Birmingham burger named as finalist for 2023 National Burger of the Year

Flying Cows is in the running to be named the ‘Burger King’ of Britain this year

A street food burger joint from the Birmingham has become a finalist for the 2023 National Burger of the Year awards.

The Flying Cows, a regular at Digbeth Dining Club and many events across the city is one of the 16 finalists for the award for their burger named The Shiitake.

The street food company, originally from Kenilworth, also serve their scrumptious burgers at the Lichfield Food Fest, the Waterfront Dining Club, and Herbert’s Yard in Longbridge among others.

The chef and founder of the street food business, Dan Batchelor, who has been a chef for all of his career, started the business in 2011 . He has worked in Michelin-star restaurant Simpsons and was also the recipient of the Gordon Ramsay Scholarship.

His burgers have already won Britain’s Best Street Food Burger award in 2017 and 2019 as well as the ITV food and drink award in 2020.

To win the award, he battled other entrants to impress the panel of industry experts in a one-day competition. Now, he will have to compete in a cook-off consisting of a series of challenges.

The Flying Cows from the West Midlands are one of 16 finalists at National Burger Awards (Photo - The Flying Cows)
The Flying Cows from the West Midlands are one of 16 finalists at National Burger Awards (Photo - The Flying Cows)
The Flying Cows from the West Midlands are one of 16 finalists at National Burger Awards (Photo - The Flying Cows)

Finalists will firstly be required to cook their own signature burger in front of the judges, before creating a technical burger made up from a specific selection of ingredients from event sponsors that the organisers will supply on the day.

Dine Out’s National Burger Awards will be hosted at Islington Electrowerkz in London on February 22. Dan told BirminghamWorld that his father owns a farm where he keeps special-breed cattle. “We teamed up and after 10-11 years are still at it. I absolutely love it.”

When he started the street food company, there weren’t many in his area. He started with a farmer’s market and then when street food scene kicked off, he joined Digbeth Dining Club and Curb in London. He has been traveling across the country to food and music festivals to make the “best burger he can achieve”.

The Shiitake burger was developed by him and is inspired by his appreciation of Japanese food. “I love Japanese flavours,” said Dan. “Everything compliments the beef and intensifies the flavour of it. The burger is a balance of flavours with sweet and savoury in it. It is one of my favourites.”

He doesn’t have a permanent location for his burger currently but loves cooking out of his 1950s Airstream caravan - which he can take anywhere in the country.

The flying cows
The flying cows
The flying cows

Winners will be chosen by a hand-picked panel of esteemed industry judges, including former winners of the competition.

“Fluffy buns, succulent patties and condiments galore – what’s not to love about the beloved burger?” says Genna Ash-Brown, editor of Dine Out Magazine, which organises and runs the event.

“With so many stellar entries flying in for this year’s National Burger Awards, narrowing it down to just 16 finalists really was a painstaking (and hunger inducing!) task. But we got there in the end – and what an exceptional line-up it is, packed with former winners, past competitors and feisty new entrants looking to leave their mark on a revered national stage.

“We can’t wait to get stuck in!”

The full list of finalists can be seen below:

  • Bleecker - Double Cheeseburger
  • Eat the Bird - Dirty Ronald
  • El Perro Negro - The Big D
  • Fattso - Royal with Extra Cheese
  • Flying Cows - The Shiitake
  • Fridays - Wagyu Talkin’ ‘bout Burger
  • Haché - Paris Smashburger
  • Leytonstone Tavern - The Bone Daddy
  • Liberation Group - The Butcombe Burger
  • Lou & Joe’s Burger Company - The Holme Boy
  • Please Sir! - The Limitless
  • Revolution Bars Group - Blue Cheese & Truffle
  • Squeezed - Beetlejuice
  • The Flavour Trailer - Classic Flavour
  • The Forge Kitchen - Bertram’s Brisket Burger
  • Zephyr Burgers - Ribwich Cheeseburger