Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Beefy Goes Bold Best of Flavor 2017

Habanero Jalapeño Bacon Cheeseburger with habanero-jalapeño cheddar cheese, bacon, batter-fried jalapeño, habanero mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, red onions, heat-blistered jalapeño

David Cox

When you’re starting out with a half-pound burger, things can only get bigger and bolder. Norms family-dining restaurants are known for their “beast of a burger,” an 8-oz. patty made by hand from USDA Choice chuck ground in house, served on buttered and grilled buns.

David Cox, Executive Chef, was looking to take the burger to the next level and found Yancey’s Fancy Cheese. “I saw this cheese as an opportunity to differentiate our burgers from what I saw on the competitive landscape.” He singled out their Habanero Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese for its ability to stand up to the beefiness of the burger.

Next, Cox set about mixing habanero sauce with mayonnaise to create a new sauce, then introduced a textural element by adding a battered, fried jalapeño. Lettuce and tomato add crisp freshness. “This would have been a good burger, but not a great burger,” recalls Cox. “So what would make it great? Bacon!”

“So now we had a really frickin’ beefy, spicy, cheesy, juicy, crunchy, bacony, tasty burger—but I needed that final presentation to take it over the top. I fried up a big, whole jalapeño and frill-picked that to the top of the bun, and it was a wrap.” That’s how the Habanero Jalapeño Bacon Cheeseburger was born, becoming a crowd favorite at Norms.

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