Note number 1: that’s Downtown Los Angeles, not somewhere up in Marin County.
Note number 2: sorry for all the hyphens.
The face of Belcampo is ostensibly a late 30s entrepreneurial mom from the Bay Area. The money behind Belcampo, however, is really a retired-in-name-only Wall Street gentleman who sold his brokerage firm, for $1.5B, at age.. 47/48ish. Money may not buy happiness, but money buys manpower to grow good California beef.
Belcampo is a vertically integrated conglomerate. That $12.50 burger above is a from a conglomerate that owns ranches, travel resorts, 20000-sqft USDA licensed slaughterhouse and meat processing plant, butcher shops, and restaurants. You could be eating a burger produced by Hyundai, one of the nastiest chaebols in South Korea, but instead of Kraft, it’s Belcampo. Thankfully Belcampo is focused on delivering sustainable protein from top-end down. Whew.
With a more than just a few million dollars, Mr. Robinson, now the chairman of Global Portfolio Advisors, a brokerage clearing house, has powered Mrs. Anya Fernald to backup Eat Real with some meat, instead of words. While Eat Real LA was mostly a tame bomb, Eat Real Oakland has expanded year over year, and Eat Real will reach Atlanta this year. But what good is a food festival when one can’t get a morally compassed burger in Downtown. In comes Belcampo with all its gloriousness.
Will I eat another burger in ’14 other than what is served at Belcampo? Probably not. Is this is the single most expensive 1/3 pound burger in LA? As far as I know. Does anyone know how expensive it is to own and operate a USDA certified slaughterhouse? Rancho Feeding Co. does, (and they just got shutdown by the FDA, then bought out). Will Mr. Robinson ever be portrayed in Wolf of Wallstreet, the III? Hopefully not. Should he inspire us to make millions of dollars so we can hire our own Edibles CEO and run butcher shops? Yes to the millions, no to the cow blood.
The point of this is really to demonstrate how it took takes a one-percenter to bring “affordable” sustainably raised beef to the plate. No one else is doing this in America, save perhaps Blue Hill Stone Barn. We, as Angelenos, are lucky as hell that a rich and smart man decided to pay it forward. Also, hipsters: just shut up about rich people and eat the burger. It is way, WAY better than anything coming out of Umami/Comme Ca/Father’s Office.
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