The easy answer would be meat (primarily beef, depending on who you ask), a little sauce, maybe cheese, possibly salad, and a bun. This deceivingly simple cuisine has become a staple on menus around the world, from high end steak houses in New York to down-and-dirty dive bars in Tokyo.
The humble burger has also taken on the increasingly interesting role as a representation of our shifting relationship with food. In 2019, it is impossible to view food as something that we enjoy purely on our plates. It is something we consume through YouTube, discuss with other amateur gastronomical experts aka our friends, or something we see through squares on Instagram that cause us to salivate and double tap in equal measures.
All photos taken on The Burger Expo are courtesy of Ari Pashalis
If there is anyone fit to explore this paradigm of what a burger is, it’s renowned chef and host – Alvin Cailan. After bursting onto the culinary scene with the now celebrated L.A. cornerstone, Eggslut, Alvin has since gone from strength to strength with foodie hotspots Amboy and The Usual. In more recent times, Alvin has taken to showcasing the diversity of the food he loves by hosting the dangerously addictive web-series, The Burger Show.
By channelling his effortless “L.A. native” swag and passion for expanding his food knowledge, Alvin has become at once a burger authority, culinary chaperone, journalist, and intrepid taste tester. With The Burger Show’s views peaking in the millions and playing special guest to events like The Burger Expo, Alvin doesn’t want you to look at the burger from a different angle, he damn well wants you to see it through a kaleidoscope of buns, meat and condiments!
So, next time you’re sitting under the fluorescent golden arches or waiting by candlelight at an overpriced diner, look at the burger that lies ahead of you. Think about the cultures, entertainment, fanaticism, and discussions that have arisen from the simple mix of carbs and protein. It doesn’t matter if you’re whipping your phone out to take a picture, arguing the meat to bun to cheese ratio, or just plain eating it… the burger stands as a reminder that food is meant to be enjoyed; whatever way you want.
Shout-outs to Alvin for being such an amazing guest and eating a bunch of stuff from around Sydney! You can find him here, follow on the gram @alvincailan and watch him on The Burger Show here. Thanks to Alibi Bar for hosting us and supplying their delicious plant-based burger, find them here. Thanks to Johanna Ng and Will Suen for helping with the shoot, find them at @carlingfordgirl and @will_half. Big Ups to Kase Avilia for the music, find him here. Also a huge shout out to Tropicool and The Burger Collective for making any of this possible! Finally, shout-outs to The Sydney Burger Expo for the photos and making everything possible! BAO