In Dining

"The ultimate burger," says Melanie Manuel "Is satisfying, flavorful, and has fun toppings!" (PHOTO: Lori Fredrich)

Chefs' Favorite Burgers: Melanie Manuel of Celesta

There's nothing more all-American than a burger. In this series, we ask chefs to divulge the mouthwatering details behind their favorite restaurant burgers.

Today, we chat with Chef Melanie Manuel of Celesta. Manuel will be among nine featured chefs at the fifth annual Moveable Feast event at the Milwaukee Public Museum.

When asked what she looks for in the ultimate burger, Chef Melanie Manuel errs on the side of creativity.

"I think texture is really important. You want an element of crunch and the softness of the bun that really elicits those familiar comfort food notes. You also want a good balance between sour and sweet, between protein and vegetables."

"If I make a burger, I love playing with ingredients like mushrooms and fried onions. And it always has to have a pickled element… kimchi, pickled onions or housemade dill pickles. I'll also add vegan mayo if I'm feeling really crazy."

"The ultimate burger," she concludes, "Is satisfying, flavorful, and has fun toppings!"

Favorite burger: The Beet Burger at Urban Beets Cafe

"My favorite burger in Milwaukee is the Beet Burger at Urban Beets," Manuel notes. "It's juicy, packed with flavor, and is topped with pickled beets and a dill tzatziki sauce. The bun is soft and pillowy. It has a comfort food sensibility without the heaviness of a traditional burger."


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