Le Burger Week and the perfect burger recipe with Mike Cipollo

Let me preface this by saying you cannot place any limits on what truly makes a perfect burger! If I’m honest here, everyone has a different opinion on how a burger should taste! In my opinion, to make a good burger you must approach it like a blank canvas, choosing your ingredients wisely; and crafting them with love to achieve a delicious result!

Mike Cipollo – Executive Chef and C.O.O of Local Restaurant Group

The meat should be juicy and not over-cooked! At Undefined and Hambrgr, we serve them medium-well to retain the flavour and juices of the patty unless a guest asks for it otherwise! Patties should be made from scratch (never frozen); and seasoned to perfection!

The ingredients placed on the burger should be well thought out in advance to not compromise the flavour profile! Also, a good bun helps to bring the burger together.

Most importantly let’s talk about the theme of your burger! Many people think, “let’s just throw a bunch of ingredients on it and call it a day”! We take our burger making seriously at Hambrgr and Undefined, and sorry but, we’re not at your Uncle Bob’s backyard BBQ! Your burger should have a theme; for example, at Hambrgr, each burger on our menu is carefully thought out in advance and tested before making it onto our menu. When creating these burgers, we always like to imagine what type of person would be most likely to eat that burger and what would make the most sense for toppings on that specific burger that adheres to the theme we are creating!

We also like to let our guests have fun when dining with us at Hambrgr by allowing them to create their own burger concoction! We like to call it BYOB (Build your own burger)! Our guests get to select from a list of available ingredients on our menu and create the burger of their dreams, just the way they like it!

At Undefined, since the menu doesn’t consist solely of burgers like our Hambrgr concept, we decided to up the ante when it came to offering a burger there, giving our guests a dry-aged grilled chuck patty, which is incredibly juicy!

Why is Le Burger Week a great event to participate in?

Participating in Le Burger Week (Sept 1-14) is great for restaurants like us because we can gain exposure through this event! It also encourages diners to get out and support restaurants in their communities which we business owners appreciate. Not only is this event community-oriented it also helps an organization called ANEB (Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Quebec) that fights to destigmatize eating disorders. This is a very important and noble cause, in which we would like to support and be able to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with eating disorders.

-Mike Cipollo – Executive Chef and C.O.O of Local Restaurant Group


Recipe for a homemade burger


This burger is named after Steel town itself! This indulgent burger is layered with ooey-gooey melted cheese, BBQ glazed bacon, and a lip-smacking secret sauce. Add your favourite additional toppings and get ready to swoon!

Coffee BBQ Sauce


-1 cup brewed coffee, espresso preferred 1⁄2 cup instant coffee 2 cups ketchup
-1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
-1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
-1⁄2 cup honey
-1 cup onion, fine diced
-2 garlic cloves
-2 Tbsp dark molasses
-2 Tbsp yellow mustard
-2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
-2 Tbsp smoked paprika
-2 Tbsp chili powder


1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

2. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and puree sauce in a blender until smooth. 3. Allow cooling before transferring to a jar. Secure with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate.


#HamOnt Burger


-8 1/4 lb ground beef burgers, pressed to 3/8″ thick 8 strips smoked bacon
-2 Tbsp yellow mustard
-1 Spanish onion, 1/4″ thick slices
-8 slices American cheese
-4 burger buns Iceberg lettuce, shredded 1⁄2 cup Coffee BBQ sauce reserved
-Season with salt and pepper as needed


1. Preheat a flat griddle or large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, place bacon strips flat onto pan and brush with half of the yellow mustard.

2. Once the bacon is crispy on one side, flip over and brush the remaining mustard on the other side. Once the bacon cooks, remove and set aside.

3. Place sliced onions in a pan and sear on each side until they begin to caramelize. Once the onions brown, remove them from the pan and set them aside, and keep warm.

4. Turn the heat up to high. Place buns cut side down to toast in the pan. When toasted, remove from the pan, set aside, and keep warm.

5. Place burger patties into the hot pan and season only the top side of the burgers. These patties are thin, and we do not want to over-season them.

6. After about 1 minute, flip the patties and top each with 1/2 slice of cheese. Then top 4 of the burgers with two strips of mustard bacon and the remaining 4 with a slice of grilled onion on each.

7. Assemble and stack the onion (topped) patty above the bacon.

8. Dress the buns with Coffee BBQ sauce on each side and shredded iceberg on the bottom bun.

9. Place the burger stack on the bottom bun, place the top on the burger, and secure with a pick.



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Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography