Jeff Michaud is the Executive Chef and co-owner of Osteria Restaurant in Philadelphia — part of the happy Vetri family of restaurants—as well as the newly opened gastropub Alla Spina. Michaud is also a passionate supporter of the Philadelphia burger scene, which most certainly should not be overlooked. 

Favorite burger in Philadelphia?
The Village Whiskey burger at Jose Garces restaurant Village Whiskey.

Do you have a preferred “burger blend” — cuts, fat ratios? Is dry-aging involved?
I think people really started overthinking the burger and trying to reinvent it. Why reinvent something that has always been great. Dry aged meat for a burger doesn’t work. The meat loses all the water content and moisture. My favorite recently has been the Piedmontese cattle and it’s a blend of 80% chuck and 20% fat.

What was the last burger you ate? How was it?
I know this is biased but the last burger I had was at Alla Spina and it is called the Burgamo. It’s our twist on the big mac and it’s big and juicy!

Do you have guidelines for incorporating cheese into burgers? 
You know I’ve tried all kind of cheese on burgers and, call me a traditionalist, but I prefer good old American or Cheddar sliced cheese.

Is Cheese Whiz ever a viable option?
NO!

Favorite “off-beat” condiment to use on a burger?
I enjoy a fried egg on a burger once and a while.

When working at a butcher shop Lombardia, did you ever talk about burgers? Make them?
Italians wouldn’t grind meat for just burgers and it they did it was always the scraps left over from butchering the cow that day. They would grind it twice and most of the time toss it with salt, pepper olive oil and eat it raw.

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