Leicestershire man’s juicy burgers named best in the UK
After giving up a career designing websites to make hamburgers, Matt Pike has seen his juicy creations earn the title of Britain’s best burgers. Matt was just 16 when he tasted an American burger in Los Angeles and realised it was the best he had ever had. When the Leicestershire entrepreneur set up the Secret Burger Club five years ago he followed the American method and used high-fat meat to make a burger with more flavour than the normal British fare.
business stories on Leicestershire Live And at the Bustler Market in Derby at the weekend, where Matt and his colleague Jacob Booth served about 400 burgers to the crowds, the judges named his as the best of the lot. He beat competition from specialist burger makes including What’s Your Beef, Patty Freaks, Good Boy Burger and Yardbirds.
He said: “We are absolutely delighted. “We get people coming up to us regularly saying ‘that’s the best burger we’ve ever had’ so it’s nice to get some official recognition we are doing good stuff.” Matt launched the Secret Burger Club after he became disillusioned with his job in IT building websites.
The burgers use meat that’s 20 per cent fat
He said: “It’s a bit of a switch but I wasn’t really enjoying my job and I had to make a change and go with what was familiar to me and what I was passionate about and that was always food.
I’d always been into my food from a very early age. “I used to watch Naked Chef when I was 11 years old – that was my get home from school thing. A lot of my inspiration came when I went to LA when I was 16.
“My auntie lives out there and she took me to In-N-Out Burger. That was the first burger I had when I landed in LA and I think that’s when it clicked in my head that I loved burgers.” His company started off as a stall at Sneinton Market in Nottingham in 2016 and it wasn’t long before they were invited to have a regular pitch at Nottingham Street Club in Victoria Centre.
When asked the secret behind a top tasting burger Matt said: “Our ethos is good quality ingredients.
It comes down to being quite obsessive on every single minor aspect and then you’ll get a great product from that. “Start with a great bun, a squishy well-held together bun that’s going to support the meat and juices that come from the burger. “We have 80:20 meat to fat ratio – you need the fat in there to create a well-balanced flavour and texture.
“Everything has to be fresh. We use the smash technique so we make them into 4oz burger balls and use a very hot chrome griddle and smash the burger onto there. “It creates a really nice crust on the burger, which gives it a deeper meatier flavour.
“I believe it’s called the Maillard reaction. We look for that on every burger.” At the start of the pandemic the company upgraded to a food truck, which currently visits Milestone Brewery in Newark every Friday as well as locations in Melton and Loughborough.
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