GOURMET BURGER KITCHEN
THE CHAIN THE MENU
The first upmarket burger chain and still the biggest, GBK has opened more than 60 restaurants across the UK since launching its original branch in London in 2001.
THE BEEF ‘All our beef comes from farms in the southwest counties, predominantly Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire,’ says Tim Molema, GBK’s head of food. ‘It all gets sent to our own abattoir, just outside Bristol, where the key thing is that we’ve got one person grading the meat. This means we can maintain a level of quality and consistency that you wouldn’t get in a big processing plant. The beef itself is all grass-fed to ensure it offers maximum nutritional value. We use a mixture of forequarter cuts and aim for around 20% fat content for a burger so it’s not too lean or too fatty.’ ‘We have “gourmet” in our name, and I don’t think you can do that unless you’ve got high-quality ingredients to back it up,’ says Molema. ‘For example, all our chickens are Red Tractor-approved, which means they’ve been raised with enough space to walk around in, with plenty of hay and natural light. They’ve lived happy, stress-free lives, so their meat has far lower levels of cortisol [consumption of this stress hormone has been linked to disease, fat storage and impotence in humans].’
All GBK sauces are also made in-house. ‘Most commercial sauces are packed with sugar to balance their pH levels,’ Molema says. ‘Ours are made fresh without all the added sugar, which gives them a shorter shelf life but makes them far healthier.’
This commitment to sourcing the best ingredients has won GBK plenty of admirers in the sporting community. ‘We have quite close links with the local rugby clubs in Bath and Richmond, and once a week after training, the players will come down and try and outdo each other by seeing who can eat the most burgers,’ he says with a smile. ‘They get through a crazy amount of food – but those guys are huge!’
BEST FAT-LOSS OPTION A ‘go naked’ bun-free chicken burger, served with a chargrilled corn-on-the-cob and a simple green salad.
BEST MUSCLE-BUILDING OPTION The appropriately named Mighty, which contains two burger patties, mature cheddar and bacon, served with sweet potato fries and Baconnaise sauce – part bacon, part mayo, all delicious. gbk.com