The snow started falling, but he didn't notice. He could have been standing out there with shorts and a tank top and still, Paul would have been oblivious to the temperature quickly dropping below zero. With millions of viewers and his co-owners counting on him, this show could make or break his company in just a sixty minute episode. He was a hot mess.
From afar, he heard a familiar voice calling his name with arms flailing through the thick of the snow storm. He had been pacing for so long, that he ended up almost a block and half down the street from where he started. Chuck, one of the other owners, met him with opens arms and words of advice that he will never forget, "What ever you do, don't f*ck up. We are about to be on national television." And soon after, lights, camera, action. Rachael Ray commenced the start of the Battle of the Best Burger.
Fast forward almost 6 years later, and celebrity chef, Paul Malvone remains in the spotlight, but now, for Boston Burger Company's new startup, BurgaBox. Don't let the fame fool you. Paul is not just one of those pretty faces to look at, he is actually the mastermind behind the over-the-top feasts that are sent in each BurgaBox. And he's not afraid to get messy.
If you didn't know, BurgaBox is the most ridiculous meal kit delivery in the world, sending ingredients to burgers, fries and mac & cheese right to your doorstep. Customers get a choice between purchasing BBC's most popular burgers and/or subscribing to the monthly themed boxes that are released on the first of every month. For context, October's box was inspired by Paul's dream of going to Oktoberfest in Germany and of course included beer infused mustard, bratwursts and Paul dressed in a lederhosen with two women feeding him sausage.
"The October Box was fun but the November Box was one of the more interesting themes I came up with" said Malvone, laughing to himself. Malvone points back to one particular childhood Thanksgiving that was spent at his grandmothers house as the inspiration for this box.
The Malvone Family frantically arrived at Grandma's house, Paul dressed in his new holiday suit and his siblings also in their fresh attire. They were an hour late to the party and he could tell everyone was on edge, even at the age of eight. His mother immediately started to take charge in the kitchen and ordered Paul to play with his cousins outside. Two hours and ten whining children later, the turkey was carved and the potatoes were mashed...dinner was about to be served. Every year, one grandchild took on the duty of serving the turkey to the rest of the family and this year, Paul was finally old enough for the challenge. Very eager and proud, Paul picked up the plate of turkey and dodged drunk relatives and running children to set down the feast on the dining room table. As he is approached the table, he saw his immortal enemy Bruno, the black lab eyeing him from a distance. "Needless to say, it was not more than five seconds that Bruno was on top of me eating and slobbering over every piece of turkey I had on the plate." He had officially ruined Thanksgiving dinner.
Every adult huddled around Paul as he laid on his back in extreme embarrassment. He remembers the stares of confusion and extreme disappointment from his relatives who were barely offering a hand to help him up. The next thing Malvone remembers was his Grandmother crying out, "I need a vacation!" And storming off to her room.
Paul has never forgotten that traumatic incident so it was a memory that stuck out right away when he was brainstorming the theme of the November BurgaBox. He decided to skip the turkey gobbler (since it definitely can trigger some serious stress) and give the people what they wanted...A Hawaiian getaway during the holidays. "Even if no one says it out loud, the holidays are stressful and everyone is looking to get away. Plus, I think I look pretty good in a Hawaiian shirt." giggled Malvone.
On that note, I had the pleasure of shadowing the taste testing process and couldn't believe what I saw. With no recipe or measuring cups, he started going to work by mashing up pineapples, chopping jalapeños and whipping up some type of homemade BBQ sauce. In the matter of minutes, with no hesitation or second guesses, Paul created what tasted like, a hula dance in a sauce. The tropical pineapple flavors mixed with authentic Hawaiian Teriyaki took me into a day dream so real, that I thought I might need some sunscreen. After a healthy amount of French fry dipping and some salt, it was clear that Paul was a true genius and that this box would be epic.
The November BurgaBox features Paul's original recipes (as always) of the Maui Waui Burgers, Ahola Fries and Do Ho Mac & Cheese. The burgers come with pineapple-jalapeno aioli, bacon pineapple jam and american cheese and the fries with Aloha BBQ Sauce (pineapple, green peppers, BBQ Sauce, Teriyaki,) and chopped scallions. This Hawaiian feast would not be complete without the Don Ho Mac & Cheese which is topped off with chicken teriyaki.
As you can tell, BurgaBox is not made by your average joe. Malvone ensures that every meal is carefully crafted by a trusted team that follows his own original recipes. He explains "HelloFresh and Blue Apron are a great way to get your groceries and eat a healthy meal. But what about that cheat day?" BurgaBox has made it their mission to go against the grain and a create a kit that doesn't involve a lot prep and is actually a meal you can look forward to indulging in. So turn up your oven folks, you can get a restaurant quality meal in less than 30 minutes and in your own home. Just thank Paul
Outside of the kitchen, Paul is a just regular guy. When he's not plotting his next BurgaBox kitchen takeover, he can be found coaching his son's lacrosse team or serving on the board of his daughter's soccer league. Unfortunately, I was unable to unleash any secrets out for the December Box, but I was told there would be a Santa costume in the works and that's good enough for me.
Check in next month for the December edition of Brain Behind the Buns so you can get the whole story behind BurgaBox.