One of the biggest food trends of the last decade has been the re-imagining of some of our most favorite comfort foods. This trend has brought us gourmet macaroni and cheese, gourmet pizza, gourmet burgers, and even gourmet French fries. Have you ever had fresh-cut fires drizzled with truffle oil and sprinkled with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and smoked sea salt? No? Well, if you ever do, then you’ll know all about gourmet French fries.
This gastronomic re-imagining is being lead by young culinary professionals graduating from Atlanta culinary schools and other culinary schools around the country. Their fresh perspectives enable them to see our traditional favorites in new and exciting ways.
A Hot Dog Revolution
One favorite food that has undergone more changes than just about any other is the lowly hot dog. Once relegated to campfires, baseball games, and sketchy street carts this American classic is experiencing a true renaissance of both popularity and taste.
Hot dog restaurants like Crif Dogs in New York, Hot Doug’s in Chicago, Biker Jim’s in Denver, and Atlanta’s own Holeman & Finch are changing the way that we eat hot dogs. Gone are the days of plain old ketchup, kraut, or mustard. They’ve been replaced by cream cheese, house-made relish, sour pickles, cole slaw, avocado, and other even more exotic ingredients.
5 Gourmet Dogs for You to Try
You may or may not have heard of these hot dog variations, but we suggest trying them all. Then do a little research and find some of the unique hot dog recipes available in your area.
- Chicago-Style Hot Dog
Probably the most famous and oldest variety of gourmet dog. Chicago-style ingredients include a poppy seed bun, an all-beef hot dog, chopped onion, tomato wedges, a pickle spear, yellow mustard, sport peppers, neon green relish, and a liberal sprinkling of celery salt. If you find a hot dog joint that doesn’t serve a variation of this classic, don’t stop just keep going.
- Sonoran Hot Dog
Originating in the Mexican state of Sonora, a Sonoran dog can be found throughout Arizona, California, and New Mexico. Its ingredients include a griddle-cooked, bacon-wrapped dog in a bolillo roll topped with chopped tomatoes, onions, cotijo cheese, tomatillo salsa, pinto beans, mayo, mustard, ketchup, and a roasted green chili pepper. It may sound like a culinary school’s cooking lab experiment, but they are oh so good!
- West Virginia Dog
Found throughout the South East, the West Virginia or “All-the-Way” dog is a hot dog, often a foot long, topped with yellow mustard, chopped onions, chili sauce, and creamy cole slaw. Regional variants will also top this dog with fresh-cut fries or pimento cheese.
- Seattle-Style Hot Dog
In Seattle, cream cheese takes center stage. A Seattle-style dog is served with cream cheese, grilled onions, and your choice of spy condiments, usually Sriracha sauce or grilled jalapenos. Cream cheese has become popular throughout the Pacific Coast and Rocky Mountain regions.
- Completo Italiano
The hot dog, while thoroughly American, is popular all around the world, especially in the South American country of Chile. Here you’ll find the Italiano, which consists of a large hot dog (usually a ¼ pound or larger) topped with mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, and a ridiculous amount of mayonnaise. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain famously downed two of these monsters on his TV show No Reservations. If you ever make it to Chile, we don’t recommend doing the same. Oof!
This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Atlanta, Georgia area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Atlanta for more information.
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