Signature Series: Burgers

Operators share the burgers that keep customers coming back for more.

Smoked Cheddar Cheeseburger
Michigan State University, East Lansing

When Kurt Kwiatkowski, corporate chef of Culinary Services at MSU, set out to create a signature item for the department's new Eat at State ON THE GO food truck, he quickly decided he wanted an item that showcased the campus's commitment to local products.

"That led me to our MSU beef," Kwiatkowski says. "At first, it was going to be a bacon cheeseburger, but I started playing around with the cheeses from our campus dairy and I fell in love with the smoked cheddar."

Kwiatkowski says the smoked cheddar was too strong on its own, so he decided to cut it with a tradition sharp cheddar, also from the campus dairy. The burger also features product from the campus organic farm, when in season, as well as a bun from a local bakery.

"The nice thing is you get a little bit of the carmelization of the meat, which gives a really nice meat flavor. Then you get the smoky sensation from that cheddar, the crunch of the lettuce, the acid of the tomatoes and the bite from the red onion. It all just plays really nice together. People have told me it's the best burger they've ever had. I’d say about 40% of our truck sales is the burger."

See full recipe

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chefs

We started inviting chefs and FSDs from other districts to come prepare lunch. Through featuring different chefs and chef-inspired meals, I’ve found the students have been looking forward to coming into the cafeteria. They are willing to try new things with crazy names, and to ask for their favorite outside items turned healthy.

Ideas and Innovation
tapas

I’ve created a high school “focus group” to see what future college students will want in terms of foodservice. This year, I called up two now-seniors from the last group to get 10 of their friends together. I also include a sophomore or two so that I always have a contact for next year. Tapas, grain bowls and late-night breakfast all originated from this group.

Ideas and Innovation
making meals

This summer, we teamed up with a church to deliver meals to three housing projects. We brought the meals to the church, and then the church recruited volunteers to deliver the meals to the children. We’ve been very impressed with this new model, and it shows great promise in getting meals to children who otherwise would not be able to leave their housing project.

Industry News & Opinion
sharing love

Having never personally experienced a hurricane, I can only imagine the horrors faced by the millions of people whose lives were affected by Harvey and Irma in late August and early September. It’s a group that comprises uncounted noncommercial operations, including Houston Independent School District, which serves 215,000 students.

But from that tragedy has come one of the most impressive feats of foodservice I’ve seen since coming on board at this magazine, partially spearheaded by Nutrition Officer Betti Wiggins , who only just joined the district. For the entire school year,...

FSD Resources