My Famous Five: Michael Kornick of DMK Burger Bar in Chicago

Truffle fries from DMK Burger Bar. Photo credit: Lindsey Becker.
Truffle fries from DMK Burger Bar. Photo credit: Lindsey Becker.

With the opening of their first DMK Burger Bar in 2009, co-owners Michael Kornick and David Morton redefined the classic hamburger with their own creative combinations of toppings; think blueberry BBQ sauce or chili-rubbed onion strings. Boasting house-made sodas, shakes, and more than a dozen types of burgers (including those with bison, portobello, and salmon patties), DMK has become a favorite dining destination for many Chicagoans craving an all-American meal.

In this edition of “My Famous Five,” Chef Kornick highlights five special items from the menu.

The #1 – Burger with aged cheddar, smoked bacon, charred balsamic red onions and Rufus Teague’s BBQ sauce

Chef Kornick’s personal favorite and the most popular dish

Photo credit: Lindsey Becker
Photo credit: Lindsey Becker

“It was the original burger at mk when we opened for lunch.”


Truffle fries

The item that put DMK Burger Bar on Chicago’s food map

Truffle fries from DMK Burger Bar. Photo credit: Lindsey Becker.
Photo credit: Lindsey Becker

“I started serving these truffle fries over 15 years ago at mk. We cook the fries in beef fat, season with sea salt and pepper along with grated Parmigiano, and accompanied by house-made aioli from white truffle oil from Alba, Italy.”


The #4 – Burger with roasted hatch green chile, fried farm egg, Sonoma Jack and smoked bacon

The dish whose popularity surprised Chef Kornick

#4 Burger. Photo credit: Lindsey Becker
Photo credit: Lindsey Becker

“I love heat, and New Mexico’s green hatch chiles are phenomenal, but I thought the combination of a fried egg, hatch chiles, bacon, and cocoa-rubbed Jack cheese would be a bit avant-garde for the average diner. What the #4 proved is that people love spicy and that our guests trust DMK’s judgment when creating chef-driven burgers with flavor, texture and balance.”


The #10 – Turkey burger with smoked Swiss, tomato, arugula and Dijonnaise

The dish Chef Kornick is most proud of

“I worked very hard to give strength to the turkey burger, to preserve moisture in the patty and to enhance the bold flavors of cooking beef. The burger has many touches to strengthen the flavors: smoked Swiss, Dijon mustard, sage, rosemary and arugula. It is truly many, many people’s overall favorite.”


The #11: Grass-fed lamb burger, sheep’s milk feta, olive tapenade, Greek salad and tzatziki

The most underrated dish

“This is the ‘gyros on a bun’ burger, made from Colorado lamb, seasoned with garlic and oregano, topped with feta, tzatziki, kalamata olive tapenade, cucumber, tomato and red onion. This is a Greektown favorite sandwich converted from pita to potato bun!”

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