From setting up his mise en place to plating his dish, Ian Thompson is deliberate and precise. That precision carries over to his food: chickpea fries with angles so perfect you could teach a geometry class with them. And Thompson’s mushroom burger has flavors so right-on and complex, it could teach other veggie burgers a lesson.
Too often, veggie burgers are pasty, dry…just a poor substitute in general for a good old 80/20 percent-fat beef patty. Not so here, at Radius, the fine dining restaurant on the campus of Judson Smart Living, a CCRC in Chagrin Falls, OH, where Thompson has been executive chef since last year.
This veggie burger is juicy and meaty, like all great burgers. It even has the all-important crust on the outside of the patty that burger-junkies seek out. The texture owes its meatiness to a combination of ingredients, including mashed potato, which takes the burger into croquette territory—in a good way.
Thompson mashes the potato with a rice mill, hauling it out reverently.