DIY Education

By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  September 12, 2012

Advanced Burger-Flipping

A lab course, this involves not only lecture on the physics of momentum, friction (those burgers are slippery!), and thermodynamics (you have to cook with something), but also extensive on-grill work to ensure those who complete the course are proficient at keeping themselves safe, hygienic, and healthy while serving simulated food to paying members of the public.

• We start with the basics:

Hamburger: A Global History by Andrew F. Smith, Reaktion Books, 2008.

The Hamburger: A History by Josh Ozersky, Yale University Press, 2009.

Hamburger Heaven: The Illustrated History of the Hamburger by Jeffrey Tennyson, Hyperion, 1995.

• We also survey the hamburger landscape:

Hamburger America: Completely Revised and Updated Edition: A State-by-State Guide to 150 Great Burger Joints by George Motz, Running Press, 2011.

• We explore the economic and nutritional issues at hand:

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser, Harper Perennial, 2005.

Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food by Charles Wilson and Eric Schlosser, Houghton Mifflin, 2007.

Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer — And What You Can Do About It edited by Karl Weber, Public Affairs, 2009.

• Then we delve into direct workplace preparation:

Fast Food, Fast Talk: Service Work and the Routinization of Everyday Life by Robin Leidner, University of California Press, 1993. Still the classic study of McDonald's Hamburger University. (No, credits don't transfer!)

In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules by Stacy Perman, HarperBusiness, 2010.

• And finally we discuss recipe innovation:

Burger Bar: Build Your Own Ultimate Burgers by Hubert Keller and Penelope Wisner, Wiley, 2009.

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