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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Culinary no-no #211

Culinary no-no's

I’m generally wary whenever I hear the adjective “best” used to describe any product. My radar explodes even more when the term “perfect” is used.  My oh my, this had better be good.

More often than not, it doesn’t live up to the hype.

This week, we‘re talkin’ burgers on Culinary no-no.

For yours truly, making a great (not the best) burger is fairly simple.

It starts by going out into the garage and pulling out the old trusty Weber, no matter what time of year. After piling on the coals, squirting some lighter fluid and dropping a match, I then jump in the car and head to a very nearby Sendik’s.  

Upon entering, it’s straight to the meat counter that offers me ground chuck, ground sirloin, Kobe beef, tall grass beef, Brew City burgers, mushroom and Swiss burgers, bacon and cheddar burgers, steakhouse burgers, pizza burgers, and Popeye burgers (turkey and spinach). The latter has yet to ever make it into my cart, BTW.

Next, I steer towards the bakery for fresh rolls. There’s your basic can’t go wrong hamburger variety, or the heavier butter top, pretzel roll, or a Kevin favorite, the onion roll.

Thank you very much.

Next, the deli.

I don’t care if Sendik’s stuffs cheese into their meat; I still need a slab of some type of dairy on top of my burger. Sendik’s doesn’t disappoint. That horseradish number is terrific.


Produce department. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions.

I will probably check out with the understanding (hope) that there’s enough mustard and other condiments waiting at home in the frig.

After flirting with the gal at the register, I head for home where the grill is just about ready. Without even entering the house, I take the famous red grocery bag, grab the meat, open and then place the patties on the perfectly grey coals.

I have a stop watch that I use when I time high school and college basketball games in the area. Out it comes when I grill; five to six minutes on each side for burgers with the last minute on the final side reserved for the cheese.

From dragging out the grill to the trip to Sendik’s to the actual grilling and flipping and taking finished product into the house rounds out to about 35-45 minutes max. Lovely wife has been inside preparing side dishes and setting a lovely table.

I said roughly 35-45 minutes prep time because I, quite frankly, am a grilling stud muffin.

For doubters, i.e., amateurs, I’ll give them 60 minutes, TOPS.

Why is time so important, you ask?


The no-no?

Discerning readers have no doubt determined by now that I am about to reveal a brand new, supposedly revolutionary technique for grilling burgers that is, in reality, kinda goofy.

My half hour process and prep time for great (I know, I know, not perfect) burgers is all wrong!

Thirty minutes? I am way off according to “modernist cuisine.” Yep. Modernist cuisine.

Something tells me they’re not discussing this new concept at any south side Milwaukee bowling alley these days.

Authors Grant Achatz in the United States, Heston Blumenthal in England, and Ferran Adrià in Spain have come up with a manifesto of lab inspired cooking or modernist cuisine. For anyone who’s been taught by a member of a teacher’s union, that means it’s a really, really big book.

How big is really, really big?

"Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking” isn’t your average cookbook. It’s six, count ‘em, six volumes.

Image Gallery

From the New York Times about this manifesto:


It’s being referred to in some parts as the most important cookbook ever.

Yes, the antennae are up.

Now play along with me folks.

There are a ton of new cooking methods in this six-volume set that, if anything, would fell any burglar with a blow to the head.

The Wall Street Journal writes, and are you ready for this:

Take the book's hamburger. Prepping the lettuce and tomato requires a vacuum sealer. The cheese is restructured—heated with ingredients like carrageenan and cooled in a mold—for a gooier texture. And making the burger itself requires hand-grinding the beef and using half-cylinder molds to catch the strands and gently form the patties.

Total time for the recipe: 30 hours, including time for the bun dough to rise, 2½ hours for preparation and 20 minutes for assembly.”



My hamburger-making ritual
starts by going out into the garage and pulling out the old trusty Weber, no matter what time of year. After piling on the coals, squirting some lighter fluid and dropping a match, I then jump in the car and head to a very nearby Sendik’s.  

Well, you got it. I do not exercise modernist cuisine.

ow play along with me here for the full impact of yet another clever Culinary no-no.  You need to follow interactive steps from the top bun all the way down the burger as recommended by modernist cuisine.  They include baked buns brushed with beef suet, sautéed maitake mushrooms in beef fat, lettuce in a sealed bag with liquid hickory smoke, a peeled tomato, restructured (that’s right) cheese, beef run through a grinder, and a mushroom ketchup sauce made with 19 ingredients.

Click here for an interactive graphic from the Wall Street Journal.

30 Hours????

For a burger????

625 smackers...for a cookbook????


Read more from the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal.


A waterfront restaurant goes adrift.


High gas prices
will affect restaurants.


Barack and Michelle have killed Cap'n Crunch.

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