Name: Kamran Siddiqi, aka “The Sophisticated Gourmet”
Location: New Jersey
Occupation: College student and food writer
What is your favorite cheeseburger?
My Blue cheese cheeseburger with sautéed mushrooms. It packs flavors that I absolutely look for in a good burger, plus if Blue cheese is involved, I automatically love it.
What’s the craziest cheeseburger you’ve had?
I don’t think I’ve had too many crazy cheeseburgers, but the first time I had a burger made with Seitan (it was also my first time ever trying seitan), I was unsure what to think before I tasted it. It turned out to be delicious!
Only one? Wisconsin Blue cheese. I love its sharp flavor and its moist and crumbly texture.
Ketchup, mustard, mayo, other(s)?
No mustard on my cheeseburgers. I love mustard, just not on a cheeseburger. I’ve topped a cheeseburger with sweet and savory chutneys. Harissa and sriracha are also two favorites of mine.
Grilled, griddled or broiled?
Mostly grilled. I love the char that the fire leaves on the outside of the cheeseburger. Plus, firing up the grill is always fun!
Usually a classic American-style hamburger bun, but depending on what type of burger I want and what type of flavors I’m aiming for, I’ll use just about any type of bread.
Oh, there are so many to choose from! A few of my favorites include: sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, grilled lettuce, and roasted tomatoes.
And how would you like that done?
I am a medium-rare kind of guy.
What is your idea of a sophisticated cheeseburger?
A sophisticated cheeseburger would have to be sandwiched on good-quality artisan bread; something different, something with lots of flavor and texture. I absolutely love cheeseburgers on focaccia and rye. There’s something about them that adds a lot to burgers. In addition to the bread, the cheese has to be good, too – a cheese that packs a lot of flavor, but doesn’t overpower all of the other ingredients in the cheeseburger. And lastly, the burger itself has to be prepared properly and have lots of flavor. Experimenting with the flavors that go into the meat really changes a burger from “blah” to “ah-mazing!”