Joe Leckie of Mac & Wild has been crowned the burger champion of Britain after winning the National Burger Awards 2016.
The Venimoo burger (pictured), which appears on the game-orientated restaurant’s menu, was named the Overall Winner of the day, having beaten off stiff competition from 15 other finalists. As well as claiming the best burger in Britain title, Leckie also won the grand prize of £1,000.
The event also saw two other chefs win accolades. Simon Xavier from Chiquito won the Technical Burger award, which involves the 16 National Burger Awards finalists creating a burger out of ingredients that are provided to them on the day; and David Fernandez from Stock Burger Co. claimed the Signature Burger award with his Ox Jus Burger.
“I’m really shocked to be honest,” says Leckie. “I’m used to doing 200 burgers at lunchtime, but it was a different type of pressure with everyone looking at you. In the restaurant, I’m in my own little zone and I can do what I want, but when people are watching you it’s very different.
“Competitions like this are really important. It was great just to be in the final with so many different chefs – it makes you a lot more aware of what everyone else out there is doing. I was speaking to a few of the guys before we came in today and now I think I’ll definitely be checking out their restaurants and hopefully they’ll come to ours too.
“If I could give anyone thinking of entering next year’s competition advice, it would be to keep it simple.”
The judging panel, which featured a host of burger aficionados and was headed up by celebrity chef Andy Bates, came to a unanimous decision when naming the Venimoo burger as the winner.