Words: Shamim de Brún
Hamburger King of the World, George Motz, is in Dublin for the last leg of his European Tour thanks to Dash Burger.
The renowned filmmaker, historian, author, and proponent of the smash burger technique will be serving his version of the historic Oklahoma Onion Burger at an outdoor cook out on Thursday 19 May.
Here are five things to know about him before you check it out.
Have you ever known someone who gets the same thing no matter where they go? Well, Motz does that but in a sociological way. In an interview with CNN, Motz estimated he’d probably eaten some 20,000 burgers. That number is only climbing as he shows no sign of slowing down. Imagine what it would be like to know you had definitively eaten more chicken fillet rolls than anyone ever? You’d have more right to be king of Ireland than Brian Boru ever did.
Like many things after their inception, the burger was commodified, from the form of the patties and buns to the adaption of freezers for freshness. So whether they know it or not, burger joins play an integral role in preserving the authentic hamburger.
There’s no way to prove who first put Hamburg steak onto a bun, but theatre we’re aware of it or not, the way we make burgers is steeped in history. So, like getting a goo on you to know where a specific phrase or word comes from (just me?), Motz has made it his mission to understand where iconic regional burgers originated. Sometimes even knowing more about them than the locals who sling ’em.
Burgers, having withstood the tests of time, from the Great Depression to Covid-19 and everything in between, incite logging and bring comfort in the way we think a mother’s cooking does, but on a global scale. So it’s fascinating to trace that back through Motz’s books and internet presence.
In the last hundred years, the hamburger has been the only food invention in America, giving or taking the cronut. It started as ethnic food from Germany, but Americans adopted it and arguably perfected it by putting it on bread. Motz took it up a gear when he came in with the smash burger.
Smashed burgers are what the name says: burgers that have been smashed. When you press down on a burger with a bacon press or a spatula, it improves contact of the meat with the heat source. Some say the smashin’ intensifies the flavour; I say it makes for a smashing good time. If you’ve ever eaten at Dash Burger, you’ll know how boss smash burgers are. This is the chap who inspired Dash. And for that, we owe him our fielty.
Try a smash burger by the man himself this Thursday at Urban Brewing. Become a member of the cult of the smash bro. You won’t regret it.
George Motz is a burger scholar of sorts. He has dedicated more than twenty years of his life to travelling across the United States researching hamburgers. After producing, shooting, editing and directing, his documentary film “Hamburger America” in 2004, Motz published a state-by-state burger guide that’s looked on as a biblical guide to American burgers.
In 2016 Motz published his cookbook, “The Great American Burger Book,” and made this knowledge accessible to us all. He’ll be at Hen’s Teeth this Wednesday, May 18, for a Q and A with us. He’ll also be signing his book for all you burger nerds. It’s going to be one to remember.
Motz hosts a burger show on youtube called Burger Scholar Sessions. It is as soothing as a good burger during a monstrous hangover. He profiles burgers from around the world, though mainly focusing on America. Each is profiled with love and accompanied by a mouthwatering edit that would make even the most recently stuffed hungry.
His down to earth approach and revolving door of whimsical guests make this youtube series stand out. Anyone with a soft spot for diner cuisine will delight in this bright, quirky romanticising of everyone’s favourite food.
Catch George Motz at Hen’s Teeth tomorrow, Wednesday 18, for a Q & A book signing and grab a chance to ‘eat and meet’ with the burger legend himself at Urban Brewing on May 19, thanks to the Dash Burger crew.
Elsewhere on Char: Char’s Guide to Dublin 8