Phat Burger fryer up in flames at Food and Wine show

The Insel Fehmarn Hotel Food and Wine Festival got off to an unexpectedly intense start on Saturday morning when a deep fryer caught ablaze for several minutes.

The destruction of the fryer belonging to Phat Burger, will now temporarily force the closure of the popular burger joint just weeks away from the first anniversary of its opening. 

The restaurant's co-founder, Kelly Walker, was nearly finished setting up for the festival when her deep fryer caught on fire. 

It took several minutes before a fire extinguisher could be found and the blaze was put out.

Ms. Walker and her partner and co-founder, Kylie Fauchelle, were unable to deliver the ‘kiwi’ menu they had prepared for the day and so packed up their stall.

“Everything we’ve got has got fried stuff with it, there is no way we could recoup our costs just doing burgers," she said. 

Phat Burger had spent about $1200 on the Food and Wine Festival stall, Ms. Walker said, and was expecting to make $2000 from the Festival.

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“It’s $300 to just be here, we got a sign especially made which was $450, and then all the extra stock," the co-founder said. 

“We were going to do a special cocktail today so we bought a new drinks dispenser for that.”

Posting on Facebook, the team wrote that their fryer is now “in the kitchen in the sky.”

A new deep fryer will have to be imported from New Zealand, she said, and could cost up to $10,000.

Locally available options in Samoa are not high quality, according to Ms. Walker.

“We’ve had had problems with that fryer ever since we first bought it, we’ve had it repaired a few times,” she said.

“It’s probably just a bad fryer.”

Phat Burger will have to adjust their menu and close temporarily while they wait for a new machine. In the meantime, they are appealing to their fans to help them get back on their feet.

“We’ll fix something together but we’re not going to be able to do as much as we normally do or as fast as we normally do it until we get a replacement fryer," she said. 

Anyone who wants to support Phat Burger can contact them through their Facebook Page or call the business line, 722 4260.

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