Burgapalooza 2017 Part 1 - The Prep

Ben and Archie the two masterminds behind the famous Burgapalooza heard about some shop out west and came by to visit us, unfortunately we hadn’t opened just yet.

We realised that we had begun to cause quite a stir in the burger scene already and hadn’t even served anyone.

The two guys did come back out to try it once we had opened and knew immediately Penrith had something special. They offered us an invite to Burgapalooza - a burger festival with Sydney’s BEST burger joints all in one location for an entire weekend.

We couldn’t believe we had the call up within our first two months of being open and we knew we had to deliver a shit hot burger. We were the new kid on the block, had a hype to live up too and had to represent the west.

Richard went straight to work brainstorming and tinkering with ideas for a burger that would bring the roof down. He came up with a killer pulled lamb burger that was going to be a sensation. Archie came out to the shop about 10 days before the event to photograph the burger for social media and what not. He pulled us aside and told us that if it isn’t a beef patty or fried chicken burger they just don’t wow the crowd and sell.

Our hearts sank.

We had a lot to prove at this event and put a lot of pressure on ourselves and this bombshell hit hard 10 days out from the event.

Richard went straight back to the drawing board and the very next day had the “Beef n’ Hash” ready.

We all came in to taste it and knew it was going to do the trick.

Archie and Ben had estimated for numbers to prepare for roughly 1500 burgers for the entire weekend.

The hardest part about the burger was by far the hashbrowns. We had to peel potatoes, put them through a shredding attachment, wash the excess starch off, shape them into a ring mould, put a circle cut piece of cheese into it, more potato and store the hash brown safely. We had to take care with each individual hash brown as any cheese exposed would be ruined once it hit the fryer, we couldn’t stack them too high as they’d squish and being quite moist they were difficult to handle.

Now, it sounds tricky right, but not tooooooo hard. Well try making 1500 of them. That took north of 100 kg of potatoes. Peeling, shredding, slicing, shaping the whole shebang. We had a team of 7 chefs working for 12 hours straight on the hash browns alone. Not too mention all of the other prep on the burger.

Here’s where it gets just great! We being young kids thought we knew better and that they had over estimated the sales. We didn’t want left over stock so we prepped up for 1300. BIG DOO DOO.

We knew during lunch service that we had pushed through a lot of the food and we were going to be tight for tomorrow. We began ringing the team at Penrith “BUY MORE POTATOES” rung the baker “MORE BREAD”

We get too Saturday night after service, look in the coolroom and a massive “oh shit” hit the team. We have prep for 200 left over.

We knew selling out wasn’t an option and that we had a long ass night ahead of us.

We cleaned up at Marrickville and headed back out to the riff

The team still doing there normal service packed down the kitchen and began prepping more stock for Burgapalooza. Josh, Tim and Richard arrived back at about 11 and joined the rest of the boys prepping for Sunday’s service. It hit 12 and we sent the boys home so they would be fresh for Sunday’s service in Penrith. Josh, Tim and Richard pushed on.

Come 430am the trio finally finished prepping up the stock they needed for the next day and slept on the floor of the dining room at the restaurant.

7am the alarms go off. Eyes stinging, heads pounding and bodies aching the trio pushed on, loaded the car and headed back down to Marrickville for day 2!

Timothy Rosenstrauss