George Motz to Judge 2015 SoBe Burger Bash So He Answers a Few Questions

Hamburger America II

George Motz wrote one of the most important book about Hamburgers (Hamburger America), created an amazing documentary about them (again Hamburger America) AND hosted the show Burger Land on Travel Channel.

Me = Big fan.

George has answered some of my questions before on the original written version of the Grinder and on my webshow (which you can watch right after these questions).

He’s going to be judging his first SoBe Burger Bash which has been a long time in the making. We (GM & I) figured it would be a good time to catch up with him and see what is going on in the world of Motz.

BB) What is your plan of attack for judging at the 2015 Amstel Light Burger Bash presented by Schweid & Sons?

GM) I’m not going to mess around. I’ve judged burger events before and there are 2 key elements to success: take notes on every burger, and don’t finish every one! There will be over 25 burgers at the Bash and most of them will be absolutely amazing. It will be very difficult to not finish my favorites..but need to save room for all of them.

George Motz in Smoking Mode

George Motz in Smoking Mode, picture courtesy of Doug Young

BB) Tell me about your upcoming Cookbook. How did the idea come about?

GM) I realized that no one has made a book about burger ‘method’. Burger cookbooks tend to be about the stuff you can put on a burger. My new cookbook (still unnamed) will explore regional goodies like the deep fried burger, the steamed cheeseburger, and the smoked burger. We tested a Frita the other day and nailed it! So far it has been the most complicated recipe. Mojo, the potatoes, the patty..

What a Beauty this Deep-Fried Double Cheeseburger is, picture courtesy of Kristoffer Brearton

BB) Char-Grill. Flat-top. Steamed. Deep Fried. What’s the best way to cook a Hamburger?

GM) There are so many ways to cook a burger, but the flattop will always be my favorite method. It’s fast, easy, and the end result is always damn tasty. Cooking over a flame is actually the most difficult way..unless you are a pro the results can be unpredictable. But I encourage all burger enthusiasts to try other methods too, like deep frying, smoking and steaming.

Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram, the founder of White Castle

Edgar Waldo “Billy” Ingram, the founder of White Castle

BB) Who is the most important figure in Hamburger History?

GM) It’s an excellent question and no one has ever asked me. I firmly believe that the most important figure in hamburger history was Edgar Waldo “Billy” Ingram, the founder and visionary behind White Castle. Although White Castle has clearly lost its way, in the 1920s it was Billy that popularized the hamburger, cleaned up its image, and did things like standardize the hamburger bun and build the first successful national hamburger chain. Billy was the first hamburger hero and he set the stage for the success of the hamburger and inspired countless others.

BB) Luther Burger (Hamburger with Doughnuts as Buns). Miracle Creation or Abomination?

GM) The Luther falls somewhere in the middle, but leaning towards brilliance. I’ve eaten them before, and I liked it.

George Motz's Burger Land

BB Extra Credit) We haven’t seen each other since the filming of the Miami episode for your show on Travel Channel, Burger Land. How much have you missed me?

GM) I think of you and I think of the Frita. I’m in serious need of a Frita fix right now so I guess I really miss you!