The Covid-19 pandemic upended many economies and businesses worldwide. However, it prompted Dutch restaurant owner Robbert Jan de Veen to create the world’s most expensive hamburger – and donate the proceeds to charity.
Named "The Golden Boy", the burger was sold for €5,000 ($5,964) on June 28 to Netherlands-based business conglomerate Remia International and was eaten by Rober Willemse, chairman of the Royal Dutch Food and Beverage Association.
The burger was piled high with a range of expensive ingredients, including Japanese Wagyu beef, Beluga caviar, Alaskan king crab and white truffle, while the bun was coated in edible gold leaf.
Mr Veen donated the proceeds of the sale to a non-profit organisation that assists food banks in the Netherlands. The €5,000 donation will help the charity buy nearly 1,000 food packages for people in need, Mr Veen said.
“Restaurants were closed and there were no food competitions due to the pandemic. Though our food takeaway service was on, I was depressed. I was feeling bad seeing the sufferings of the masses and the dismal situation of the restaurant industry,” Mr Veen, 33, who owns De Daltons restaurant in Voorthuizen village in the Dutch province of Gelderland, told The National.
“Therefore, I decided to create the world’s most expensive burger and donate the entire income to charity to do good for the society.”
Mr Veen researched the archives of the Guinness World Records and found that the current record for the most expensive hamburger was set in 2011 by a restaurant in Oregon, in the US.
“That burger had a price tag of €4,200 and weighed 352.4kg … that’s definitely not for one person … so I thought I can do better than that … it was really a challenge to create such an expensive dish for a single person,” Mr Veen said.
It took him more than five months to finalise the ingredients and experiment with various recipes. On the final day, it took him close to nine hours to prepare the burger.
Eating The Golden Boy is a unique experience, Mr Veen said.
“The ingredients complement each other very well and the flavours are intense. Even though this burger is extremely costly, you should still use your hands because that is the only way to eat a burger. Since the bun is covered in gold leaf, your fingers will be golden by the time you finish.”
Mr Veen’s world-record attempt is currently under review by the Barcelona-based Official World Record Association that registers world records.
“Breaking a world record has been a childhood dream of mine and it feels amazing. It’s been a difficult year with Covid, but good times are ahead for the entire hospitality industry and this is a great start,” Mr Veen said.
Mr Veen, who runs the restaurant that was started by his parents 30 years ago, is now on the lookout for a second buyer of The Golden Boy.
“I am all set to go … will prepare it as soon as I get the second potential buyer,” he added.
The Golden Boy’s ingredients:
- Japanese A5 Wagyu brisket and chuck short ribs
- King crab
- Dom Perignon champagne onion rings
- Paleta Iberico Bellota ham
- White truffle
- Beluga caviar
- Smoked saffron and chive mayonnaise made with duck eggs
- Barbecue sauce made with Kopi Luwak coffee
- English Wyke Fams truffle cheddar
- Tiger tomatoes and cucumber
- Dom Perignon champagne and saffron gold leaf bread