Courtesy of Shake Shack

Michelin-starred British chef Fergus Henderson is behind the two day-only offering.

Mike Pomranz
September 08, 2017

Ever since Shake Shack started expanding in 2008, the burger chain has spread a very specific ethos. The Shack is intended as a different kind of fast chain: The food, though typical, is of a higher quality; the employees, though still uniformed, are treated better; the ambiance, though familiar, is elevated. This business model was clearly ahead of its time as, in the past decade, many of these ideas have been adopted by major fast food brands. And as a result, being “different” has become a bit more difficult. But every now and then, Shake Shack pulls something out of its sleeve that proves the growing chain can still set itself apart… something like the Eel Burger.

For two days only—and, sadly, at one location only—the Shack will be collaborating with Michelin-starred British chef Fergus Henderson (known for his London restaurant St. John) on a “three part,” not-very-fast-food-like offering including the aforementioned burger with a fillet of eel. On September 15 and 16 (while supplies last), Shake Shack’s original Madison Square Park location will offer not only the Eel Burger, but also St. John’s signature vanilla custard-filled doughnut (which will sell for $3.99) and the restaurant’s own St. John line of red and white wines ($8.99 and $7.99 for a six ounce glass respectively).

But back to that burger. The extremely limited-time only sandwich, a collaboration between Henderson and Shake Shack Culinary Director Mark Rosati, is described as “a smoked eel burger topped with all-natural smoked Niman Ranch bacon, pickled red onion, crème fraiche, fresh horseradish & watercress.” “[It’s] is a gentle soul,” explained Henderson, “delivering everything a good burger should.” The burger will sell for $9.99.

“St. John is without a doubt one of my favorite restaurants in the world,” said Rosati. “Fergus & Trevor have created one of the most beloved and iconic restaurants in London through their simple and expressive food, service & wine (a true community gathering place!) and we couldn't be more excited for them to take over our original location here in NYC and bring a taste of that to New Yorkers.”

These sort of high-end burgers aren’t necessarily anything new to Shake Shack. Just last month, for one weekend only, the same Madison Square Park location offered up a version of its burger topped with lobster chunks.  Still, a lobster-topped burger is one thing; a Michelin-starred chef-approved eel burger is something else entirely. Don’t be surprised to find especially long lines in Madison Square Park next weekend.