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EDM DJ Marshmello Creates His Own Secret Burger That Features Charcoal Ketchup Leather

For superstar EDM DJ, Marshmello, rockin’ a massive festival proves to be an easy challenge. His ear for what can get a set poppin’ off and the handiwork he wields at his fingertips to mix and manipulate beats has lead to his astounding success in the electronic music world. But did you know those clever hands can craft a mean burger, too?

It’s an off-the-wall thought, but Marshmello has actually created a secret burger alongside Los Angeles burger hub, Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, to enter in the Secret Burger Showdown event from Postmates and Off The Menu. The meaty throw down that pits celebrities and their burger creations against each other is happening on Saturday May 26, as a part of the LA Food Bowl festivities that Angelenos have been experiencing throughout the month of May.

The details in the burger are as eclectic as the sounds Marshmello loves working with. Think Plan Check’s signature ketchup letter infused with charcoal to create the distinct facial features of the DJ right onto the burger’s house-made Swiss cheese. Other tasty trappings include a prime ribeye 28-day dry-aged patty, kombu pickles, onion, watercress, and salt & pepper mayo, all in a crunch bun. It’s a lineup of ingredients that’s just as satisfying as the beat drop after a climactic build up.

If you can’t make it out to the Secret Burger Showdown this Saturday, you can sink  your teeth into the Marshmello Burger by ordering it on Postmates or the Off The Menu app.

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This Eggs Benedict Bacon Potato Pie Is The Remix Of Brunch That We All Deserve

Say it with me now. Slowly. Eggs… Benedict… Bacon… Potato… Pie. Sure it’s a mouthful to say, but the concept itself is enough to salivate over a mouthful of it.

If the vision’s still a little hazy, let me clear things up for you: Imagine layers of thinly sliced potatoes, melty American cheese, onions and sausage, all embraced in a cloak of bacon and baked. Then this otherworldly brunch pie is crowned with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce.

Concocted by the “Undisputed Breakfast Champ” and YouTube star Josh Elkin in partnership with Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, the Eggs Benedict Bacon Potato Pie is just one of the many crazy brunch items re-imagined by the duo for a ‘Brunch Remix’ menu that is stacked with brunch items that push the envelope on creativity.

Here’s the rundown of the full ‘Brunch Remix’ menu by Josh Elkin and Plan Check Kitchen + Bar:

Eggs Benedict Bacon Potato Pie
Eggs Benny Burger
Tex Mex Benedict Quesadilla
Oreo Cinnamon Cruller

This one of a kind brunch situation is only available Sunday, February 25 to Sunday, March 18, 2018 during regular business hours at all Plan Check locations in addition to brunch hours. So hop to it before you miss out on the official remix and end up settling for more of the same old brunch fare.

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This Is How It Felt Spending 60 Days With The FOODBEAST Editorial Championship Belt

If you’ve ever been a fan of professional wrestling, boxing, or the UFC, it’s easy to understand the magnitude and importance of a championship belt. It underscores the challenge of getting up and grinding, knowing the promise of success is not guaranteed.

Thanks to the creative minds here at FOODBEAST, in August 2016 we had an authentic, custom-made, heavyweight style championship belt to award the editorial staff member who earns the top story each month, based on page views.

The rules were simple, whoever’s story had the most page views by the end of the month, held the belt the following month.


For the first two months of the belt’s inauguration, I was its proud holder. I’ve carried the belt everywhere for the past 60 days. From happy hours, to dinner dates, and back and forth from the office everyday. I discovered it’s pretty easy to get free dessert once people find out you’re a champion food blogger.

Shout out to the dream for becoming a reality. 📸:@izzy_serious

A photo posted by Evan Lancaster (@spacexwolf) on

Still, the stories that helped me reach back-to-back months as FOODBEAST’s Editorial Champion became important talking points in the conversations I had about what exactly this belt represented.

My reign as champ started when I wrote about America hating Chipotle, a topic that resonated heavily with our audience. However, there was a sense of astonishment when discussing Chipotle hatred in person, as some people seemed blown away that there was animosity toward Chipotle.  

In celebration of my first victory, my roommate Kevin and I went to Pizzeria Ortica in Costa Mesa, where Joel Amaro, OC Weekly’s 2015 bartender of the year basically runs the show. Joel knows everyone and put me on blast (in a good way) in front of the whole bar. It was pretty incredible to be treated like royalty, especially when it’s from one of Southern California’s most recognized mixologists. 

Joel also told me I couldn’t return without the belt from now on.

That same night at Pizzeria Ortica, I was followed around by a 10-year-old kid who gained enough courage to ask me if I was, “a UFC guy.” I was crushed by flattery and felt bad for not being more important. I let him hold the belt while mom and dad snapped photos, before I could offer permission.

In December, I broke the news on Liftware’s spill-proof spoon, one of the most innovative and life-changing products that can potentially help millions of people who suffer with physical immobility enjoy their meals with ease. Witnessing the initial reaction from people seeing a spill-proof spoon for the first time was nothing short of amazing.

One rainy night in January, Kevin, along with our friend Roy, took the belt to Plan Check Kitchen + Bar in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles. Our server, Kenny, made it adamantly clear that desert was, “on Kenny.” He also insisted on clearing our table before taking a photo of us, because he didn’t want to make it seem like Plan Check left their tables full of empty plates and glasses. We assured Kenny that it was all good. It just goes to show the level of service that followed the belt everywhere it went.

Personally, this belt has become more than a motivational tool and ironically began to symbolize my hard work as a journalist for the past decade. It’s been a tough road, but this seems like a notable milestone.

I made sure to document everything via Instagram, because who knows when I’ll be able to tell a story like this again.

Inaugural. Undefeated. Undisputed. January 2017 📸:cusmar8330

A photo posted by Evan Lancaster (@spacexwolf) on

Being able to explain that I earned the title of inaugural FOODBEAST Editorial World Champion, in back-to-back months is a high bar to set. I already know everyone on my team has accepted the challenge. 

 My job is to tell stories, which is usually a thankless job. While I may never be an ultimate fighter, or the next Muhammad Ali, but possessing this belt has helped me understand my potential as a writer and a professional. Most of all it has motivated my team to accomplish great things.

I won’t lie, I enjoyed the obnoxiousness of walking into an restaurant — or anywhere, really — knowing every single person’s head would turn and look at me as I stepped through the doors with an oversized, golden heavyweight belt hanging off my shoulder.


A photo posted by Evan Lancaster (@spacexwolf) on

For one reason or another, most people seemed a bit disappointed after discovering I was just a writer and not a fighter, but, I’ll be the first to tell you there’s no better feeling than someone asking you, “What’s up, Champ?” when they have no idea who you are, or what you do.

Currently fellow writer Peter Pham is the new Editorial Champion, but February is the shortest month of the year, so his collar should be getting tight already.


Salmon Pastrami, Fried Jidori Chicken, Bonito Ginger Beer & More at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar Fairfax

I admit I was a little skeptical when I first read the menu at the new Plan Check Kitchen + Bar in Los Angeles (the brand’s second outpost overall,  just opened in December in the Fairfax District). But between the “salmon pastrami” and bonito-infused beer, can you really blame me for thinking things seemed a little, erm, fishy? (Badumtsss.)

Jokes aside, just like its flagship location, Plan Check Fairfax combines rich, Asian-influenced comfort foods by executive chef Ernesto Uchimura such as fried jidori chicken and kalbi pot roast with an extensive beer, wine, and liquor program helmed by cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello. Not to mention the big open windows, wooden tables, and plenty of dark metal fixtures and tableware which also happen to make this spot a food porn lover’s stickiest wet dream.

But hey, the food itself didn’t hurt either.


Sweet Potato Fries


Fried in beef tallow, lightly sugared, and served with peach ketchup, these were just a little too sweet for me, but perfect for anyone who believes (rightfully) in eating dessert first.


Oysters on the Half


Great both on their own or dipped in a slightly spicy yuzukosho cocktail sauce.


“The Health Kick”


The key to a successful diet is understanding anything green is fair game. Celery juice, aquavit, mezcal, agave, and lime create a practically detoxifying combination just shy of a juice cleanse. Honest.


“The Last Tango”


With a head of St. Germain foam, this gin, strawberry, and balsamic mix tastes a bit like drinking salad dressing. But only in the best (and booziest) way possible.


“Fish Out of Water”


Ground shiso leaves float atop bonito-infused ginger beer, agave, and lemon. A little odd, sure, but 100% fun. The salt helps too.


Salmon Pastrami




Before this trip, I believed pastrami referred only to specially-cured deli meats, but I am so, so glad I was wrong. The only new menu item at Plan Check Fairfax, the salmon pastrami is served up with brined celery and squid ink cream cheese, neatly dressed atop an everything bagel chip. Buttery and salty, this thing is basically perfect. Just saying.


The Southern Fry



Dubbed the “kobe” of chicken, chef Uchimura’s take on jidori deep fries that feathery sonumbitch and sits it atop spicy pimento cheese, duck breast ham, and pickles. This was by far the best, moistest chicken burger I’ve ever tasted (admittedly not a tough category, but still).


Chef’s Favorite Burger


Featuring chef’s signature dehydrated ketchup leather along with cheese, bacon, hot sauce, and a sunny-side up egg.


Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

351 N. Fairfax Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90036