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Harken back to when Shake Shack was not a burger-flipping force in more than 130 locations around the globe.

Then, in 2001, it was a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park, where it opened as part of an art installation. It operated for three summers, losing money each year.

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So says its creator, restaurateur Danny Meyer, in a new book full of origin tidbits and recipes from the land of the longest lines. Published this month by Clarkson Potter, “Shake Shack” was co-written by company CEO Randy Garutti and culinary director Mark Rosati.

If you’re looking for culinary secrets, forget about it. The recipe for ShackSauce, for instance? Rosati, in an interview with The Associated Press, wasn’t giving it up, but the book gets Shack fanatics close with another recipe that can be made at home. It’s a fun read, part Shack kitsch and part, if you must have crinkle fries, here’s how to make some.

Rosati started as a line cook at Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern before heading for the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park that replaced the cart.

“I didn’t want to go. I thought it would destroy my career,” he said. “I was going from fine dining, cooking with white truffles and foie gras, to flipping burgers? Then I saw all the same ingredients we were using at Gramercy. The same beef, the same produce and the same hospitality our company is known for. So I thought, I’ll do this for a year. Fast forward 10 years.”

Our conversation with Mark Rosati:

___

AP: Tell us how to think like a burger maker? Does kale ever belong on a burger? Why can’t you get a burger rare at Shake Shack?

Rosati: It comes down to you need to find the finest ingredients possible if you’re going to make a really stellar burger.

And kale, yeah, it can work in the right context. Maybe if it’s in the summertime and you throw the kale on the griddle and it gets a little smoky and crispy, toss in some olive oil, maybe some garlic, maybe a little Parmesan cheese and put that on top of a burger. That’s going to be pretty good.

We feel the best experience is in the burgers cooked medium. We want those juices to be a little runny and drippy. That’s where the pleasure factor is. You need to use the whole muscle, or the steak, because that’s where all the flavor is. If you take the trimmings, which most butchers do, they don’t have the flavor. That’s the real secret.

AP: What’s your favorite burger?

If you’re looking for culinary secrets, forget about it. The recipe for ShackSauce, for instance? Rosati, in an interview with The Associated Press, wasn’t giving it up, but the book gets Shack fanatics close with another recipe that can be made at home. It’s a fun read, part Shack kitsch and part, if you must have crinkle fries, here’s how to make some.

Rosati started as a line cook at Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern before heading for the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park that replaced the cart.

“I didn’t want to go. I thought it would destroy my career,” he said. “I was going from fine dining, cooking with white truffles and foie gras, to flipping burgers? Then I saw all the same ingredients we were using at Gramercy. The same beef, the same produce and the same hospitality our company is known for. So I thought, I’ll do this for a year. Fast forward 10 years.”

Our conversation with Mark Rosati:

___

AP: Tell us how to think like a burger maker? Does kale ever belong on a burger? Why can’t you get a burger rare at Shake Shack?

Rosati: It comes down to you need to find the finest ingredients possible if you’re going to make a really stellar burger.

And kale, yeah, it can work in the right context. Maybe if it’s in the summertime and you throw the kale on the griddle and it gets a little smoky and crispy, toss in some olive oil, maybe some garlic, maybe a little Parmesan cheese and put that on top of a burger. That’s going to be pretty good.

We feel the best experience is in the burgers cooked medium. We want those juices to be a little runny and drippy. That’s where the pleasure factor is. You need to use the whole muscle, or the steak, because that’s where all the flavor is. If you take the trimmings, which most butchers do, they don’t have the flavor. That’s the real secret.

AP: What’s your favorite burger?

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