Googies, in Folkestone, is holding a competition to design the next Googie burger to coincide with Mr Hyde National Burger Day. While Googies is branching out into themed meals and going a bit more upmarket these days, there’s no forgetting what made them famous – the Googie burger.
Being ardent Googies goers and lovers of competition, especially of the culinary persuasion, the husband and I decided to give it a go. Googies is an advocate and member of Produced in Kent, and as such we decided the best thing to do would be to make a burger using all Kentish produce and products and make something that really represented our great county. Obviously the folks at Googies had the same idea as a few days after we first heard about the competition, the rules were announced and it was clear that nothing non-Kentish could play any role in the winning recipe.
Lucky for us that we were already thinking along those lines! The rules explicitly said, “All produce should be Kent-based or sourced locally from a Kent-based independent retailer”. Whew, that’s tough. Guess that’s the Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard out of my burger recipe then! But never fear, Kentish produce and meat are that good that they don’t need the likes of Worcestershire or Dijon to amp them up.
We tried to think of what was indicative of Kent, and the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Kent is ale. Shepherd Neame, in Faversham, is the oldest brewer in Britain and Spitfire is one of their most well-known ales. The brewery says:
This 4.2% Kentish ale was first brewed in 1990 to celebrate the Battle of Britain which was fought in the skies above Kent 50 years earlier. The beer is named after the legendary Spitfire aeroplane designed by RJ Mitchell. The versatility of the aircraft and the courage of its pilots were essential to victory and were a key symbol of the spirit of that time.
That settled it. Spitfire would play an instrumental role in our burger and the burger would be called ‘The Spitfire’ in celebration of a fine moment in British history and the ongoing success of Kentish ale.
But how to include beer in a burger? With cheese of course! And Kent produces some of Britain’s most delicious cheeses. Cheesemakers of Canterbury, who supplied the cheese ‘cake’ for our wedding, and Winterdale Cheesemakers are just some of the fantastic cheesemakers our county is lucky enough to have. A trip down to County Fayre, purveyors of fine artisan foods and produce from Kent and Sussex, in the Old High Street in Folkestone led us to Winterdale Shaw, a cheddar-style cheese made in Sevenoaks, which was exactly what we were looking for.
When it came to the meat, I knew exactly where to go and that was to Watson, Neal and Sons – the same butcher that Googies gets the steak mince for their burgers anyway it turns out! They source their meat from in and around the Folkestone and Dover area, as well as being an independent retailer, so I knew that mince would meat all the requirements – sorry, I couldn’t resisit.
So, let’s recap: Kentish beef, Kentish cheese, Kentish ale, Kentish produce to complement, but not overpower, the other fantastic ingredients and I think we’ve got a winning burger on our hands.
The competition closes for entries on August 26, you can get an entry form from Googies or print it out from the Facebook page. The three top recipes will be selected and judged on August 27 and the winner will win a £50 Googies voucher and a t-shirt. So come on, people, what would be in your Kentish burger?
P.S. I haven’t forgotten the recipe, but until the competition is over I want to keep my methods (and madness) under wraps!
Looking for somewhere to eat out in Kent? Come try my supper club!