National Cheeseburger Day, Naples Style

Few holidays stoke the coals quite like National Cheeseburger Day. Celebrated on September 18, the all-American gets its due with a full day dedicated to melted cheese slathered over a perfectly grilled burger patty. But as legend has it, the cheeseburger happened by chance: a 16-year-old fry cook, Lionel Sternberger (an apropos name for the father of the cheeseburger), over-charred a hamburger at his parent’s Pasadena eatery in 1924. Rather than feed the burnt burger to the dog, he slapped a slice of cheese on the char to cover his transgression—et voila, the cheeseburger was born. Don’t let this National Cheeseburger Day fall to happenstance—take action, fire up the coals, and make this holiday an all-Naples kind of party with this cheeseburger-centric recipe and some tasty local goodies. Enjoy.


The Burger

On any other day of the year, a standard cheeseburger is just fine. But September 18 is not just another day, it’s National Cheeseburger Day, and only the best burger will do. Luckily, Shula’s Steak House’s Corporate Chef Peter Farrand came up with one heck of a mouthwatering ditty this summer: the French Onion Burger. Even better, he has shared the recipe for this spectacular bite here.

French Onion Burger - Shula's Steak House


  • 12 oz. of ground chuck, formed into a burger patty
  • 1/2 lb. of white onion sliced
  • 3/4 oz. of clarified butter
  • 2 tbsp. of sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. of water
  • 1/8 tsp. of chicken base
  • 1/4 tsp. of beef base
  • 1/8 tsp. of sea salt
  • 1 pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. of dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. of fresh thyme
  • 2 brioche buns
  • 4 slices of gruyere cheese


  1. Begin caramelizing sliced onion in a hot pot with clarified butter.
  2. Then, deglaze the onions with sherry wine vinegar and a little water.
  3. Next, add chicken base and beef base. Make sure to season with salt, pepper, dried thyme, and fresh thyme. Stir it all together and set it to the side.
  4. After, butter and toast a brioche bun. You can add a slice of gruyere cheese and let it melt.
  5. Now, season the burger patty with salt and pepper and grill. At the restaurant, they use a combination of premium Black Angus beef, brisket and short rib.
  6. When the meat is almost ready, top it with a slice of gruyere cheese.
  7. At Shula Burger, they spread a garlic herb mayonnaise over the bun, add the burger, and top it with the french onions and crushed croutons. Chef Peter suggests serving the burger with steak fries.


The perfect wine to be served with this burger is Pinot Noir.

Recipe and photos courtesy of Shula’s Naples


The Patty

For those that do not have that home meat grinder or proprietary burger patty recipe, let the experts do the heavy lifting. When it comes to finding that perfect all-beef patty, few does it better than Jimmy P’s Butcher Shop & Deli. The brainchild of Jimmy Pepper, the butcher shop is stocked with just about any cut of beef you may want—even the hard-to-find Wagyu (Kobe) beef.

Kobe Chuck Burger patty from Jimmy P's Butcher Shop & Deli

   As for burgers, Jimmy P’s Wagyu chuck patties ($30 for 10, 8 oz. patties) offer a 2:1 ratio of unsaturated to saturated fat, meaning these burgers are unbelievably juicy and flavorful. These mouthwatering burgers are also sold in Kobe ground sirloin ($16 for 16 oz./two patties), and pre-seasoned options—the Cajun Bleu Cheese Burger is a fan favorite ($9)—giving grillers plenty to choose from. As an added dose of flavor, try Jimmy P’s Gourmet Steak Sauce ($4.99)—it’s a step-up from the tried and true ketchup.


Naples Beach Brewery - Paddleboard Pale Ale

The Beverage

Few things go better with a cheeseburger than a cold glass of beer. Make that beer a local brew and pour a glass of Paddleboard Pale Ale from the Naples Beach Brewery. At 5.2% ABV its not overpowering, yet the subtle blend of hops give it a nice citrusy aroma and flavor, pairing well with a burgers with a hint of spice. Growlers are available at the brewery; check here for tap room hours and brewery tour dates.



Stuffed BurgerCheddar-Stuffed Meatloaf Burgers

Serve up a cheesy surprise at the next backyard barbecue with the cheddar-stuffed meatloaf burger.

Get the recipe here…




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