Little Bites: Ryan Fichter of Thunder Burger’s IPA Venison Sliders

By Nevin Martell

Oftentimes chefs don’t want to cook another meal when they get home after an arduous 12-hour stretch behind the burners. But throwing together a comforting snack to help take the edge off the day is another proposition entirely. These scrumptious nibbles don’t require a degree from the Culinary Institute of America to make, but they’re worthy of winning a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge.

This week, we forgo the hassle of taking public transportation to Georgetown and just drive over to Thunder Burger on M St., where executive chef Ryan Fichter loves to turn unexpected proteins like boar, bison, and elk into primo patties. To help celebrate the arrival of fall, he shares his recipe for IPA venison sliders, which are a perfect snack either post-hunt or pre-game.



  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1/2 IPA beer (Sierra Nevada is a good choice)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions sliced in 2 inch pieces
  • 2 ounces blue cheese (or your choice of cheese)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced
  • 8 mini dinner rolls


  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Grill the scallions until slightly crispy.
  3. Mix together venison, beer, thyme, mustard, salt, and pepper, then form into 8 small patties.
  4. Grill the patties until medium rare, then crumble blue cheese on top.
  5. Serve on toasted rolls with the tomato and the grilled scallion on the top of the burger.
  • CM

    Wow, sounds amazing.