In a fascinating episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, recurring guest Chef Aaron Ballard joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young. The lively discussion focuses on the history of one of America’s favorite meals: the hamburger.
As Chef Aaron talks about creating the perfect burger and fries, you’ll probably realize you can jump into your car to drive to Just Burgers at our City Creek location. Or if you have some hamburger at home, like our Bob’s Burgers, you can grill those up. Or try some of the amazing hamburger recipes our chefs’ have cooked up.
Executive Chef Aaron Ballard
Experimenting with new tastes and flavors is second nature to Chef Aaron Ballard. He started playing in the kitchen at a young age and immediately began cultivating his love of cooking and fine food. Chef Aaron started his journey of food exploration with his parents inviting him to try new foods. If you offered him food, there were few things he refused—he tasted everything from Pacific Northwest oysters fried fresh at Pikes Place Market to pungent durian from the local Asian Market. Taste was an adventure he rarely passed up.
Chef Aaron worked in the food manufacturing and beverage industry for a decade before following a lifelong dream that eventually led him to attend culinary school at the Culinary Arts Institute at Utah Valley University. Chef Aaron’s first lessons however were at the foot of his grandfather who was a chef. “Watching my grandfather cut open a loaf of bread was a lesson in gratitude and delight. You could see him honoring the process, savoring the ingredients, and deconstructing the method before the food even hit his lips.” Chef Aaron has carried on that tradition creating “life changing” moments for his students.
Chef Aaron has worked as a Kitchen chef, cooking school chef, and now serves as Harmons Executive Chef. When he is not cooking or writing new recipes, Chef Aaron immerses himself in fine food, brewing, music, and family. “Nothing spells joy in my life like being outside on a late summer evening with a sizzling grill, a glass of wine, and a guitar in my hand singing with my family and friends.”
At Harmons, we’re lucky to have incredibly talented artists at each store, and we’re sure you’ve seen their amazing chalk art as you wander throughout every location. We’re excited to be able to feature some of their work as the featured art on our podcast blog. This art is the work of Kirsten Beitler, the artist at our Santa Clara location.