An American chef who makes burgers out of deep-fried pizzas, doughnuts and breakfast cereal says he is prepared for a mixed reception when he brings his venture to London.
Tommy Updegrove’s PYT debuts in the capital in August, and he admits reaction to his “American carnival food” has not always been positive.
His menu includes a 1,400 calorie burger topped with a Philly cheese steak encased in a halved and glazed doughnut, and a chicken burger with a “bun” made from Coco Pops.
Mr Updegrove said: “I feel like the UK does react a little more ghastly to some of our creations. There is a bit more outrage. But it’s well-researched outrage. They’ll talk to nutrition experts and dieticians and get an informed point of view.
“We started with a simple menu six years ago. But you get bored of doing the same-old, same-old, so we started experimenting. The internet seems to enjoy our more crazy combinations and we wound up creating some very viral food memes.”
PYT — short for Pick Your Topping — comes to Dalston for the Mr Hyde National Burger Day event on August 27.
Mr Updegrove, 43, pictured, said that if the response was good he would “100 per cent” want to open an outlet in the capital. He admits his concepts, which also include a veal and lamb patty sandwiched between two slices of deep-fried frozen pizza, constantly come under fire from burger purists.
But he insists they not merely attention-grabbing gimmicks. “We’ve never done a burger that we didn’t feel was a positive taste experience,” he said. “These are all taste-based. Our checklist is that there has to be a combination that results in that kind of umami taste — that interesting sweet, salt taste that lights the back of your tongue up. We go through lots of combinations and we always try and provide a texture, whether that’s a crunch, kettle chips or deep-fried kimchi.
“Will it translate to the UK? I hope so. We’ll see. We’re bringing over our favourites.”