chef drnek

Summer is the time for grilling, and in Hilton honor of the season we asked Donald Drnek, Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage at Hilton Times Square, for the recipe to his favorite great American dish. While certainly a more intense process than grilling up some frozen patties, this burger is prepared using only the freshest ingredients and innovative flavor combinations to deliver mouthwatering results.

Pinnacle Bar Burger (serves 1)



9 Oz Meat – 50% Chuck, 25% Brisket, 25% Short Rib

Baby Arugula

Brioche Bun

Smoked Gouda Cheese

Sliced Portobello Mushroom

Red Onion Jam

1 Tbsp. Canola Oil

2 Tbsp. Muscovado Brown Sugar

3 Cups Red Onions (thinly sliced)

¾ Cup Zinfandel

1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

Salt & Pepper

Roasted Garlic Aioli

6 Cloves of Garlic, Slow Roasted and Peeled

1 Large Egg

1 Tbsp. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper


Red Onion Jam

1. Heat oil over medium heat; add onions and brown sugar and ¼ tsp. Salt.

2. Cook onions slowly, stirring often until completely wilted and they begin to caramelize (approximately 15 minutes).

3. Add wine and cider vinegar and slowly reduce until thick and syrupy then check seasoning and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Roasted Garlic Aioli

1. Combine garlic, egg & lemon in work bowl of food processor.

2. Puree, and then slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream to form an emulsion.

3. Remove from bowl, season with salt & pepper and set aside.


1. Grind and combine meat cuts, then hand form into 9 oz. patties, careful not to overwork mix.

2. Grill to desired temperature. Chef’s preference: medium rare.

3. Spread Roasted Garlic Aioli on bottom of brioche bun.

4. Top with patty, baby arugula for bite, melted slice of smoked gouda cheese, grilled sliced portobello, and Red Onion Jam.

5. Serve with thick cut crispy fries and a local lager. (chef’s recommendation)

Serve up this delicious meal at your next dinner party or cookout. Or, grab some friends and head over to the Restaurant Above or Pinnacle Bar at Hilton Times Square and dig in while looking out at one of the world’s most famous intersections of culture and business.

Show us your fantastic burger! Use the hashtag #HiltonGoOut

About Chef Donald Drnek

Donald Drnek has served as Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage Hilton Times Square for the past 10 years. Before that he was the Executive Chef of the Drake Swissotel, the Omni Berkshire Hotel & The Loews Metropolitan hotel.