BL: So now we’re going to apply a little bit of pressure. BG: Oh now you’re… now you sound like a surgeon. Hi, I’m Dr. Brian Goldman host of
White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio One and we’re here at Planta in Yorkville where I’m going to be talking with Chef David Lee and learning how to build a plant-based burger. BG: Chef David Lee. DL: Brian, welcome. BG: Happy to be here. I finally get to taste the burger but I want to see how it’s made. DL: Seriously? BG: Yes of course I do. DL: I’d be honoured. BG: Let’s go! BG: So this is like your ER. DL: Pretty much it is. This is like surgery. You know, we have all our… all our ingredients, utensils. All ready to go for you. BG: Yeah, like surgery. Not like any surgery I’ve ever seen before. DL: So you are the first person that we’re showing our secret burger. BG: Really? DL: Yeah. Let me go through the ingredients. So we have lentils beans mushrooms that have been cooked off just very quickly in some vegetable oil. Lightly seasoned. We have some oats. We have some chickpeas some beetroot nutritional yeast tapioca starch and seasonings, salt, pepper. And a little bit of, uh chili, chili flakes. BG: And this is all going to end up in the burger? DL: Yeah. BG: Why a burger? DL: Why not? It’s the perfect mix. BG: The best burger I had was right here in Toronto and what made it great was it was juicy It tasted great my mouth and it didn’t give me heartburn. BG: Is this burger mainly for vegans so that they have something they would enjoy eating or is it for non-vegans like me who want to taste it and say hey this is a burger? DL: Non-vegans love it. They come back for it time and time and time again. And the vegans, the plant-based people, love it too. And my daughter loves this burger too. BG: So show me. DL: OK. We have a Robot Cook that we’re gonna basically put all these ingredients together. Combine it. And you’re going to see it’s going to come like a patty. So we have some cooked black beans. BG: OK. DL: We have… our cooked lentils. BG: OK. DL: Our cooked mushrooms. Our chickpeas. And we’re gonna add some of the oats. BG: Well, oats belong in beef burgers. DL: And here we go. Stop it now. So stage two, we’re going to add a little bit of nutritional yeast. We’re going to add some pepper. I’m gonna add a little bit of salt. Brian, if you wouldn’t mind passing me the chili flakes. BG: OK.
DL: That’d be great. Perfect. BG: Now I’ve been deputized. DL: So everyone loves heat. BG: Oh yeah. DL: And we’re gonna add the beets. And we’re going to add just a little bit of the tapioca starch just a touch like that. BG: So all this is deliberately put together to do what? What are you trying to recreate or create? DL: I’m trying to create basically a patty… that’s going to stick together. BG: Yeah. Feels like a patty. DL: Yeah feels like a burger. BG: It’s got the texture. Yeah, burger patty. DL: Now, technically you can make a burger out of anything that you desire to. What’s important is that it binds. BG: Is that meant to be barbecued if you want? DL: Oh yeah, but I mean you can put some barbecue sauce. What do you feel that it’s missing? BG: I think it needs a bit of spice. It’s certainly got enough salt. DL: I agree. So what I’m gonna do. Going to add a little bit of I think, parsley and some rosemary. BG: OK. Of course I wouldn’t have done that if that was beef. I would not have put that in my mouth at this stage if that was beef. So that’s one of the advantages of a vegan burger. DL: We’re gonna add just a touch more heat And now we’re just going to form the patty. And there you go. BG: OK. DL: There you go. Would you like to make one? BG: Sure. I’d love to. And I want to know how small how much they shrink when they have been… DL: Not much. No, there’s no… There’s no fat in there, if you will. BG: How am I doing? DL: Doing good. BG: Are you trying me out for a job? DL: I’d love for you to work in our kitchen. BG: I’d love for you to work in my emergency department. I think this is more than a fad. I think the choices that are out there in prepared foods foods in restaurants the sheer number of people who seem to be interested in… in different ways of eating plant-based eating being one of them tells me this is more than a fad. It’s pretty clear that a lot of people want that option and they look like they’ve been sticking with it. BG: Was eating vegan a health decision for you? DL: So my liver enzymes were all elevated. Now being a chef is A) it’s crazy and B) the lifestyle that we live is challenging. BG: High stress, weird hours DL: And weird hours…and we’re tasting food constantly. BG: Yeah. DL: Within six months I cut out all animal proteins. BG: All of them? DL: All of it.
BG: Wow. DL: All the enzymes everything went away. BG: It all went to normal? DL: All went to normal. DL: Anyway, let’s cook our burger. BG: Let’s see, yeah.
DL: OK. BG: One thing you need to be aware of when you try a plant-based diet is that some people end up eating more fat than they planned on more salt. So take a good look at what you’re eating and make sure you’re aware of the ingredients. DL: So here we go. DL: This is the burger. BG: OK. DL: We’re going to start off with a little bit of… mayonnaise. When you squeeze it, that juiciness comes out. So now… we have some lettuce some dill pickle. BG: All right, I love pickle. BG: Great. DL: Burger. We have some charred tomatoes. And then this is the cheese sauce. A little bit of Frenchie’s mustard. BG: Great. So now we’re going to apply a little bit of pressure. BG: Oh now you’re… now you sound like a surgeon. DL: Look at that. BG: So I get to try it? DL: This is for you. BG: This is for me? All right. OK. I can’t wait. I’ve been waiting awhile for this. OK. It tastes like a burger. DL: It is. It’s our secret burger. BG: What are the tricks? How did you get it to taste like a burger? DL: I just showed you the recipe. I’ve shared everything with you. DL: I’m not hiding… BG: You’re not holding anything back, you’re not holding anything back? DL: It’s all on camera. This is really good. The thing that I noticed was after a few bites of that cooked burger it was satisfying. And one of the things about plant-based eating that I worry about is that after I eat it’s not going to feel satisfying. And this satisfied me. I can’t believe that this is a a plant-based burger. I had to look at it. It looks like one. It looks like a beef burger and it tastes like one but it’s not. Well this is delicious. Thanks for sharing it with me. Thank you so much for coming.