My Local Kitchen: Talking burgers with Culley’s

We’ve joined forces with legendary Kiwi company Culley’s (known for their epic sauces!) to whip up the Ultimate Kiwi Beef & Bacon Burger for My Local Kitchen. We caught up with owner and founder Chris Cullen to talk burgers.

culley's
Culley’s owner and founder Chris Cullen

What was the inspiration behind the Burger Sauce

One of the biggest inspirations behind all of my sauces is my passion for restaurant-quality meals anytime, anywhere. So, I wanted to create a super tasty Kiwi-made burger sauce as there really wasn’t anything available in NZ. Using great ingredients that are also vegan-friendly was a must – I know making a vegan version seems an oxymoron for burgers, but I wanted to make it available to everyone, and let’s face it, there are so many awesome meat alternatives on the market today. Why not create one sauce that we can all enjoy?

How else would you recommend eating the Culley’s Burger Sauce? Any fav recipes for it? 

My favourite has to be toasted minute steak sandwiches with slices of Curious Croppers tomatoes and lashings of burger sauce. It’s a really versatile sauce; try it as a seafood sauce – great in a classic prawn cocktail with avocado (think thousand island dressing).  Also, amazing for your Potato Salad and Coleslaw. Or try a drizzle over avocado on Vogel’s toast – delicious for a weekend brunch while reading the paper with a hot cup of coffee!

What’s your ideal version of the classic Kiwi Burger? 

You can’t beat a classic cheeseburger with slices of beetroot! 

My Local Kitchen is about celebrating local food stories and iconic Kiwi dishes from our foodies’ childhoods. Do you have a good yarn for us about growing up with burgers/making homemade sauces as a kid/trying your first epic Kiwi burger?

Back when we were in our teens, a great lifelong friend of mine, Mark Lorrigan, taught me the trick to the best homemade burger patties and I still swear by it today. The secret is multiple thin patties – to get them tender and juicy you press them super thin, instead of thick patties that can dry out.

  • You make the patties a little larger in diameter than the brioche burger bun you are using and press the patties to about 5-6mm thick – yup, that thin! Trust Mark’s method. 
  • Layer them between cling film on a plate or platter and put them into the fridge so they are super cold.
  • Fire up a charcoal BBQ and, when ready, season the patties with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper and cook ‘til medium. 
  • Just before the patties are ready, layer with thinly sliced Colby cheese to melt.
  • I add slices of my favourite Curious Croppers tomatoes, fresh leaves of iceberg lettuce, sliced sweet ‘n’ sour pickles and some slices of tinned beetroot and, of course, lashings of Culley’s Burger Sauce. Now that is the best homemade burger!
kiwi burger with culley's sauce
Ultimate Kiwi Beef & Bacon Burger with Culley’s Burger Sauce

What’s your fav burger spot/eatery in Aotearoa?

Can’t beat Moreton’s in St Heliers. Their Beef Burger is always fresh and tasty and the pickles always add the perfect tang and crunch. Wash it down with a cold beer on tap. 10/10.

Anything exciting on the horizon for Culley’s this year? What can our foodies look forward to trying?

Culley’s is always working on exciting projects! It’s never boring in our test kitchen. Look out for a new range of marinades and cooking sauces later in the year and a vegan wasabi mayo coming out soon. 

Lastly (and super hush hush…), we are working on a new range of “vegan bacon products” which are tasting AMAZING, and the label designs are looking epic with a cool new character who will come to life outside of the packaging! Think T-shirts online…

What’s your all-time favourite product in the Culley’s range?

If you asked me over the years, Culley’s Chipotle would have been the first in the line-up. Alas, my Culley’s Picklenaise seems to be the first product I go for now (sorry Chipotle, I still love you). It has so many uses and, being vegan as well, is great for any foodie to use. It is amazing how popular it is now and we are doing a lot of fun campaigns this year to get the word out about how amazing this sauce is 😊

*It’s not too late to tuck into our My Local Kitchen recipes! Click here to learn more.

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