Byron has teamed up with chef Fred Smith of The Admiral Codrington in Chelsea to create a special Diamond Jubilee burger that will be available throughout May: The Chilli Queen. It's HOT STUFF...
"I'm a big fan of Fred's burgers," Byron's Tom Byng explained when I met him to sample one of the burgers shortly after the kitchen staff at Byron Haymarket had received a few hours of tutelage from Fred Smith in how to perfectly prepare a Chilli Queen. "So we decided earlier this year to do a Jubilee special together," he continues, "as part of our commitment to doing specials with people we think are doing great things."
The limited edition special features one of Byron's 6oz beef patties, with slices of spicy green chillies, topped with American cheese, and the distinctly warming smokiness of a rather splendid chipotle mayo, along with the crunch of some shredded iceberg lettuce – all served in a handsome glazed bun.
"My inspiration for this is the Bobcat Bite Green Chile Cheeseburger," Fred told me. Bobcat Bite is a burger joint in Santa Fe, New Mexico which was listed in GQs still legendary 2005 feature by Alan Richman entitled The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die and its Green Chile Cheeseburger has still got a great reputation. "The twist with this Chilli Queen burger is the addition of chipotle," adds Fred. I just think that it makes for a brilliant burger topping - especially when incorporated into a burger sauce."
Fred's not wrong. I'm a massive fan of a chipotle burger sauce myself - in fact that's a key component of the Burgerac Burger that I recently had the joy of creating collaboratively with the good folk of Royale Eatery in Cape Town. And, I have to say that Fred's chipotle burger sauce is the perfect complimentary flavour to Byron's chargrilled beef patties. It adds a warmth and depth that hovers somewhere between the barbecued flavour of the beef and the hot spice of the green chillies, and elevates the humble chilli cheeseburger to new heights of deliciousness.
I've given it four out of five stars because it doesn't' quite match up to Fred's recently served Ad Cod Chilli Cheese special (er, what burger could?) HOWEVER if, like me, you're a fan of cheeseburgers, chillies, and smokey chipotle mayo, well, you owe it to yourself to check this beauty out while you can.
I can also recommend you wash it down with a bottle of Byron's excellent own label Pale Ale - brewed specially for them by Camden Town Brewery. Mmm... chilli cheeseburger and beer...
The Chilli Queen will be available from all Byron restaurants as a special from 3rd May – 5th June. Get 'em while they're hot!
To find your nearest Byron, visit www.byronhamburgers.com/locations