It’s not every day that a celebrity Chef cooks you lunch, naturally, then I was quite excited to know that would be sampling food cooked by celebrated New Zealand chef Peter Gordon. Peter was in town to cook up a feast from his new and exclusive fusion menu at Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Peter Gordon has been dubbed “the Godfather of Fusion cuisine”. One look at the menu at any of the restaurants he is associated with and you know that is true.
Peter made his name as Head Chef of The Sugar Club in Wellington in the late 80s. Award-winning incarnations of The Sugar Club followed in Notting Hill and Soho. Today, he oversees the running of The Providores & Tapa Room and Kopapa in London, and Bellota and The Sugar Club in Auckland. In 2009, he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit by HM The Queen for services to the food industry.
When GBK was first launched in 2001 by owners Adam, Greg and Brandon their aim was to introduce U.K. to new and premium beef burgers. Back then to develop the very first menu they worked with fellow Kiwi Peter Gordon – who now after 14 years is back with a fabulous new fusion menu that experiments with textures, ingredients and flavours.
It was also my first ever meal at any Chef’s Table so soon after I arrived at the Baker Street branch, we were taken to the secret kitchen which is separate from the main kitchen, this is where Tim Molema – the Head of Food at Gourmet Burger Kitchen creates his magic.
L-R: Tim Molema – the Head of Food at GBK and Peter Gordon.
For mains, we had Peter’s new creation – The Duck Confit Burger. The combination of crisp confit duck with a thick layer of creamy duck liver pâté and melting Cheddar cheese is a heavenly ménage à trois. Though there were those who were not too pleased with the mention of duck liver pâté, I was quite pleased, as I absolutely love pâté especially when served as a generous layer on thin, crisp toasted bread (a perfect nibble with bubbly, don’t you think?)
The crispy shallots give the burger a lovely crunch (reminded me of layered biryani with crispy fried onion) whereas the fiery ginger and apricot chilli jam is probably what gives this new invention an umami flavour, cleverly combining the rich taste of duck with the other ingredients.
Encased in soft and fresh brioche buns this burger is simply irresistible.
The hors-d’oeuvre of sweet potato fries was topped with a very familiar tasting dressing – Tamarind (reminded me of Mumbai’s famous street food – Bhel!) and also a generous splattering of the Egyptian spice mixture – Dukkah – a nut-free version to ensure that those with nut allergies can also enjoy it – Peter is there anything you did not think of? Guess not 🙂
For the other side dish – Fresh Summer Homeslaw, Peter has drawn inspiration from Middle Eastern spices like sumac and pomegranate molasses. Sumac gives a lovely tart edge to the minty slaw while the mint and pomegranate molasses give it an unmistakable depth of flavour.
Every good burger should be washed down with a thick and delicious milkshake – or so I think and Peter’s creation – a Banana Biscoff milkshake is a mind-meltingly fabulous fusion of banana ice cream and Lotus Biscoff caramelised biscuits, also known as Speculoos cookies- a great way to create a fusion of flavours.
To watch Peter Gordon live in action, cooking up what he does best – creating a fusion of flavours and being able to drink in the experience of being at the Chef’s table was truly memorable.
After that fabulous and exclusive Lunch preview, I spoke to Peter for an exclusive interview where he gave me an insight into the inspiration behind his new menu.
In Peter Gordon’s words, “The UK burger scene has evolved hugely over the last 14 years. It seems like every day a new burger is making headlines, so when it came to creating my own, I knew it had to be something unique to stand out. Putting my own stamp on the menu has been an exciting process and I’ve put the same care into this as I do with every dish I create for my own restaurants. Our fans are always on the lookout for the next big thing in burgers and I am confident they will agree this one is something a bit special.”
You too can get behind the scenes with Peter in the GBK kitchen with this little video clip:
Still here? There surely is a GBK branch you can get to in time for dinner today right? All you need to do is … grab your coat and …leave!
**Peter’s Menu is now available at Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurants nationwide.