#BetterBurgerProject: Meet Chef Kristopher Serviss

Born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, Kris is longtime friends with his co- owner, Joe, and both attended Father Judge High School together. Kris started cooking at the age of 13 and hasn’t stopped since, including attending The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill. Kris is also a proud father and self­-proclaimed social butterfly.

Kristpher Serviss, Blue Duck Philly

  1. Tell us a little about yourself and why you love to cook!

Well, yesterday I stepped on the scale and I weighed the most I’ve ever weighed in my entire life. I love to work. Any spare moment outside of the kitchen, I like to spend with my son. We have fun in the kitchen together. I’m a sports fanatic. I love a good beer or a nice glass of wine. And cigarillos. I’m really just a normal guy who’s very, very passionate about food. Day by day, week by week, I learn a new ingredient or technique, so my job is always new and fresh. I love exploring new things in the kitchen.

  1. Why are you participating in the Better Burger Project?

Because awareness of healthy eating is important in this day and age when our country faces such an obesity problem. Also, introducing ways mushrooms can be used as protein substitutes is important to me.

  1. Tell us about your burger! What makes it “better”?

Our “Blue Forager” is a blend of blue foot mushrooms with a red onion and ramp jam, Humboldt fog cheese and sautéed shiitakes on brioche. The cutting of beef with the Blue Foot mushroom, the unique texture, the earthiness, the robust flavor that still remains using almost a third of mushroom in the burger blend.

  1. Why do you love to cook with mushrooms?

The variety, the different flavors and getting back to nature.

  1. Do you have a favorite summer memory with burgers?

I guess competing in the Philadelphia Burger Brawl [in 2014], cooking 600 burgers in two hours. While it was hot and excruciating, the look of the diners made it all worthwhile. It did. Also, cookouts with my grandfather, who up until my 20s was my greatest culinary influence.

  1. What’s your favorite burger condiment?

Oh wow, that’s a tough one because I don’t like mustard or ketchup. If I must use a condiment, I have to say mayonnaise or possibly a flavored aioli. Something that compliments a specific burger patty. Hash tag eat.

  1. Do you have any tips and tricks to grilling?

Seasoning is key. And once you get the burger on, don’t mess with it. Let it cook on each side.

  1. What sides would you recommend serving with your burger?

A good pickled vegetable. Something with a nice acid punch. Or a nice vinegary potato salad made by a local deli.

  1. Tell us a bit about your new restaurant and cooking style.

I guess, I don’t know man, it’s just an approachable, new American, grandmom’s kitchen-type concept. That’s what it is. We like introducing new flavors to people in a familiar way.  I like to think outside the box while utilizing classic techniques. A bit rustic with a modernized feel.

  1. How did you get started in the restaurant/culinary industry?

I started as a busboy at a job I was given by my mother to keep me out of trouble. I began to love food from there.

  1. What’s your favorite type of mushroom?




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