Thursday, April 8, 2010
I wandered around the back of Umami checking out the burgers. When I met the Adam Fleischman, I noticed him shaking a special seasoning on the burgers (I also noticed he bore more than a slight resemblancs to Jon Favreau). Hoping to start up a conversation on the general concept of umami, I said, "So it's like soy sauce..."
He cut me off, saying "Oh, it's definitely not soy sauce." I saw the wheels turning. I realized he thought I was guessing the recipe and he was deciding whether or not to tell me what was in his magic sprinkles (it was Tamari, by the way, not soy sauce. The recipe was in the booklet). I knew I had to change tactics. This was not someone who wanted to while away the afternoon chatting about flavor profiles. This was a serious businessman.
So I asked, "Are you planning on marketing it?"
He came alive, "We have a whole line planned - spice mixes, sauces, and [he paused to think] what else?" He seemed to have better things to do than give me the pitch at the moment, so I gave him my card and continued on my way.
Fleischman definitely is a businessman. Fleischman started out in Journalism, which led to wine journalism, which led to some very prestigious jobs in the wine field where he honed his palate. He subsequently founded Bottlerock and Vonoteque. He opened the first Umami Burger on La Brea and is poised to take over the world.
Later in the evening, the longest line was snaking around to Umami. When I finally got myself a burger, I told the other cook, "Wow. I had no idea. I'm impressed."
He said, "yeah, it's not all hype." Embarassed that he had read my mind, I wandered off to enjoy the fantastically meaty burger with a giant Parmesan crisp. True love.
Adam Fleischman receiving his award for Best Restaurant Concept from Will Blunt, Managing Editor of StarChefs.com and Antoinette Bruno, StarChefs.com CEO and Editor-in-Chief.
So, yeah, the basic recipe is in the program. Do I dare leak it? I'll just give you a taste.
2 salted anchovies, cleaned
Now if you're really good, maybe I'll tell you about the ketchup.