“My first kitchen job was shucking oysters at the first NJ restaurant to be awarded a James Beard Award, Doris & Ed’s in Highlands. Since then, I have hoped to one day receive an invitation to be able to cook at the historic James Beard House. With the support of my family, my team and I continuously work hard trying to perfect our craft, taking on different challenges and projects to try and make our stamp in this industry. It would be an honor and humbling experience to be one of the top 5 of the Blended Burger Project.” — Chef Laercio Chamon Jr., The Rollin’ Bistro, Little Silver, New Jersey
Born in Brasil, Laercio M. Chamon Jr., better known as Junior, grew up watching his mother and father preparing food for the family. Junior’s mother, Maria Eli, ran her own catering business, it was inevitable that at least one of their sons would end up in the restaurant industry.
At the age of 16, he landed his first cooking job shucking oysters and clams at Doris & Ed’s, where he worked for 5 years refining his skills and working his way up the culinary ladder. In 2012, with the popularity of Food Trucks coming to a rise, “The Rollin’ Bistro” was created. From causal to fine dining, BBQ pig roasts to wine and beer pairings or even having the pleasure of cooking out of your own personal kitchen, Junior is constantly challenging himself bringing his passion for fresh ingredients to his innovative menus.
Make the burgers. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add chopped mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Transfer mushrooms into strainer to remove excess moisture. Set aside. Pat the ground pork with paper towel. Mix mushrooms into ground pork until combined. Shape into 8 equal patties and place onto baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hour until set.
Make the fried ramps. Pour oil into large pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer; heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 350 F. Add flour to shallow dish. Coat the ramps in flour, shaking off any excess. Fry ramps until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Make the aioli. Add egg yolks, mustard and honey to blender. Blend on low speed. While blending, slowly pour in extra virgin olive oil until it resembles the consistency of mayonnaise.
Prepare the burgers. Heat oven to 350 F. In a well-oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat, place the patties into the skillet and sprinkle with salt. Cook the patties until they're seared on one side, about 3-5 minutes. Flip and repeat until seared on the other side. Place 2 slices of cheese on each patty and warm in the oven until melted. Remove from oven and set aside to rest.
Toast the Portuguese rolls. Spread aioli on both sides of the bun. Place the burger on the bottom half. Top with shaved asparagus and fried ramps. Top with other half of bun.