Blame Canada: Sydney's Burger Icon From Bar Luca

15 April, 2020

The Blame Canada is Sydney’s iconic burger from Bar Luca, BL burgers and Loaded by BL. The ‘Blame’ will celebrate its 5th birthday in May, so we thought it appropriate and timely to investigate the origins of the famous meat and buns.

Sarah and James Robbins met when both were apprentice chefs in the year 2000. Sarah was studying commercial cookery, and James was a pastry chef to-be. It was the beginning of a romance which has since delivered some of Sydney’s most beloved burger institutions, Bar Luca, BL Burgers and Loaded by BL.

The BL brand has always been renowned for its specials, and the Blame Canada originated as one of them. When asked where the creative responsibility of the weekly or monthly releases rests, Sarah says “it’s definitely a team effort, sometimes the crew will come to me with an idea or theme, and we’ll take it from there. I usually send James my ideas as pictures of what I have created at Bar Luca, and he will test the idea at Loaded, give some input, and it is a back and forth process until we are happy with the result.”

'the facts surrounding who first suggested the idea, is a somewhat contentious issue'


The satirical song ‘Blame Canada’ from the 1999 South Park movie lends its name to the creation which features a beef patty, American cheese, maple glazed streaky bacon, maple aioli and poutine on a milk bun. However, the facts surrounding who first suggested the idea, is a somewhat contentious issue, and the source of many a “heated discussions” between the couple. Beyond dispute is that Sarah thought-up the addition of poutine, and James contributed the maple bacon and maple aioli.

'the “overall hype and experience” have made it a Sydney culinary icon'

The instant popularity of the Blame Canada necessitated its addition to the main menu, which occurred within a month of its time as a special. The unique flavours of the Blame, in combination with the “overall hype and experience” have made it a Sydney culinary icon, and has led to a multitude of spin-off specials and main menu listings, including the Blame Australia, Blame India, Blamerica and Flame Canada.

This May will bring the Blame Canada’s 5th birthday. Although Sarah and James’  plans for a week-long celebration befitting of the famous burg may be required to be postponed until the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has been endured by Sydney, when it does occur, it is destined to “be epic”.

Photography: Kera Wong @kerabeareats

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