What good can come from a friendship between a butcher and a lawyer? I curiously wondered while perched on one of OCCO’s barstools. One of 12 to be exact. I was there that night to test a special new hamburger; the result of a 2-year old quest by the mentioned duo and Executive Chef Dennis Kuipers.
The butcher in question, Mikel Pouw, is the CEO of one of the most renowned meat suppliers in the Netherlands; Nice to Meat. His friend, the lawyer Ilan Spinath, complained to him a couple of years ago that there still were no good burgers in the Netherlands. Together they were looking to find the perfect burger and patty prepared by Chef Dennis Kuipers that could be compared to the best burgers in New York.
As the butcher and lawyer presented their story behind the bar, tension around me slowly raised. I overheard fellow members from the test panel softly fantasizing about what they expected (a whole lot) and then the room got completely silent as simple wooden boards were placed in front of us. On them, a burger and a pickle.
First the bun, a rich golden-brown bun, sprinkled with tiny sesame seeds, fluffy, light and a little soggy, but only in the right places. With a very important manageable size. Then, one onion ring, just enough to be distinct in taste, sweet and soft. On top of that, the meat, a thick, coarse of moist red, just a little dark on the edges and juicy on the inside. And the pickle… was just a pickle. But, let it be said, it was the finest wing-man that this burger could ever wish for.
No fuss. No fries. They call it the art of elimination; just keep what is strictly necessary, and let the meat shine – all American, so I was told. Even though I eventually quit listening a while ago.
This burger is served every Tuesday. Twelve of them, no more, no less. To be enjoyed with a killer Bloody Mary with fermented tomato juice, a hint of bacon, and a pickled twist. Moreover, all guests will receive three links at the end of the evening, to invite other true burger fanatics to make a reservation through the specially designed app.
After having such a burger, I can safely say that they did a good job.