Disclaimer: this blog post is based entirely on speculation and conjecture.
I have a hunch about Charlie's Burgers, the underground restaurant in Toronto that's got everyone buzzing. Susan Sampson from the Toronto Star wrote an article about the phenomenon in today's paper and, upon reading it, something clicked in my head.
Charlie's Burgers has been written up in SheDoesTheCity, BlogTO, Sweetspot and now in the Toronto Star.
The writers from BlogTO and Sweetspot had not yet attended the secret dinners upon writing their pieces, but, in the piece from SheDoesTheCity, they wrote, "Guests included the esteemed food guru Bonnie Stern and gregarious red-haired sommelier of Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, Jamie Drummond."
Today in the Star, Jamie Drummond comes up again:
"I was incredibly, incredibly impressed by what they were doing," says Jamie Drummond, wine director for the Jamie Kennedy restaurant group. "Everybody is looking for something a little different. It has the potential to be a hit."Now, this is completely unsubstantiated, but I think that Jamie Drummond is affiliated with or is, in fact, Charlie Burger himself. My reasons are five-fold:
Drummond says he was both "worried" and "intrigued" when he and his girlfriend arrived at the anti-restaurant's first dinner, last month. It was held in the tasting room of a public wine storage facility on King St. W.
"It was definitely more like a dinner party – with friends you don't know," he says, recalling there were 18 guests.
Drummond had such a great time, he agreed to be the sommelier for this Sunday's meal. However, he claims he never spoke to Charlie in person about it.
"I like that mysterious air," he says.
- The only person discussing Charlie's Burgers with the media is Jamie Drummond, who previously had a background as a musical journalist in Scotland and would probably know a few tricks about getting news into the media.
- Jamie Drummond occasionally DJs around Toronto as DJ Non Doctor, which demonstrates that he is in touch with after hours and underground communities.
- Charlie's Burgers places an emphasis on food and wine pairings. Jamie Drummond is a sommelier. (Hey, I'm just saying!)
- No stranger to developing elite communities centred around food dialogue, in 2006, Drummond, alongside chef Brad Long and sommelier Anton Potvin, created Monday Lunch gatherings at Toronto's Spoke Club. Over the years these luncheons based around "drinking, dining and discourse" gained popularity and captured the attention of chef Marc Thuet, Leah Mclaren, James Chatto, Jamie Kennedy (chef) , Amy Rosen, champion oyster shucker Patrick McMurray, and Charles Baker.
- In his role as sommelier for Jamie Kennedy's restaurants, Drummond would have privileged access to wines and fresh ingredients. The reviews from Toronto's elite food community have been favorable, thus, it has to be someone with special access and above-average competence who is orchestrating this whole thing.