“We Love Hamburgers”

Burger Lift Creators Talk Burgers

Burger lovers, tired of soggy buns? The Burger Lift is the must-have gadget that will save your burger. Created by burger fans, just like you, the Burger Lift is a small trivet that elevates your juicy burger off the plate, keeping your bun high and dry.

  “The Burger Lift was based off one simple idea; we love hamburgers.”

Previously, we spoke to the Burger Lift team about the genesis of their bun-saving device. Now, we talk to the team about the meat of the matter – burgers.

We love hamburgers
From the Burger Lift Kickstarter campaign

Meet the Team

In their Kickstarter video pitch to fund production of the Burger Lift, the team says their idea was based on one simple idea – “we love hamburgers.”

In a March interview, Best Burger Review, asked them about that. Their hamburger passion is clear.

The Burger Lift Team
The Burger Lift Team: Matt, Jasmine and Mike

Matt Hureau, is a middle school teacher in the Bronx. He came up with the Burger Lift concept. Growing up, Matt says his main exposure to burgers was McDonald’s and his Dad’s grilled burgers, which he apologetically said resembled hockey pucks.

Matt — My real love for burgers began when I moved to New York 12 years ago, and I discovered places like Corner Bistro and Shake Shack. From there, I expanded my horizons and started regularly visiting some of the top New York burger places with a few friends. Living in the city and without our own outdoor space, opportunities to grill are few and far between, although we did invest in a grill pan that does a solid, if not spectacular, job.

Matt met Jasmine Katatikarn 15 years ago at at Vassar College. She is the lead Burger Lift designer. By day, she’s an animation artist on movies (Ice Age Series, Rio Series, Epic…). She’s also married to Matt.

Jasmine — I like the adventure of trying different burgers. Burgers are a very simple straight forward idea and it’s the little things that can just make it that much better – the choice of the cheese, the type of meat… the type of bun!  We also enjoy experimenting with our own burgers in the comfort of home…” Jasmine echoes Matt’s lament about lack of outdoor space, “but we do our best!,” she said.

Jasmine brought fellow animation artist, Mike Tanzillo into the burger Lift project. Mike is in charge of production; translating the Burger Lift designs into a real-world product. His first love is the home cooked burger.

Mike — I love playing with the flavors and getting everything right. From the grill marks, to the toppings, to the cooking temperature. Nothing says summer, friends, and relaxation to me quite like putting some burgers on the grill.


Burger
 Favorites and Fantasies

BBR: What is your favorite burger? 

Matt — I really love In-N-Out.  I’ve been known to search locations pretty much anytime I’m anywhere near the west coast.

Jasmine –I have a secret love for a juicy lamb burger with feta – I know, it’s not the traditional choice (perhaps this should go down in the embarrassed to admit section).

Mike — You can’t beat a burger at a summer cookout. It could be the greatest Michelin rated restaurant in the world and I will prefer a simple burger off the grill outside with friends and family any day!


BBR: What’s the Best Burger in your current city (NYC) 

Matt — I’ve only had it once, but the Bash Burger* at Lure Fishbar is amazing.  I definitely need to get back there. (*The Bash Burger isn’t on the menu, so ask for it).

JasmineLa Esquina NYC. They have a great juicy burger – and what makes it even better is that they top it with fresh avocado!

MikeThe Spotted Pig

 

BBR: Which burger is on your bucket list?

Matt — I’m not sure about bucket list, but I’ve been meaning to try the Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern for a while now.

Jasmine –Every burger I haven’t eaten yet!

MikeHoleman & Finch Public House Burger in Atlanta.  I have heard enough legends about that place that I need to try it.

 

BBR: What burger do you love but are embarrassed to admit?

Mike — There is no such thing as a burger I am embarrassed to eat!

Matt — I’m with Mike. No shame in my game… Give me a burger and I’ll happily eat it!

Jasmine — Agreed.  You put meat (even veggie), cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce on a bun and it’s pretty hard not to eat it.

 

The Kickstart

With just a bit more than a week to go with their Kickstarter fundraising, the Burger Lift  has 125 backers and is almost 70% funded.  However, Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If you want to see the Burger Lift become a reality, they need to reach their goal of $10,001 by April 14. Pledges start at a dollar, but the more you pledge, the better the swag.

Burger Lift
Save the bun. Elevate your burger.

You can have your very own Burger Lift (and a koozie) for $20, but you can get double the deal for a mere $8 more – Two Burger Lifts and two koozies, for $28. Check out the Burger Lift Kickstarter campaign and pledge today. Some pledge packages are limited, so don’t miss out.

Soggy Buns Got You Down?

Burger Lovers Save the Bun

The Idea
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.

Matt Hureau
Matt has an idea

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.’”

Burger Lift
Save the bun. Elevate your burger.

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).

3D Modeling
3D Modeling

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.”

Kickstarting
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.

Back Burger Lift on Kickstarter
Back Burger Lift on Kickstarter

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