Burger 21 chef Mike Remes talks turducken and milkshakes

Burger 21 promoted Mike Remes, the chain’s former food technician, to business manager and field trainer earlier this year.

As part of the 14-unit best burger chain owned by The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc., Remes develops monthly burgers and shakes, and oversees training and operations for new restaurants.

Remes has been in the restaurant business since 2000 when he was in high school in Sebring, Florida. In 2005, he moved to Tampa, Florida, where The Melting Pot is headquartered, and joined the company in 2010.

Burger 21 entrepreneur Mike Remes
21’s Burger Pineapple Upside Down Milkshake

He discussed his plans for Burger 21 with Nation’s Restaurant News, as well as the inspiration behind his latest monthly creation, the Turducken Burger.

I want to bring things that people can relate to, from their childhood or from their everyday life. For my first burger [in September] I drew on my southern roots with the Bayou Burger. It’s a New Orleans okra game, with andouille sausage cooked with the “holy trinity” [of Cajun and Creole cooking: onions, celery and bell peppers], Frank’s hot sauce and house ground turkey breast, topped with whole blackened shrimp, remoulade and Ragin ‘Cajun coleslaw. It really started like wildfire.

Ragin ‘Cajun?

It is one of our five homemade sauces, made with mayonnaise, ketchup and spices.

What was your first signature milkshake?

Salted Caramel Pretzel, which is a very “it” flavor right now.

There are certainly pretzels in it, and Ghirardelli caramel, and we top it with caramel and pretzels on whipped cream.

What are you working on now?

The current milkshake is a tribute to my grandmother. She always made me an upside-down pineapple cake, so I made an upside-down pineapple milkshake. We start with exclusive vanilla ice cream, pineapple puree, pineapple syrup, spicy brown sugar and pound cake.

There could be a play on a turducken for our Thanksgiving function.

Do you mean a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken?

It will be fresh ground chicken and rosemary inside duck with sage and chives and Dijon ground turkey on a bun with brie and cherry-cranberry chutney. The cherries in the chutney accompany the duck. We will be offering it from November 21 to December 20.

Is the galette made for you?

No, everything is homemade. The three proteins are put in place separately. First we squeeze the turkey, then the duck on it, then the chicken. Turducken really took off here in the South and kind of replaced the roast turkey for Thanksgiving. The burger is juicy and tasty, and all of those beautiful, fresh herbs really come out, and it creates a wow factor and something different for our guests.

How much do you charge it?

The pricing structure varies by location, but is between $ 6.99 and $ 8.99.

Seems cheap for all that food and work.

We can use the purchasing power already developed by The Melting Pot. We plan to serve it cut in half. It sounds a little quirky, but it’s really heartwarming. I only want to make food that people want to eat.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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