Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen


Cheeseburgers in Paradise

by Kate Heyhoe


Burger love transcends all classes, races and occupational strata. Even billionaires shamelessly admit their addiction to burgers, especially cheeseburgers.

Warren Buffet reportedly ponders his next investment decision while feeding on cheeseburgers and fries alone in his office. The late Katherine Graham, owner of the Washington Post, served him cheeseburgers for dinner whenever he came to town. And though he and his wife participated in a gourmet club, where couples prepared elaborate dinners ranging from French crepes to Swedish meatballs, Buffet would pleasantly ask the hosts to prepare a hamburger for him instead.

Cheeseburgers and shakes became a lunch ritual for Bill Gates, fueling the success of Microsoft as early as 1981. That's when the company moved into a 2-story office building—right next to the Burgermaster drive-in. Billions of dollars later, Gates' passion for burgers continues. Without partiality, he has eagerly wolfed down $17 hotel burgers, greasy airport versions, and on one 1995 trip, Gates particularly rejoiced at finding a 24-hour McDonald's in Hong Kong.

In the Ford Motor Company's executive dining room, Henry Ford II rarely ate anything but hamburgers. According to Lee Iacocca, Ford complained that his own personal chef at home couldn't make a decent burger. In fact, no one made burgers as perfect as the ones at the executive dining room. Curious, Iacocca asked the establishment's chef to show him what he did to make Ford so happy with his burgers. The chef went to the fridge, grabbed an inch-thick slab of New York strip steak, ran it through a grinder, patted up a patty and tossed it on the grill. "Amazing what you can cook up when you start with a five-dollar hunk of meat," said the chef with a sly smile.

These and other anecdotes appear in The Hamburger Companion: A Connoisseur's Guide to the Food We Love by David Graulich (Lebhar-Friedman Books).


Burger Recipes

Burger Barbecue ABC's
Fresh Salmon-Havarti Burgers with Fennel Slaw
Garden Chicken Burgers with Basil-Gorgonzola Salsa
Jamaican Jerk Burgers
Southwestern Black Bean Burgers
Tunisian Turkey Burgers with Chick Pea Mayonnaise


Kate's Global Kitchen for May 2002:
05/03/02     Do Mom a Favor: Don't Take Her Out
05/10/02     Painting a Vanilla Sky: In the Sweet Kitchen
05/17/02     Leaping Lettuces: Off with Their Heads!
05/24/02     Cheeseburgers in Paradise
05/31/02     Haute Hounds & Hot Dogs


Copyright © 2002, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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