Bristol BBQ enthusiast who sold burgers for fun in lockdown scoops national award

A Bristol BBQ enthusiast who started flipping burgers for a hobby now toasts success as well as buns after winning in the 2021 National Burger Awards - just a year later.

Danny Hawke, 41, decided to turn his hand to selling burgers last autumn after finding joy making his own patties in his personal time as a hobby.

The father-of-one started popping up a nine-metre-squared gazebo in a brewery courtyard and sold all 50 of his aged-beef organic smash burgers in September last year.

Danny Hawke

The budding chef rocked up every Friday, and his creations became so popular, he now runs the venture on Thursdays and Saturdays too, griddling up to 200 patties a night.

Entrepreneurial Danny, who lives in Bristol and still runs his first business making barbecues, beat 14 other grand-finalists to be crowned the British Burger Chef of the Year on September 28.

Danny, who is the proud owner of Danny’s Burgers and Bristol Drum Smokers, said: “I’m really pleased about it.

“It was just for fun and got so crazy busy - I’m absolutely loving it.

“I’m just really passionate about barbecuing, and food generally.

“I think my passion for it just comes across in the food.

“I work on the grill and people can see I’m fully into it.

“I think that makes a huge difference to a business.”

Danny has been selling his Texas-style barbecues made from painted oil drums for six years - a business he also started for the love of it.

Feedback he got on Facebook from posting pictures of burgers he made for himself, plus work experience at a local restaurant, gave him the confidence to trial Danny’s Burgers.

Barbecue-loving Danny now hosts four staff, two grills, fridges and a double deep-fat frier in his three-by-three metre gazebo where he sells his unique burgers.

He can be found flipping patties in the courtyard of the Fierce & Noble brewery in Bristol where he lives with partner Lucia George, 27, and two-year-old son River.

Danny Hawke, 41, decided to turn his hand to selling burgers last autumn after finding joy making his own patties in his personal time as a hobby.

Happy Danny, who toughed-out last winter as freezing winds threatened to uproot his shelter, has now raised enough cash to buy a food truck.

“Last winter was horrendous,” he said, “but the hard work is really paying off and it was all worth it.”