Russell Norman and Margot Henderson among chefs serving guest burgers at iconic London restaurant

Joe Allen, the historic theatre land restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden, has invited some of London’s best-loved chefs to create their own take on the restaurant’s off-menu burger.

The restaurant’s own alumnus, Russell Norman, will be stepping into the kitchen, alongside Neil Rankin, Margot Henderson and The Cheese Bar’s Mathew Carver, for the ultimate burger collaboration – and for one month only, the not-so-secret burger will appear on the menu for the first time ever in Joe Allen’s 41-year history.

The guest burger series kicks off with a celebratory party on Monday, Jun11, hosted by New York burger aficionado Daniel Young, as all four chefs take to the grills.

Surrounded by Joe Allen’s classic theatre posters, and accompanied by a soundtrack of live piano show tunes, diners can pick their favourite burger alongside crispy French fries, followed by a signature Joe Allen chocolate and candied walnut brownie with vanilla ice cream.

Each burger will star on the menu for one week only, starting with Neil Rankin from Temper and his Louisiana-inspired Aged beef and oyster po’ boy burger; Mathew Carver, founder of The Cheese Bar will, as ever, champion British cheese with his Cheese Bar Patty Melt, topped with smoked Lincolnshire Poacher, house pickle and sticky onion relish; Margot Henderson’s burger will feature Swaledale chuck mince on a St JohnMargot Henderson burger bun, roast and raw beetroot, roast red onion, watercress, green sauce and Rochelle ketchup; and Russell Norman will draw inspiration from his recent travels in Italy with his Neapolitan Burger with Buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomato and basil.

Co-owners Tim Healy and Lawrence Hartley said: “An off-stage secret, the cult classic burger has never appeared on Joe Allen’s menu but has been the go-to order of those in the know since the restaurant opened in 1977. We’re excited to welcome a line-up of chefs with such culinary pedigree to put their own stamp on one of Joe’s best-loved dishes.

Each guest burger will feature on the menu for one week, starting with Neil Rankin’s aged beef and oyster po’ boy burger from June 11-17.

Matthew Carver’s Cheese Bar Patty Melt will be on the menu from June 18-24 and Margot Henderson’s Rochelle Burger from June 25-July 1. Russell Norman’s Neapolitan Burger rounds things off from July 2-8.