OC Burger Week kicks off with on-air chef event

On Saturday, July 13, The Country Club restaurant hosted a special chef event to kick off OC Burger Week, which began July 14 and continues through July 20.

Highlighting the festivities was a KFI AM 640 live remote of “The Fork Report” with Neil Saavedra and co-hosts Geoffrey Kutrick, co-founder/CEO of the Foodbeast and Simon Majumdar from the Food Network, who sampled myriad inventive burgers creatively prepared by OC Burger Week participating chefs.

OC Burger Week Majumdar and Waitt

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Photos by Lana Johnson

Food Network’s Simon Majumdar and Pam Waitt, president of the OC Restaurant Association

Attendees enjoyed complimentary bison burgers with bone marrow, shishito jam and morbier cheese, courtesy of The Country Club, and kimchi pork burgers, with cheddar cheese, house made kimchi slaw, crispy pork rinds and avocado ginger aioli, courtesy of Wild Goose Tavern, along with live music. 

Among the chefs and restaurateurs who were on-air was Chef Elyse Avila-Smith of Avila’s El Ranchito, whose burger created for Burger Week and “The Fork Report’s” Saavedra is the Hamburgesa Saavedra, a juicy, handmade 8 oz. ground beef patty topped with pulled carnitas, melted jack cheese, guacamole and Avila’s Mexican cream on a toasted brioche bun. It is served with a fried jalapeño and available at the Santa Ana location.

OC Burger Week Majumdar and Chef Elyse

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Simon Majumdar gets ready to try Chef Elyse Avila-Smith’s Hamburgesa Saavedra

During OC Burger Week, enjoy a variety of burgers from nearly 60 local, participating restaurants. Menus are priced at $10, $15 and $20 and luxe burger menus at $25.

Participating Newport Beach restaurants include: Back Bay Bistro, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, Cappy’s Café, Fable & Spirit, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Great Maple, Juliette Kitchen and Bar, Olea, Sidedoor and Zov’s.

Many of the participating restaurants will also offer Burger Week cocktail specials featuring Effen Vodka, Maker’s Mark, Cruzan Tequila and Hornitos Tequila. 

OC Burger Week kimchi burgers

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Attendees sampled tasty kimchi pork burgers

 “Burger Week gives everyone another reason to dine out and explore Orange County restaurants, and the event also gives chefs an opportunity to utilize creativity and innovation to create an experience around America’s favorite sandwich, the Burger,” explained Pamela Waitt, president of the OC Restaurant Association and producer of Burger Week. “You can expect to see a variety of burgers on each menu, with something to suit everyone’s palate, lifestyle choice and, of course, budget!”

For more information on OC Burger Week and a list of all participating restaurants, visit