Chef Michael Kornick, founder and owner of mk the restaurant and co-owner of DMK Restaurants, is a nationally recognized leader in the culinary arts. Kornick works with the freshest seasonal ingredients and stays true to classical cooking techniques. It is his belief that the freshest ingredients are best cooked simply – like mushrooms!
- Tell us a little about yourself and why you love to cook!
I am a Chicago native who grew up cooking with my mother and grandmother, proclaiming “I wanted to be a Chef!” by the time I was 11 or 12. I have been cooking professionally for 37 years in restaurants and currently love it just as much today as ever. I have four grown children in College and reside in the city with my wife and business partner Lisa. Cooking for me stimulates my creativity and allows me to use all my senses. Being a Chef lets me work with passionate people, enjoy the camaraderie of the kitchen and dining room team, visit with our guests, converse and teach my craft.
- Why are you participating in the Better Burger Project?
I love the Beard House, I love our burgers and getting burgers healthier is a good thing.
- Tell us about your burger! What makes it “better”?
Grass Fed Bison, the healthiest red meat period, Everything else on this burger is fine in moderation and the bok choy, mushrooms and cabbage are all great.
- Why do you love to cook with mushrooms?
The earthy flavors and meaty textures along with the great uniqueness of each varietal, fossil like morels, golden chanterelles, clusters of tree oyster and hen of the woods and the sheer beauty of porcinis and cepes give mushrooms an overwhelming versatility for any Chef.
- Do you have a favorite summer memory with burgers?
Outdoor cookouts at camp along Catfish Lake
- What’s your favorite burger condiment?
Charred red onions soaked in Balsamic vinegar
- Do you have any tips and tricks to grilling?
Too many to list, first and foremost don’t work the meat too much, second high heat works best for patties made no thicker than an inch and everything should be seasoned.
- What sides would you recommend serving with your burger?
if not hand cut fries cooked in beef fat, then, thick cut wedges of potato blanched and finished on the grill, basting with garlic, seas salt, pepper and rosemary scented virgin olive oil and then served with grated locatelli pecorino romano
- Tell us a bit about your new restaurant and cooking style.
My newest restaurant centers around great bar food, lots of sliders from fried oysters and Kentucky hot browns to lots of burgers. We also serve nachos, tacos, tamales and green chile. We have created shaken & stirred, frozen, house bottled (force carbonated) and bubbled cocktails as well as a great beer list
- How did you get started in the restaurant/culinary industry?
I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity when I was fifteen to work at a family friend’s restaurant.
- What’s your favorite type of mushroom?
Porcini and white truffle.