Chef Carlo Miguel on serving the Burger Beast through cloud kitchen and in the upcoming BGC 'Burger Lab' space
When it comes to comfort food dining, no one can go wrong by ordering a good hamburger. What started out as a humble ground beef sandwich in Hamburg, Germany, the dish became a sensation in the international food scene. In the Philippines alone, one can find a serving of it by going to a nearby mall or just by walking along the neighborhood. While there are unlimited places where Filipino can get their hands on the beloved sandwich, the challenge now is where they can get the best one at a budget-friendly price.
That was the goal of Chef Carlo Miguel when he was creating his ultimate hamburger. After years of working hard in his test kitchen, he was able to create the best hamburger through his brand Burger Beast. Established in 2020, Burger Beast is one of the hero brands under Southeast Asia's largest cloud restaurant group CloudEats. As its moniker suggests, the gourmet burger brand champions what every foodie wants in their sandwich big-time—juicy patties, perfectly toasted buns, melted cheese, and more.
“I’m a minimalist when it comes to burgers. I like quality over being out there with combinations and stuff like that,” the chef and CloudEats’ culinary director says to Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “For me, it is more about legacy. It is about having people try what I’ve learned and the way I cook rather than having exclusivity. I wanted it to be something of quality that would be available to a lot of people.”
Making the beast
One of the prime offerings of Burger Beast is the Umami Burger. If you’re asked to picture a perfect burger, the Umami Burger will definitely be it. But before it became the banner dish of the brand, Chef Carlo did a lot of research to formulate the well-rounded burger.
For him, the pillars of making the perfect burger lie in the patties and buns. The chef uses a variety of beef sourced from the US, Canada, and Australia to make his signature patties. These are then sandwiched in soft, toasted buns, which he worked on with his friend Buddy Trinidad, the president of the Philippine Pastry Alliance. Complementing the base elements are caramelized onions and American cheese, which rounds up the burger experience.
But what makes the Umami Burger stand out among others is its umami sauce. The recipe for the special sauce is one of his best-kept secrets, but what he can reveal is that it features many Asian ingredients.
“They have deeper umami flavor, making it very tasty,” Chef Carlo muses. “When you eat it, you would think it is just a regular burger sauce. But you don’t realize that there are all kinds of ingredients there like fish sauce, gochujang, and other things. It is a sauce that I have researched and played around with for a while.”
Becoming a cloud kitchen success
Being a delivery-only burger shop, there are many things to consider in ensuring the burger’s integrity from the time it goes out of its kitchen to the moment it arrives at its customer’s door. During its R&D phase, Chef Carlo shared that he and his team did a lot of delivery tests to see how their product will stand the process.
“We do our R&D here and when we are happy, one of our team members will go to another kitchen and create the same product and have it delivered here by a motorbike rider for us to evaluate,” the award-winning culinary master says. “The idea is we have to control what the customer gets. For that to happen, we have to test it ourselves.”
This cloud kitchen business model is one of the key factors that led to Burger Beast’s success. Unlike other food brands and restaurants that adapted to it as a response to the pandemic, Cloudeats has been pushing for it months before COVID-19 hit the Philippines.
“I think that convenience is the reason why CloudEats is succeeding,” Chef Carlo explains. “We are disruptors to the food industry. What we are doing is showing all the other restaurants out there that we can do what you guys are doing but we can bring it to people’s homes.”
Meet the ‘Burger Lab’
After surfing the world of cloud kitchen, Burger Beast is about to make a physical space dedicated to serving its patrons. Its first offline store is set to open in Uptown Mall in Taguig City soon. While this new venture will provide a new food experience to its diners, for Chef Carlo, the store will also be his new space to explore new tastes and produce more burger creations.
“My internal name for it is the Burger Lab because I am going to use it as a testing ground, as an experimental place where I will be coming up with a lot of different burgers and interesting variants, playing on traditional burgers from all over the US,” the chef says. “If they are successful in the offline store, then they will make their way online”
As we wait for the coming of Burger Beast’s brick-and-mortar store, its Umami Burger and other offerings are still available online for everyone to enjoy. Chef’s tip is to pair it with ginger beer as it works well with Asian spices and the umami sauce.
To know more about Burger Beast, visit burgerbeast.ph or @burgerbeastph on Facebook and Instagram.