Imagine your kitchen came equipped with a special earpiece connecting you to the live wisdom of a professional chef? That’s the concept behind Chef In Your Ear, the show that pits kitchen novices against each other, but gives them each a not-so-secret weapon: the earpiece.

Chef In Your Ear isn’t handing out earpieces to the public just yet, but there are other ways to listen in on advice from its chef stars. Food Network Canada canvassed our culinary crew to get their best burger ideas for the long weekend. Now it’s up to you whether to make them yourself, or whisper the ingredients in someone else’s ear.

Photo credit: The Harbord Room via

Cory Vitiello’s Contemporary Classic Burger

A blend of ground shoulder and brisket fried and topped with sharp white cheddar, lemon-garlic mayonnaise, bacon, pickles, lettuce and tomato on a soft, toasted egg bun.

The Harbord Room’s Cory Vitiello is passionate about crafting the perfect patty, a 50/50 blend of shoulder and brisket, passed through a coarse grinder and pan-fried to medium rare and juicy. He keeps his meat free of breadcrumbs, eggs and seasoning, and tops the freeform patty with slightly melted sharp white cheddar (the cheese bleeds delicious fat if it gets too hot). He cautions against crusty Kaisers, suggesting a soft but well-toasted egg bun that beckons your teeth to sink in.

Devin Connell’s Blue Cheese Harbord Burger

Fatty beef topped with blue cheese and caramelized onions on a soft, buttery brioche.

Delica Kitchen’s Devin Connell loves mowing down on burgers from Toronto’s The Harbord Room; her ultimate burger is modeled on theirs.  “A nice fat to meat ratio,” she says, is key, so skip the lean ground beef and go for full fatty flavour.

Photo credit: Bestellen via

Rob Rossi’s Classic Burger

A thin, crispy patty topped with cheddar, tomato, pickle and mustard.

When he’s manning the grill at Bestellen, Rob Rossi crafts haute burgers topped with Appenzeller cheese and caramelized onions. But at home, he cooks his thin burgers all the way through and tops them traditionally.

Craig Harding’s Cheese and Olive Steak Burger

Ground strip loin mixed with caramelized onions and green olives, stuffed with aged cheese and topped with double smoked bacon, mayonnaise and ketchup on a sesame seed milk bun.

Campagnolos Craig Harding literally mixes things up by including toppings in his patties. He suggests grinding the edge of an aged strip loin steak, adding green olives and caramelized onions and stuffing the whole thing with aged cheese. He tops this savoury special with double smoked bacon, mayonnaise and ketchup, and serves it on a fresh sesame seed milk bun.

Jordan Andino’s Everything Burger

Your favourite patty topped with roasted garlic, sharp cheddar, caramelized onion, bacon and lots of sauce on a brioche or potato bun.

There are two approaches when it comes to crafting the ultimate burger, says Harlow Sag Harbor’s Jordan Andino – the classic, meat-focused method and the “everything focused” style. He prefers the latter, opting for an eclectic array of toppings and bringing them together with a healthy dose of sauce — Sriracha or rosemary-spiked mayo, ketchup or both. Sharp cheddar is the best burger cheese, says Andino, but processed American cheese slices are “a close second.”

Are you a classic or contemporary burger fan? What’s on your ultimate burger? Tweet us @FoodNetworkCA

Devon Scoble is a Toronto writer specializing in shareable lifestyle content: food, parenting, wellness, entertainment and more!