photos from &ldquogrand masters and emerging talent&rdquo that range from &ldquoeasily accessible to hardcore conceptual.&rdquo

Don't miss the solo exhibitions for Hassan Hajjaj, Pixy Liao, Miles Aldridge, Adrienne Raquel and Tom of Finland Foundation.

8. Merchant's House Museum

New York City&rsquos only preserved 19th-century family home is an elegant, late Federal-Greek Revival house stocked with the same furnishings and decorations that filled its rooms when it was inhabited by hardware tycoon Seabury Treadwell and his descendants from 1835 to 1933.

9. New Museum of Contemporary Art

Taking its name from the New School, where it was founded in 1977, the New Museum has grown from a single gallery space to a global showcase of cutting-edge art. In 2007, it moved into a purpose-built, seven-story building on the Bowery, designed by the cutting-edge Tokyo architectural firm SANAA.

Check out "Grief and Grievance," which explores the history of racist violence all throughout the United States.


I made burgers using 3 celebrity-chef recipes, and the best had butter in the center

I tried burger recipes from celebrity chefs Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, and Ina Garten.

Each burger was easy to make, especially Flay's, which only called for one kind of meat.

In the end, all of these burgers were delicious, but Garten's recipe was better than the others.

First I decided to grind my own meat for all three recipes.

Grinding meat looked fun and — more importantly — surprisingly easy. Plus Brown's recipe specifically called for it.

After skimming an article on the subject, I borrowed my parents' food processor and cubed the sirloin into smallish chunks that were just over an inch big.

Then I put them on a metal baking sheet covered with parchment paper and froze that and the food-processor blade for about 30 minutes.

A few pulses in the food processor was all it took to get a great consistency.

Supposedly, freezing the meat makes it easier to work with, but I might've frozen it for too long.

In his recipe, Brown said it would only take about 10 second-long pulses to get the meat ground properly, but it took me closer to 30 to get the sirloin steak to the texture his had.

Notably, though, his recipe said nothing about chilling the meat before grinding it.

I also prepared a batch of ground chuck, this time freezing the meat for only 10 minutes. It turned out much better— give or take 10 pulses, just like Brown's recipe said.

Brown's recipe only required three ingredients.

I love Brown. He's probably the only Food Network host who is legitimately funny to me, and the way he mixes science into the cooking process is a joy to watch.

But knowing his knack for complex recipes, I was a bit nervous about making his burger, which contains chuck and sirloin.

Although it seemed simple, with a name like Burger of the Gods, this recipe had a lot to live up to.

His recipe was easy, but very precise.

In the video that accompanied the recipe, Brown was precise (cryptically so) that the burgers should each be 5 ounces.

I don't own a scale — I don't believe in them — so I simply prayed that eyeballing my measurements would be accurate enough.

Other than that, this is a straightforward recipe. I just mixed the meats with a little salt in a small bowl then I formed a patty.

I was dubious that this recipe didn't require any pepper. But if there's one person I trust to cook using only one kind of seasoning, it's Brown.

Bobby Flay's recipe only called for one kind of meat

Considering Flay owns a chain of burger-focused restaurants — Bobby's Burger Palace — I had high hopes. But Flay's recipe is called Perfect Burger, which made me skeptical.

The recipe only asks for one kind of meat (chuck), plus salt and pepper. It sounds good, but not perfect. Maybe "classic" would've been more appropriate in the name.

Though larger than the one I made using Brown's recipe, this burger didn't seem perfect to me.

This one was the easiest to make — though we're splitting hairs at this point. Neither recipe has been that difficult to follow.

I was able to slap it together in under a minute, which I'm assuming is how long it took for Flay to come up with the name.

This burger was a little larger than the Brown's Burger of the Gods (6 ounces instead of 5).

I was happy to see pepper in the ingredient list, but I didn't have any of the freshly ground kind he called for because, despite my Italian surname, I don't live in an Italian restaurant.

Garten's recipe required the most ingredients, but it sounded pretty fun.

I'm quite a fan of Garten, so I was pretty excited to try her recipe.

One of the things I love about the Barefoot Contessa is that she throws parties and cooks for others (most notably for her husband, Jeffrey, who I once almost dressed up as for Halloween).

Garten calls this her Real Hamburgers recipe, which sounded nice and simple. I was most excited about this burger because it has the largest ingredient list — egg, steak sauce, two kinds of meat, and seasoning.

My first attempt at Garten's burger was a bit of a fail.

This recipe is designed to make 12 hamburgers, but I didn't need to make that many.

I was so concerned about correctly cutting down the amount of meat I needed that I neglected to reduce how much steak sauce I added. I also used the entire egg instead of just the yolk.

It was just too much sauce, so I decided to redo this burger for my final review, though my initial fail is pictured in a few of the group photos below.

Take two of Garten's burger went much better.

When I correctly followed directions, this was the most fun to make.

The written recipe said to mix the sirloin, chuck, egg, steak sauce, salt, and pepper with a fork, but Garten's video said to use your hands. Guess which one I followed?

After combining the mixture with my hands, I just formed the result into a patty and threw it on the grill over high heat.

This recipe was more difficult than the others, but it was still pretty easy once I managed to get the correct ingredient ratios.

Cooking these burgers was easy.

These were the three burgers before cooking — note how dark my initial Garten burger attempt (top) was.

I like my burgers rare, so I cooked all three for the least amount of time possible. Brown suggested four minutes on each side for medium-rare — Flay and Garten said three.

Flay's recipe is the only one that asked for a specific kind of oil, canola oil, which I didn't have. Since canola oil is technically a type of vegetable oil, I just used standard vegetable oil. For the other burgers, I used a little bit of butter.

When cooking burgers, the best tip I have is: Don't squish a burger with the spatula while cooking. Brown also made sure to mention this in his recipe.

I also decided to cut up some lettuce, tomato, and red onion.

None of the recipes called for these fixings, but I decided it would be absurd to review a plain hamburger.

Flay's recipe listed cheese as an option, but I declined.

I think Flay needs to change his definition of perfect.

This was a decent burger, but not a perfect one.

Had I not added any fixings, this would've been a somewhat bland burger. Though the meat was spot-on medium-rare, I still felt like it lacked flavor.

In my opinion, salt and pepper are a base — they shouldn't be the stars of a recipe.

Brown is onto something by using two kinds of meat.

It looks like I have some scientific eyeballs because this burger was great and turned out pretty close to perfect.

I also think part of this burger's success was that I cooked it in butter, which was my own decision. For the record, I would've also cooked Flay's burger in butter had he not specified using oil.

Using two types of meat was a great idea, and the flavors blended nicely. The salt brought out the meat's flavor well, something Brown talked about in his recipe video.

This just had more life than the still-good Flay burger.

Garten's secret ingredient is devious and delicious.

Even when following the instructions exactly, the sugar in the burger still burns a little. Even so, this was one swee- looking patty.

Before cooking the patties, the Barefoot Contessa slipped a pat of butter into the middle of the meat, which I thought was a fantastic idea.

On my first try, the sauce overpowered the meat, and the sugar in the steak sauce burned. The redo (pictured) looked much better going on the grill and was easier to shape.

It tasted delicious — even if I could've used a dash more steak sauce, which I needed to focus on to notice. The egg yolk also added a certain fluff to the burger that was comforting, but somewhat subtle.

Overall, Garten's recipe was the best.

I enjoyed the Garten burger the most, and it was the most fun to make, which should count for something.

Still, I'd say that if you're stuck without steak sauce and an egg, making Brown's burger isn't going to be a bad consolation prize.

And I think the real secret to a good burger seems to be using sirloin and chuck at the same time. As Garten mentioned when sharing her recipe, sirloin adds a "dry," robust flavor.

Although it wasn't my top pick, even the burger I made using Flay's recipe was enjoyable to eat.

Maybe instead of attempting to find a perfect burger, it's time for me to acknowledge that burgers themselves are just perfect.

Read the original article on Insider

Accused Cannibal Rapist Haunted Her Dreams. Now She’s Helping Cage Him.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo GettyBELLINZONA, Switzerland—Allegations of rape, killing, and cannibalism made the man an outlaw who victims say roared like a lion before striking his prey, and yet the chances were that he would outrun justice.A quarter-century after his alleged crimes, Alieu Kosiah is now in a European detention facility awaiting a decision on his fate, facing up to 20 years in prison.Kosiah fled recriminations at home and was living a new life in a picturesque region of Switzerland, one of the world’s wealthiest nations, when officials finally apprehended him.He is accused of multiple murders and serial rapes back in Liberia, West Africa. The trial came to life thanks to seven plaintiffs, six of whom traveled to Europe to face the man they say once terrorized them. The seventh victim, who The Daily Beast is calling Teta, alleges she was kidnapped and raped by Kosiah, who she says removed a rifle slung across his shoulder and pulled a knife from his belt before he repeatedly violated her.The Terrifying Tale of the Killer Cannibal Who Walked FreeTeta, who gave birth to a premature baby during the trial, provided evidence via videolink from Monrovia, as the child was too fragile to travel. The court asked Teta how she felt towards Kosiah all these years later. She feared him, she said, and buried her head in her hands. “He’s a killer and rapist,” she said. The judge asked if she was waiting for an apology. “I can’t accept his apologies,” she replied. On a subsequent call, when asked how she found the courage to testify despite her trepidation, she told The Daily Beast, “I want justice. He should be judged he should be tried.”Even once he was arrested—after some two decades of living peacefully in Europe—the prospect of this trial seemed remote. Evidence in such a case is hard to pull together when crime scenes have been destroyed, and witnesses are long since dead. But Swiss prosecutors eventually indicted Kosiah after five years of criminal investigations.According to lawyers for the plaintiffs, the case is monumental because it represents many firsts in the fight toward accountability for crimes committed in Liberia’s back-to-back civil wars from 1989-2003. “It’s the first war crimes trial for sexual violence [in Liberia], for child soldiers, the first time a Liberian will be convicted or acquitted for war crimes, and the first time there will be a judgment for war crimes in front of the Swiss Federal Criminal Court,” Alain Werner, a Swiss lawyer representing several victims in the case, told The Daily Beast. The court is expected to issue a verdict next month.One of the witnesses, a tall man in his fifties wearing a striped polo shirt and jeans, said he watched as a close friend’s chest was sliced open before his heart was removed and served to rebels, including Kosiah, on a metal plate.This man, whose name is withheld to protect him from reprisal when he returns home to Lofa County in northern Liberia, told the Daily Beast that it was breath-taking to face Kosiah again in the flesh. “When you see him, it’s all you can do not to…” he said, as his voice trailed off. “You can’t imagine the brutality.”It was 1994, early in the rainy season, and the then 15-year-old Teta was tending to her family’s rice crops when the fighters arrived in her remote village in Lofa County. The war was raging, and members of the ULIMO faction had come to overtake the area from Charles Taylor’s group. The fighters took some of the men, including Teta’s father and brother, to the town center, where they tied their arms behind their back until their elbows touched. They ordered the women to cook for them and gathered all the rice and oil in the village Teta fetched water and cleaned the dishes. The rebels, Teta observed, responded to a superior named “General Kosiah.” The General, who was 19, commanded the civilians to form a convoy to transport goods and ammunition, likely toward the Guinean border.Teta thought only of her survival, and when she saw an opportunity, she fled into the bush. She later made her way to the town center, where she’d last seen her father and brother, only to find them slaughtered. For several days, she hid in the bush without food. When the hunger had sucked the life out of her, she ventured to a nearby village to replenish herself. She noticed a group of rebels smoking and chatting in front of a house. A small boy, whose gun dragged behind his body, approached. “Come,” she recalled him saying. “If you don’t come, I will kill you. It’s the General that’s calling you.”Teta says she followed the boy to the General, the same one she’d seen days earlier in her village, named Kosiah. He wore military clothing, his eyes were bulbous, and his skin was darker than hers, Teta noticed. “You will be my wife,” she recalled him saying. Teta says she was ordered into a nearby house and locked in the bedroom. That night, she says, he returned and took off his boots, clothes, and weapons. Teta claims he then took her body for himself, raping her every few hours. His body splayed on top of hers, and when she cried, she says he threatened to kill her. The following day, when the door was left unlocked, Teta escaped. She was naked, had no shoes, and while she’d never menstruated before, she was bleeding. Kosiah denies the charges.Liberia Rethinks Its Past in Wake of Charles Taylor War-Crimes VerdictSexual violence during Liberia’s back-to-back civil wars was endemic. The true scale is still unknown. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimated that over 70 percent of sexual-based violations were perpetrated against women and girls, who were used as “bush wives” and domestic servants, among other abuses. Still, more than fifteen years since the conflicts concluded and took the lives of an estimated 250,000 people, civil war-era sexual violations carry a deep stigma, shrouded in a culture of shame.“The impunity for war crimes, in general, had an impact on ongoing impunity for crimes of sexual violence in Liberia,” said Emmanuelle Marchand, the head of the legal unit at Civitas Maxima, a Swiss-based organization that investigates war crimes in Liberia. “Liberia is still a country where violence against women is integrated,” Marchand told The Daily Beast.In 2009, Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission released a report recommending establishing a special war crimes tribunal. Still, Liberia has yet to hold a single perpetrator responsible for atrocities committed during its two civil wars. Some well-known warlords have taken up high-level government positions, and others have resettled in third countries, building families and businesses. The few cases involving war crimes have occurred in third country courts, in the U.S. and Europe, where perpetrators were found living.Kosiah, a former ULIMO commander who Teta said raped her, is now at the center of the first war crimes trial for atrocities committed during Liberia’s first civil war.In February, six Liberian men traveled thousands of miles by plane from Monrovia to Geneva and then by train to a tranquil town in the Swiss alps called Bellinzona, an Italian-speaking region near Italy's border. They stayed in a modest hotel in the historic town center, where rice was hard to come by, but pizza was in abundance. Some had never seen the snow and found the cold biting. Each was there as a complainant to testify before a panel of three Swiss judges at the Federal Criminal Court about their allegations against Kosiah. The seventh complainant and only woman, Teta, whose name has been changed for her safety, appeared by video stream from the U.S. embassy in Monrovia. She had given birth just days before. The fact the complainants had made it this far was a feat in itself.In 2013, Alain Werner, the Swiss lawyer who runs Civitas Maxima, an organization investigating crimes on behalf of Liberian victims to prosecute perpetrators in national courts, received a tip: a former ULIMO commander was living near Lake Geneva. Werner had never heard of Kosiah, but given the ULIMO’s extensively documented crimes committed in Lofa County between 1993 and 1995, he was confident there would be a case. Werner called their sister organization in Monrovia, the Global Justice and Research Project, whose investigators started digging.The American Warlord Guilty of Torture“It could have been that we got the name [Kosiah], we did the investigation on the ground, and nobody heard about it. In this case, that didn’t happen,” Werner said. “We got the name. We did an investigation. Crimes came back,” he told The Daily Beast. In the summer of 2014, Werner and partner lawyers filed a criminal complaint against Kosiah on behalf of seven Liberian victims. Swiss authorities arrested Kosiah in November that year, and he has been in pre-trial detention since.Much of the material evidence was damaged or destroyed following the first civil war, and key witnesses were killed or since died. Some witnesses feared retribution and refused to participate in the trial. Then, a global pandemic prevented willing victims and witnesses from traveling. When, finally, the logistics were in place, the Swiss courtroom held the hearing at reduced capacity. The complainants, their four lawyers, and two Swiss prosecutors sat at a distance with masks. Kosiah, who is now 46, sat slumped at the front of the room, wearing a white-collared shirt and casual jacket. His lawyer, Dimitri Gianoli, accompanied him.On the first day of hearings, a man, Mr. S, who grew up in Zorzor, in Lofa county, took the stand. He had a soft, round face and wore a collared shirt under a padded jacket. “Kosiah ordered a girl to be carried to his house,” he said. “If he called, you had no option but to follow. You could not refuse him,” the man, who would have been 15 at the time, told the court. For Werner, the strength of the case lies in victims corroborating patterns of crimes across Lofa County. “Kosiah randomly took a woman to rape her, and the woman managed to escape, in a completely different town [from Teta], miles away,” Werner said.At some point, Kosiah abruptly stood up and erupted in shouting. “It’s been six years,” he said, referring to his time in detention. “He lied,” as he pointed to Mr. S., who began trembling. Mr. S. took a break in the courtroom hallway, convening with other plaintiffs. “He’s very rude,” one man said of Kosiah, who had been shuffling through stacks of paper, elbowing his lawyer and whispering into his ear as the plaintiffs testified.Others who took the stand said they were certain Kosiah was the same person who committed the alleged crimes more than two decades earlier—they recognized his bulging eyes, his dark skin, and his anger. One was a former child soldier who, at the age of 12, said Kosiah had recruited him as his personal bodyguard another said he saw Kosiah order his brother’s execution and another said Kosiah and his men desecrated the corpse of a civilian and ate his heart.Between 1993 and 1995, Kosiah was a commander with the ULIMO-K as it took control of much of Lofa county, which became the site of gruesome and debased attacks against civilians.As the conflict ravaged Liberia in the early ’90s, the NPFL had targeted members of the Krahn and Mandingo ethnic groups, whom they saw as sympathizing with Samuel Doe’s government. According to news reports, Kosiah, then a teenager, had escaped to neighboring Sierra Leone when his family members were viciously murdered. There, Kosiah joined ULIMO-K, a Mandingo-based faction that took up arms against Taylor’s group, and rose through its ranks to become a commander.According to Swiss prosecutors, during this period, Kosiah violated the laws of war by committing rape, recruiting and using child soldiers, ordering pillages and forced transports, murdering civilians, and committing acts of cannibalism.When, in 1997, Taylor was elected president and the first war concluded, Kosiah fled to Switzerland, where he applied for asylum, claiming to be Guinean. His application was denied, but he later obtained permanent residence through his wife, who lived in the beautiful, mountainous canton of Vaud. The trial was made possible by a 2011 Swiss law that allows the prosecution of non-nationals who committed serious international crimes on foreign soil, also known as the principle of universal jurisdiction. The case is the first war crimes trial to occur outside of a military court in Switzerland it is also the first, anywhere in the world, to adjudicate rape as a war crime in Liberia, setting a meaningful precedent. (The trials against Mohammed Jabbateh and Chuckie Taylor, the son of Charles, in the U.S., addressed rape during the war in the context of charges for immigration fraud and torture, respectively.)Kosiah claims he is not guilty of any such crimes, as he was not present in Lofa County during the relevant period. He also says that witnesses and victims of these crimes are conspiring against him and lying. Kosiah’s lawyer did not respond to requests for an interview.Teta’s lawyer, Zeina Wakim, flew to Monrovia from Geneva to accompany her on the day she took the stand from the embassy in the second week of hearings. The Swiss ambassador traveled from Abidjan, in Côte d'Ivoire, to ensure the process went smoothly embassy officials were present, as were Swiss federal police. Teta, whose face is striking, wore a bright orange blouse and long braids. She described to the court, in thick Liberian English, that she had never been educated but that she recognized Kosiah. “It’s him who’s looking at the camera. I know him too good,” she said.After she escaped the house where she said Kosiah raped her, Teta crawled into the bush, following a road toward Guinea. She bled for three days and slept under tree roots to shield herself from the rain. She planted seeds along the way, telling people that if her mother came looking, she could find her in Guinea. Teta made it across the border and cooked for a local family who, in exchange, allowed her to sleep on their kitchen floor. Her mother, by some miracle, got word. She, too, ventured into Guinea, traveling from village to village, searching for Teta. A year or so later, they reunited. More than a decade passed, and when they heard a woman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, became president in Liberia, they went home.Teta told me she still suffers physical pain and “feels bad” when she puts her mind back to the war. Today, Teta takes care of her mother, who is elderly, and her children, who taught her English. She is happiest when she’s outside farming rice, pepper, and cassava. On Sundays, she rests and attends church. The event that most occupies her time these days is caring for her baby girl, so tiny that Wakim thought they might lose her during the court procedure. Once the baby is strong enough, she’ll carry her as she farms. The baby, she said, she named Justice.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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