Food world philosopher and aspiring astronaut Alton Brown is getting into the burger business (kind of). The Good Eats creator has teamed up with LA-based chain Umami Burger to hawk a limited-edition breakfast burger. Available now through April 24, a dollar of the $14 selling price goes to the Make-a-Wish foundation.
The thoroughly over-the-top creation involves a beef patty studded with bacon lardons, cheddar cheese, smashed cheesy tater tots, miso-maple bacon, fried sage leaves, coffee ketchup, and — just to ensure the lily is fully gilded — a fried egg. In true AB style, he uses the burger creation as a launching pad to explain what, exactly, umami is (spoiler: it's the fifth taste after salty, sweet, bitter, and sour). Brown points out that four different national cuisines depend on a particular umami-laden sauce: Japan (soy sauce), England (Worcestershire), France (veal stock), and the U.S. (ketchup).
While it's not the first time Alton has used his image to sell stuff — see: Welch's grape juice, Shun knives — it does seem to mark the Cutthroat Kitchen host's first stab at marketing his own restaurant menu item. (He's certainly chosen a better restaurant partner than, say, fellow Food Network alum Tyler Florence, who once had a special menu at Applebee's.)
It's not the first time Umami Burger has teamed up with a celebrity from the culinary world, either; in 2014 chef José Andrés created a Spanish-influenced Umami Burger with a cured ham patty and Manchego cheese, and chef Michael Voltaggio previously collaborated with the company on a Monte Cristo burger that featured Gruyere fondue.
Watch Brown explain umami, below: