The Psychology of a $666 “Doucheburger” and Other Haute Cuisine

What’s the most you’ve ever paid for a meal?

If you’re like most Americans, that number probably has three digits. Not all of us can afford todispense with $5,000 in order to fully experience the best cuisine that our nation has to offer. And of course, few things are seen as more obscene in today’s economic climate than walking past the unemployment line to spend rivers of money on haute cuisine across the street.

The insult is made worse, however, when the trappings of luxury are applied to foods known for their populist origins. There are two front-runners in this arena at the moment in New York. One is 666Burger's $666 Doucheburger, a hamburger which began as a joke made from “gold leafed Kobe beef formed around foie gras, then topped with cave aged gruyere, truffle butter, lobster, caviar, and kopi luwak bbq sauce”, and wrapped in three greasy $100 bills. The other, a$2,300 hot dog at the rooftop bar on 230 Fifth, counts onions caramelized in Dom Perignon and sauerkraut made with platinum oscetra caviar among its ingredients. The spiral-cut wienercosts as much as outfield season tickets to the Mets.

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This is @666burger’s Doucheburger. It is gold leafed Kobe beef formed around foie gras, then topped with cave aged gruyere, truffle butter, lobster, caviar, and kopi luwak bbq sauce.

It is fucking delicious.


Gold leafing by @glukkake. Video crew photobombing by Nightline. Thanks to Xeni & BoingBoing for the linkage. For background on the Doucheburger, check Zeitgeist.


update 7/16: We’ve now been on Laughing Squid, courtesy Rusty Blazenhoff, and Animal NY, courtesy Marina Galperina, and Andrew Sullivan was apparently amused by 666 Burger as well. Thanks, y'all.
The Psychology of a $666 Burger, and Other Haute Cuisine

What makes a dish stand out so much that a (presumably) sane person would spend twice as much – or ten times as much – as she would on the meal’s déclassé cousin? Is there something innately superior to foodstuffs like foie gras and truffle oil that justifies their astronomical cost?

My first piece for The Atlantic Health is about why we pay so much for gourmet food. If you’ve ever wondered about why lobsters or truffles are so damn expensive, it’s worth reading.

a small list of what food network stars are like irl

so, I work as the personal assistant to a minor food network celebrity chef. because of this, I’ve met a few people who have been on the food network.  here’s what you need to know about the small list of food network stars i’ve brushed elbows with.

Guy Fieri– literally the biggest doucheburger on the planet.  This guy could not be more obsessed with himself if he tried.  You would think he was the fuckin president, he’s so self-important.  One time at the restaurant I work in, we had a private event in our bar and he came in and pouted in the waiting area for over an hour because he wasn’t allowed in.  If he was an inanimate object, it would be a fedora.

Robert Irvine– living embodiment of one of those 100-pound weights at the gym that only one guy ever uses, but he makes sure everyone is watching him while he uses it.  Should probably have a T-Shirt that has ‘total dick’ written on it.  Not sure if he even knows how to cook, because when he came to do a cooking demo he didn’t even touch the food he was supposed to be demonstrating.  Yelled at a guest in the restaurant I work in and no, he doesn’t work there.

Scott Conant– A+, one of the nicest guys I’ve met.  Super personable and funny, but is definitely one of those people who ‘mansplains’ things to people he’s in a group with.  Wore a button down that was only half buttoned up and had a lot of chest hair, do with that information what you will.

Jeff Mauro– a walking dad joke.  Extremely sweet; probably the most down-to-earth ‘celebrity’ I’ve met.  The type of guy that asks you about yourself and then really wants to know the answer.  One of those people who absolutely ‘stumbled’ into his success and is still shocked by it every day.  Saw him wearing a shirt that had little bowties or ducks on it, couldn’t tell which.

Marc Summers– pretty sure he’s been hosting game shows for so long that he doesn’t know how to turn off the ‘game show voice’.  When I talked to him on the phone, I thought I was being punked, because his real-life voice sounds like a recording.  Played words with friends in my office for like an hour, I didn’t even know that app still existed.

Simon Majumdar– the teacher friend.  I didn’t get to interact with him much, but I think the best description of him I can give is ‘a very happy egg’. 

Bobby Flay– very fortunately, I’ve never met boobert fley; all I know about him is that my boss beat him on Iron Chef, and that one time my mom met him on the street and he flirted with her.  My boss says they’re still friends, but I’m pretty sure it’s been like 10 years since the show, and bobby’s still salty.

I’ll add to this if I meet more, but for now there’s what I know about the clusterfuck that is The Food Network.