Burger Lovers Save the Bun
Let your mind float back to the moist and juicy burger you ate… Can you smell it — the warm aroma wafting through the air.. You can taste it before it hits your mouth. Then, you take a bite. The liquid goodness floods your mouth, wraps around your palms, and then pools on your plate. Perfect, right? It is, until you want to set your burger down—maybe eat some fries or take a sip of a soda.
Many burger lovers have faced the dilemma – where to set the burger so the bun doesn’t get soggy. Matt Hureau, a middle school teacher in the Bronx, New York, may have licked this problem. He came up with the Burger Lift, a specially designed trivet that sits on the plate and elevates the burger above the juice.
The juicy burger that spurred Hureau’s ah-ha moment? A Five Napkin Burger, a fresh, 10-ouncer with caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese, dressed with rosemary aioli.
“Two high school friends and I have had a ‘burger club’ off and on for the last couple of years, where we’ll get together at a new or highly-rated burger place and check it out,” said Hureau. “I found myself holding the burger for half the conversation, or trying to prop it up on the corner of the plate to minimize the sogginess, and I thought, ‘there’s gotta be a solution for this.’”
To help design the solution, Hureau enlisted the aid of Jasmine Katatikarn (his wife), and her co-worker and friend, Mike Tanzillo. Both of are computer artists on animated movies and have design and production skills.
“We realized what a connection Americans have to the burger and we wanted to be a part of that history.” — Mike Tanzillo
When the team was ready to preview their initial design, reactions were overwhelmingly positive. “Everyone we talked to became nostalgic and told us about their favorite burger experiences growing up,” said Tanzillo. “We realized what a connection Americans have to the burger and we wanted to be a part of that history.”
Convinced they had a worthy idea, the teamed moved toward designing a product for manufacture. The goal was a clean, good-looking, practical design. They made sketches, aluminum foil prototypes, 3D designs and models. (See cool details of design process here).
After much testing, and many juicy burgers (beef, lamb, and turkey burgers, and various saucy toppings), the result is a sturdy, stainless steel lift. It’s stackable, dishwasher safe, and boasts a burger icon in the middle.
“We wanted to have something iconic that could be easily read, but not overly intricate,” said Katatikaran. “Down the line, the center of the burger will hopefully house restaurant logos, colleges or sports teams, etc…as well.”
To raise funds for the manufacture of the Burger Lift, the team tuned to the crowdsourcing web site, Kickstarter. The campaign began mid-March and after 15 days, the Burger Lift gained more than 100 backers and had raised more than $6,000 towards the $10,000 goal.
The campaign is alive for two more weeks (until April 14). With the minimum pledge set at a mere buck, almost anyone with computer access can support the project. Small donors get the team’s “greatest appreciation,” and an animated gif guaranteed to make you smile. For larger amounts, you can nab some Burger Lift swag (koozies, apron, or burger spices). If you pledge enough, the creators will even come to your house and cook your burgers (limited to a 50- mile radius of NYC). To get an actual Burger Lift, you’ll need to invest $20 or more. GO! Take a look now.
Real Burger People
All three Burger Lift team members are real burger people. They love hamburgers. check out Burger Lift, Part II where we chat with Matt, Jasmine and Mike about burgers. Check back, or follow us on Facebook, and we’ll let you know when we post again.
All images on this post are courtesy of Burger Link