suey 1.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Mike "Suey" Sulak can put out a fire and fry up a mighty fine burger.
Mike "Suey" Sulak is the fireman


Firehouse Chef Smokes The Competition At Kidd Valley Cookoff

suey 1.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Mike "Suey" Sulak can put out a fire and fry up a mighty fine burger.
Mike "Suey" Sulak is the fireman with the meal plan. When he's on duty, Suey does the cooking at Engine House No. 8 on top of Queen Anne. Sometimes, he uses his firehouse family as guinea pigs, testing recipes. One of those recipes grabbed the attention of the judges at a recent contest sponsored by Kidd Valley, a competition Suey won with ingredient heavy patty which includes -- hold onto your helmet -- Third Degee Burn Doritos!

SW: Congrats on your victory. Can you talk about your burger or is it a secret recipe?

Suey: I've been playing around with burgers at home - I've got four kids - they love burgers, but I get tired of doing the same-old, same-old. I'm lucky

because I have two places where I can experiment with recipes. My family at home, and my family here at the fire house. I took ground beef and added crushed Third Degree Burn Doritos, then I roast jalapenos and chop those up seeds and all. Roasting them mellows them out a little bit. I dice onions and add garlic salt and Garlic Tabasco sauce, then A-1 and Worchestshire.

SW: Didn't it have something like 28 ingredients?

sueys burger.jpg
The award-winning burger.
Suey: Well, 20. But that doesn't count what I put on top of the cooked burger. Oh, and one of my not-so-secret ingredient is this double-smoked bacon I get from a Hungarian butcher in Chicago. I dice that and fry it and add it in. I put pepper jack cheese on top of the patty and then I put the patty on a bun with some ketchup, then I take red onion, tomato and yellow and orange bell pepper rings and then spicy dill pickle slices. And then lettuce. I make a spicy aioli with Habanero Tabasco and mayo and put that on the bun. I use the Kidd Valley buns.

SW: That sounds so good. I want to try one!

Suey: They're going to put my burger on the menu at Kidd Valley (some time next month).

SW: Awesome! The Doritos are a brilliant idea. Any other cooking competitions on the horizon?

Suey: I was kind of hoping to get another shot at this Tabasco cooking competition because I've come up with a couple of desserts. I do a chocolate-filled beignet and add a little of the Habanero Tabasco sauce, mixed with heavy cream. I add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the chocolate, too. I use peanut oil because you can get it so hot.

SW: Why don't you try out for a reality show, like Throwdown with Bobby Flay?

Suey: Oh no. That's way out of my league. I don't have any formal training. I just like to try new things, experiment. There's one guy in the department, he's been to cooking school in France. I'm just having some fun.

Check back for part two of this week's Grillaxing Q & A for more with award-winning chef Suey.

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