SpritzBurger is a one of a kind chef-collaboration between chefs who love to cook together. The concept for SpritzBurger came from years of toying with restaurant ideas and a late night boozy discussion in the lobby of a Disney hotel.
Q: The Hardy Boys. Ha! Did you misspell the name though?
A: It’s Hearty. And yes, like the books…that’s kind of the jest behind the name. The Hearty Boys; Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh; have been trend setting Chicago caterers for the past 15 years. They have opened two lauded restaurants; HB, and the Michelin recommended Hearty.
Dan and Steve were the original winners of Search For The Next Food Network Star and went on to host their own Food Network series Party Line With the Hearty Boys. As such, they were the first openly gay couple to host a television series in American history. They have appeared on Food Network, Fine Living, ABC, NBC, CBS and affiliates nationwide. They have been featured in Life Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens and a host of cooking and lifestyle publications.
Their first cookbook,Talk with Your Mouth Full, is a treasure trove of recipes and insider entertaining tips. Their latest book, The New Old Bar, is an everyman’s guide to the current cocktail movement.
Q: Why sodas? And is it soda or pop?
A: We’ve been serving and teaching about pre-prohibition cocktails for many years but we do enjoy bubbles (beer, coke etc) with burgers. The artisan sodas and sparkling cocktails here at SpritzBurger are our answer to combining a well-balanced craft cocktail and effervescence. And, we’re from the east coast so…it’s soda.
Q: Oh. So it’s Gail Gand’s name that you misspelled?
A: No, it’s spelled Gale. Chef Gale Gand is a nationally acclaimed pastry chef, restaurateur (Tru, Trio, Brasserie T), cookbook author, television personality, teacher, entrepreneur, and mother. Chef Gand has been recognized as Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year by The James Beard Foundation and by Bon Appetite magazine.
For 8 years, Gale hosted the Food Network series “Sweet Dreams,” the first nationally televised all-dessert show anywhere. Gale has made appearances on “The Martha Stewart Show,” “Oprah,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” “Baking With Julia” (Child), ”Good Morning America,” “The Rachael Ray Show” and “The Today Show.” She competed on “Iron Chef America” and has been featured as a celebrity judge on “Food Network Challenge,” “Last Cake Standing,” “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Just Desserts.”
Gale is a prolific cookbook author with eight titles to her credit, including her most recent “Gale Gand’s Brunch!,” released in 2009 and her next book, “Gale Gand’s Lunch!” to be released in April 2014. Earlier titles (written with Rick Tramonto) include: American Brasserie; Butter Sugar Flour Eggs; and Tru: A Cookbook from the Legendary Chicago Restaurant. More recently, Gand authored Just a Bite; Short and Sweet; and Chocolate and Vanilla.
Q: What does she know about root beer? And where’s my ice?
A: Gale also produces her own artisan root beer, “Gale’s Root Beer,” which is available nationally and on tap here at SpritzBurger. And it’s a sin to put ice in cold draft root beer.
Q: How do you know each other?
A: We’ve been friends for years, our youngest children are the same age and we frequently spend holidays and weekends together around the table. (Full disclosure…we frequently spend holidays and weekends together around the bar first then slowly make our way to the table).
Q: Have you ever been on a plane together?
A: Oh, perfect. That’s a great question because it allows me to work in the food festivals we jointly appear at. We often coordinate our appearances to allow us a mini-break and possibly late night cards by a pool. You can frequently see us at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, The San Diego Food and Wine Festival, Palm Desert Food and Wine, Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival, and as guest chefs on Rhone River cruises and excursions through Tuscany.
Q: Any dirty little food secrets?
A: Sure. When Dan is tired and needs comfort food he will make himself a bowl of Stove Top Stuffing. When Steve is asked what he wants Gale to make for Thanksgiving he requests the most simple of pumpkin pies with Reddi Whip. And Gale (this is the worst)…Gale purposefully undercooks her bacon. It is soft and limp and an insult to any self-respecting pig (but don’t tell her I said that because I still want the pumpkin pie).