Martha eats burgers with (from left) Pat LaFrieda Jr, Andy D'Amico, Daniel Boulud, Liran Mezan, and Bill O'Donnell. [Photographs: Adam Kuban]

20090915-martha-burger.pngAt this moment, I'm blogging from the audience of the Martha Stewart Show. Stewart is taping a burger show that will air this Friday, September 18. I figured I'd blab about it while in the audience. Some familiar faces here: George "Hamburger America" Motz, Daniel Boulud (making some burgers to promote DBGB), Pat LaFrieda, Andy D'Amico(Five Napkin Burger), Corner Bistro owner Bill O'Donnell, and Liran Mezan (BLT Burger).

I'm not normally one for live-blogging (so 2004), but I'll be updating this post throughout the taping (well, as long as my battery holds out). I'm sitting in the audience for most of the show, but apparently I'll be asked up to sample a burger. Stay tuned.

Sat around in the green room with George Motz. Met Bill O'Donnell from Corner Bistro. He's going to be cooking mini CB burgers for the audience. Mini b/c there's no way you could do full-size for this crowd.

Me at the Martha Stewart Show

That's Bill O'Donnell (Corner Bistro owner) in the background.

George will eventually be sitting next to me. Wondering if he's going to come out wearing the same "I Love Burgers" shirt they asked me to wear (above). My mom's going to see me on TV and think I'm being disrespectful, showing up on Martha's show wearing a T-shirt. (Mom: They had the whole audience wear them.)

2:08: Just met some folks in the audience visiting from California. Berkeley. I hipped them to Emilia's Pizzeria. Yeah, I know. Burger show, not pizza. But I did give them some burger recs for the city, though.

Waiting for show taping to start. Should be any minute now.

2:22: Looks like some other burgers being tasted here are Blue Ribbon Brasserie, Cafe D'Alsace, Country, Minetta Tavern's Black Label burger, and Shake Shack.

George Motz at the Martha Stewart Show

When to Watch

The burger show will air on Friday, September 18, 2009. The Martha Stewart Show airs at various times in different areas. Find your local listings here.

2:23: George comes out. He's wearing the T-shirt under his shirt.

2:28: Wow. The warm-up guy. He's got the audience in a frenzy. I can't hear myself blog.

2:29: Daniel Boulud comes out.

2:32: Burgers are coming out and being placed on a table. Not eating lunch before this was a mistake.

2:39: And so it begins. Martha's out on the set. Introducing the different burgers.

2:43: That not eating lunch thing? Yeah. A really bad idea. And Martha reeling off the burgers' ingredients ain't helping. Jeebus

2:44: Interesting how this thing is taped. Crackerjack crew. They had a couple table islands on wheels in front of the main island that Martha usually stands behind. When the first guest came on (Pat LaFrieda), they wheeled those tables out in a hurry just as the camera dollies rolled through the space.

2:46: Pat LaFrieda started out in the butcher shop at 10, he says. He advocates for grinding your own beef. (AHT does, too.) Martha says her mom (Big Martha Kostyra) used to grind the family's own meat for burgers.

2:48: Yes, I was able to reference Martha's maiden name in a flash. I worked at Martha Stewart Living magazine for six years. I know way more about Martha than any civilian should. ;)

2:51: You know, Twitter would be better for this (@ahamburgertoday), but I want to preserve this thread, and apparently Twitter only saves the last x-many-thousand tweets. Also: I've found that the search function on Twitter is sometimes buggy and that you can't always find everything you know you've #hashtagged </ end twitter rant>

2:53: Martha giving everyone in the audience the KitchenAid grinder attachment. Martha: I have the grinder; I just need my KitchenAid fixed. Will you have it fixed it for me?

2:58: Second segment about to start. Getting nervous about my part. Also thinking of all the work piling up in my inbox.... :-/

Surprisingly, the light in here is difficult to shoot in with the iPhone. Hard to keep the camera still enough to get sharp focus.

George's Book Gets a Plug

George's book gets a plug.

3:02: George just spoke on camera. I'm right next to him. Hope they didn't get me in the shot. I tried to laugh and smile at the appropriate moments so I didn't look like a zombie freakazoid. George sounded great! Perfect spiel about the rich and varied panorama of burgers across the country. Namechecks Bobcat Bite in New Mexico and Solly's Grille in Milwaukee.

So tempted to grab the mike and give Beyonce a shout-out for her burger.

Corner Bistro Mini Burger

3:11: They're bringing around Corner Bistro mini burgers. George says they're really good. I'm not eating—I don't want to be caught on camera eating or get food in my beard.

3:12: Andy D'Amico onstage now for Five Napkin Burger. Holy crap, you should see the size of the precooked patty. It's formed in a VERY TALL ring mold. OMG, does that smell good. This is torture. Prediction: Whatever burger I sample, I am going to like it.

3:23: Before the next segment. Producer giving me my cues. Says Martha is wondering what the response is to the blogging. (Where are the comments, people?!?! You're making me look bad.) Also asks how many followers @ahamburgertoday has on Twitter.

Me (sheepishly): "Um, about 1,100...."

Producer: "Martha has almost a million and a half."

Yeah. I know. Don't rub it in. I have .00073333 as many followers as she does. Where's the beef? Follow me, people: @ahamburgertoday

3:28: Wow. I hope I didn't sound like an idiot! Just talked to Martha on camera. Blushing so red right now. She asked me why I started a burger blog, mentioned Slice as a precursor to it (anyone coming to this entry now, visit Slice, too!), and asked for my fave burgers. The producers told me she might ask this and that I should have 2 picks from NYC and 2 picks from around the country. Unfortunately, only got to plug the NYC picks (Zaitzeff and the Motz Burger at Water Taxi Beach). Would have namechecked The Cozy Inn in Salina, Kansas (fabulously oniony sliders) and Joe's Cable Car in San Francisco (they have an in-house butcher grinding the meat fresh).

3:31: Oh, wow. I'm going to be sampling Liran Mezan's salmon burger (BLT Burger). And cue the the fish-burger haters in the comments in 3... 2... 1...

3:32: Salmon burger topped with: tartar sauce, pickled red onions. Doesn't sound too bad.

3:42: OK. It actually was pretty good.

I know, I know, I'm going to get chewed out by y'all, but it was well-balanced, the salmon (freshly ground) had a nice fresh flavor, and the tartar sauce and pickled onions were a good foil for the fish.

I probably looked like a pig eating on camera. And then I think I got a little grabby reaching across Martha to try to get a napkin. But, hey, I needed to clean up for the camera! (Sorry, Martha.)

3:45: Dunno what's going on now. They told me I was going to sample-eat the burger near the end of the show. I think they're making one more thing. Or maybe this is the show closer. Yes. Looks like Martha is going to plug Everyday Food and a chicken-burger recipe that appears in the magazine.

3:47: I think I'm on camera again. Trying to type without looking at the screen. I'm a master typist, though. Let's see how many mistake-free words I can type. Martha is making roasted poblano peppers. George Motz is watching over my shoulder as I type. And ... Oh, I thought the camera was leaving me. No luck.
OK. George is laughing now at what I 'm typing. </typing shtick>

3:49:Martha butters and grills her buns. She knows what's what.

3:50: And we're done.

3:51: And scratch that. We're now starting the outro segment. Martha brings out all the chefs for the outro. They're all eating their burgers:


3:55: And we're done. For reals. Martha, now that taping is over, asking me for more deets on the salmon burger. (I was only able to say, "Mmm, it's good," before she and Mezan continued their banter.

4:20: Changed back into my regular shirt, removed make-up. Heading out now. This isn't a very burger-informative post, I know. But AHT readers know most of the tips the experts gave. (We're a burger-smart bunch) I'll gather my thoughts and make a more tip-heavy post in a bit.

4:45: And, back in the office. Stopped off to pick up some lunch. Hitting "save" on this post and then going to dig in.


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