I have always had an interest in food. It probably started when I got my first kids’ cookbook at about the age of eight. It was a Betty Crocker collection of gastronomic delights, like how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, a chocolate milkshake, chocolate fudge; as well as other culinary staples for an aspiring young chef. I loved to eat and thought that food should always be fun. In my teens, I worked in various jobs in the Hospitality Industry and eventually graduated with a Diploma in Hospitality.
Fast forward 35 years where I opened a Bistro in Wakefield Quebec. It was attached to a live music venue where we offered our menu before and during the shows. This crowd had a higher-than-average demographic of veg heads, vegans and people who just wanted to eat less meat. We needed to come up with an alternative to our beef-based hamburger.
This was the genesis for The NutBurg. First we decided that we wanted something that was unique – a meatless burger that had texture and taste. Let’s face it; there are an awful lot of awful veggie burgers out there.
Tofu was out – end of discussion! But we knew that nuts could offer the taste and texture we were looking for in a meatless burger. The end result is The NutBurg, a delicious combination of roasted almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds, which are complimented with carrots, red onions and mushrooms, cheese, breadcrumbs and spices.
Right out of the gate, it was a hit. People were coming into the kitchen wanting to buy them to take home. What really surprised us was that orders where coming into the kitchen requesting bacon and cheese to be added. This told us that we had product that appealed to burger-lovers of all kinds.
We are constantly looking for feedback from our customers, and carry out in-store demos on a very regular basis. From the people we spoke with and the feedback we received, it became apparent what the second member of our NutBurg line-up should be: a gluten free burger. Instead of breadcrumbs, we came up with a combination of corn meal and Masa Harina (used in the making of corn tortillas). To add to the Mexican flavour, we incorporated some of the ingredients found in a Mexican Mole Sauce, chipotle, cumin, cocoa powder and (of course!) nuts. The finished product – “The Holy Mole Burger” – was launched in June of 2013 and, holy moly, is it ever a good burger.
For further information on our products and where to find us, please visit us on our web site.
– James West