traveled the back roads of the South in his 1-hour special, Rebel Eats
, this past Saturday night (watch the full episode here), but it’s hard to show everything in just 1 hour. Click the play button above
to watch never-before-seen Rebel Eats
moments and go deeper with Justin as he answers questions about his show and what’s next for him.
Tell us about the deep-fried burger from Dyer’s. What’s the difference in taste between standard oil and the century-old stuff that’s used at the restaurant, and what does it bring to the burger?
Oh man — I could wax poetic about that burger. Imagine if you cooked some garlic in oil and then removed the garlic. What is left? Garlic-flavored oil. The oil then becomes a condiment. Imagine if you put your garlic oil on bread. Nobody would bat an eye. That doesn’t sound wild at all. Now imagine doing this with delicious ground beef instead of garlic, and using that oil to fry all your burgers. For 100 years. The real question is what doesn’t it bring to the burger? Scientifically speaking though, by smashing the patty they are increasing the surface area and getting rid of air. This makes the beefy flavor more concentrated per bite. Also, by frying it, it cooks very quickly to well-done. Now, a well-done burger is murder in my book, but here it actually works nicely because of the thinness of the patty. The more you cook a patty, the more the beefy flavor is coaxed out, but the less appealing the texture. By making thin, greased-up patties, they are letting the beef grease provide the juiciness in the burger. They don’t serve lettuce or tomato because this burger has no room for crunch. It is like eating a puck of beef butter. Maybe that sounds gross to some, but to me this sounds like a great last meal.
Justin Warner fans are in for a treat tonight (10pm/9c). The Rebel With a Culinary Cause is hitting the road in his new show and biggest challenge yet — finding the real culinary rebels of America on Rebel Eats. Armed with $300 (for gas), a car and a nose for good food and crazy characters, Justin will travel the back roads of the South to try everything from moonshine and bacon beer to deep-fried PB&J, jellyfish pasta and bowling alley barbecue served in a Mason jar. We recently caught up with Justin and asked him to dish a little on his special, catch us up on what he’s been eating and teach us how to be food rebels ourselves. Before tuning in tonight, read his interview below (and go behind-the-scenes with these photos).
How did your experience on Food Network Star prepare you for making Rebel Eats?
Given that I had no television experience prior to Star, I would say that every facet of the show helped me prepare for Rebel Eats. In Star, we were constantly fighting against the clock. It has made me much more concise and efficient when conveying ideas or developing dishes. In addition, having Alton as a mentor was really a life-changing experience. He taught me how to understand where the camera is, what it’s picking up and how to make it my best friend.
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Food Network Star season 8 winner, Justin Warner, will hit the road in search of unique culinary rule-breakers in a one-hour special, Rebel Eats, airing Saturday, March 30, at 10pm/9c. Armed with $300 in his pocket, a beat-up car and a passion for unconventional food and eccentric people, Justin will travel the back roads of the South to try everything from moonshine and bacon beer to barbecue in a jar and jellyfish pasta. Along the way, Justin will meet the cooks and proprietors who, like him, march to their own beat through the world of food.
PHOTOS: Flip through Justin’s Star Scrapbook
VIDEO: Relive the moment Justin won
RECIPES: Try your hand at Justin’s recipes
Justin Warner, originally from Hagerstown Md., is a self-taught cook and is chef and co-owner of Do or Dine in Brooklyn, N.Y. — a restaurant that he built from the ground up. Justin began working in restaurants at just 13 years old and his approach to food reflects his personality: edgy, intense, passionate and witty.