Tools of the Trade: Fermin Lopez of NeNe’s Kitchen

NeNe’s Kitchen Chief Grill Cook Fermin Lopez demonstrates how his professional hamburger turner easily flips an 8-ounce hamburger patty on the grill.

Photo by JENINE C. OUILLETTE // Buy this photo

NeNe’s Kitchen Chief Grill Cook Fermin Lopez demonstrates how his professional hamburger turner easily flips an 8-ounce hamburger patty on the grill.

NeNe’s Kitchen Chief Grill Cook Fermin Lopez demonstrates how his professional hamburger turner easily flips an 8-ounce hamburger patty on the grill.

Photo by JENINE C. OUILLETTE // Buy this photo

NeNe’s Kitchen Chief Grill Cook Fermin Lopez demonstrates how his professional hamburger turner easily flips an 8-ounce hamburger patty on the grill.

Ne Ne's Kitchen

297 North Collier Boulevard, Marco

Restaurant: NeNe’s Kitchen, 297 N. Collier Blvd. Phone: 239-394-3854

Chef: Fermin Lopez

Q: What is your favorite kitchen gizmo — the one you reach for most of the time?

A: My hamburger flipper (turner) is my essential kitchen gizmo and I couldn’t do my job without it. I’ve been working here at NeNe’s for four years, and I love my job. It’s my first job on Marco Island, and I would never think of working anywhere else.

We serve a good burger, a full 8-ounce patty and my flipper (turner) make’s it easy to turn the patty over in one piece. Now, we’re open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch from 7:30 to 2 p.m., and for Dinner, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday

Here’s the recipe: You know, the secret of a good juicy burger is to slide it on to a hot pan or grill and leave it alone to sear just before the meat juices show, and then slide the flipper under the burger and flip the burger over easy to sear the other side. I guess the secret is to leave it alone, never press on the meat, and let the heat cook the burger.

Where to buy it: Nene’s Kitchen orders their hamburger turners from Sysco (a wholesale restaurant purveyor) but they probably can be purchased locally at Commercial Glass & Restaurant Supply Inc., 4027 Arnold Ave., Naples. Phone: 643-0177. Or go online — www.restaurantsource.com and scroll down the index to Chefs Cutlery and find several kinds and sizes of professional grade hamburger turners.

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