Opening Act

Keeping up with Kerry

Kerry Simon

Rock ‘n’ Roll Chef – Kerry Simon

Gourmet Burgers That Rock

Kerry Simon was once hailed by Rolling Stone as the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Chef.” Not for his own rock-star looks but because real rockers dug what he was dishing and were often spotted chowing down in his restaurant kitchen. At KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers—his Russian-inspired haunt at Harrah’s Las Vegas—Simon is showing he’s the king of creativity when it comes to constructing a tasty hamburger. Keep an eye peeled for his upcoming monthly burger-and-shake combo specials: a turkey burger with lime-aid shake; a Philly cheesesteak burger and strawberry-banana shake; and a duck confit burger paired with a hazelnut shake.

First, tell us about the atmosphere here.
There is definitely a sexy, secret-agent thing going on with the pop-art drawings. It’s more than a burger place. I want people to come in and have fun.

Why is the hamburger so popular?
Burgers are part of American culture. It takes us back to childhood—to grilling in the backyard. I think we really connect with the hamburger at an early age.

What makes a gourmet burger great?
The quality of the ingredients used and what you add to it. The beef is important; we use organic, grass-fed beef. But it’s how everything comes together—the cheese, the toppings, the sauces and, of course, the bun.

Where do you find inspiration in creating your burger and shake pairings?
All of our employees have ideas so it gives us an opportunity to try them out. We have contests to see what the burger of the month is going to be. It’s fun and different.

Do you have a favorite pairing?
Give me a double-chocolate malt and a cheeseburger and I’m happy.

Your Captain Crunch Shake has become legendary. How did it come about?
I was drinking the milk out of the cereal one day and it just hit me. It was quite simple really.

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