Jimmy Hurlston is one of Melbourne’s most infamous burger aficionados.
His burger book, Jimmy’s Burgers, is a food bible of sorts for burger lovers all around Melbourne, and Jimmy’s latest offering- Easey’s (a brand new burger joint housed in old train carriages on top of a building in Collingwood) is about as cool as it gets.
Trading Plates caught up with Hurlston to discuss the evolution of Easey’s, burger sins and most importantly, what exemplifies the perfect burger?
What is your background in the food industry?
My first tilt at the food industry was at “the family restaurant”. I loved cooking as a kid, but learning some more solidified and detailed process at the golden arches certainly helped. I then worked in a number of hospitality venues before settling on the law. I always ate lots of burgers and eventually people just started asking me where to go for the best. I approached a friend of mine who owned a publishing company about writing a book about burgers. It all kind of launched off from there.
How did you come up with the concept for Easey’s?
Easey’s was the sum of all parts. The parts being many life events and connections that culminated in the venue that is Easey’s. It was a combination of my business partner Jeremy and my mutual love of graffiti and my burning passion for burgers.
What is the process involved with coming up with new menu items?
Most of the menu items came from inside my head. My kitchen manager and I collaborate on new ideas a fair bit and he used his own recipe to bang out the Changaz Sanga (chicken sandwich) and chicken bites. We have many cool specials on their way that we are playing around with at the moment. Specials keep the menu interesting and customers interested in returning to try something new.
Where do you source all your produce from?
All of the materials used in the production are sourced from local specialists. The meat is from Victorian cows, the vegetables (where possible) from Victorian farms, the bread is from a baker in Mulgrave.
What are your favourite menu items?
Today I made a the Metropolitan Mayhem (double Melbourne Madness) – it included a quad patty, double potato cake, double dim sims, double bacon, 6 slices of cheese, pickles, onions, jalapenos, ketchup and mustard. It was monstrous but delicious. I also love the double fried dim sims and Melbourne Bitter battered potato cakes.
What is the latest with Jimmy’s Burgers? Will there be another book?
At this stage I do not have any plans to write another book. I would like to. I think I would like to do a worldwide book or even just an Australia wide book. The problem with that is it means that I have to find time to get out of Melbourne. Hopefully that happens very soon. I am super keen to get out and try some new burgers and share those experiences with people.
What, in your opinion, is the ultimate burger sin?
That’s a tough one. It really upsets me when people call a chicken sandwich a “burger”. Also, I don’t like it when people use cutlery for a burger or put it down once they have started eating it.
So, then what makes a perfect burger?
The perfect burger, for me, is the right balance between meat and bun. You need to be able to enjoy the very simplest aspects of a burger in order to gain the satisfaction of additives. By that I mean, the meat must be full of flavour and juice (enough to satisfy without sauce) and the bun must be its best friend. I think it is a good test of a venue if you can just have a bun with a patty and still enjoy the situation.
48 Easey St, Collingwood VIC 3066
(03) 9079 5942