Burger Science 101

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By Jack Gihl
First, take a brioche bun and then spread aioli, a fancy mayo with sriracha soy sauce and garlic powder over it. Then, take a burger, one part chuck to one part short rib, char it, and on top place a homemade glaze of Hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, siracha, sesame oil, and fish sauce. Naturally, on top of that add cilantro, carrots pickled in vinegar and brown sugar, and daikon. Finally add an over easy egg more aioli and the brioche bun top.
That completes Mr. Wnek’s award winning burger, which has bestowed upon him not only a 1300 hundred dollar grill but also entrance into the World Food Championship. It’s the world’s largest food competition with a grand purse of 300,000 dollars. Mr. Wnek will be competing with Team Bull on November 10th to the 15th in Orange Beach, Alabama.
As one might begin to wonder, how did our AP Biology teacher become a maestro at cooking? In an interview Mr. Wnek summed up his cooking career in three words, “Food is delicious.” Beginning right after college, he soon realized the need for good food. Beginning by watching food networks and experimenting with ingredients, Mr. Wnek began to use science to create his burgers. He now relies on the science of taste buds. There are five taste buds: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami. The first four are all achieved in his Asian burger. Moreover, Wnek explains that burgers must have different textures and hit all four tastes in one bite to satisfy the judges’ curiosity.
Making all the burgers for practice seems like it would get old after a while, but instead of Chicken McNuggets, his children now request Asian burgers. His wife said that she would want it as her last meal. Even Mr. Ladadio and some of his college friends are going down to observe the competition and most likely dine on some of these world class burgers.
This entire competition, of course, begs the question: in what other ways is Wnek a wizard? He answered the question with the statement “[a]ny sport that’s a sport.” Our Bio teacher is not only a master cook, but soccer player, champion volleyball player, cross-country coach, guitarist, and family man. Meet the man, myth and legend up in the Bio lab in Room 451 and wish him luck.

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