At 7 feet tall and 240 pounds, Cody Zeller has an appetite. Not just for good food—but for helping the community he calls home. So, he jumped (pardon the pun) at the chance to create a burger that would help children and their families who receive care at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital.
The Hoop, There It Is is a delicious homage to Zeller and his Indiana roots. The NBA star is a native Hoosier, and he played college hoops at Indiana University.
Zeller, who’s been a Charlotte Hornet since he was drafted in 2013, worked with The Cowfish Executive Chef David Lucarelli to develop a satisfying burger that honors Zeller’s native state. The Hoop, There It Is burger is made with all-natural ground chuck and topped with a breaded-and-fried pork tenderloin; Hoop cheese, a simple, traditional cheese made from cow’s milk; pickles and Indiana sweet mustard sauce.
For a very limited time—during May only—The Cowfish will donate $5 from the sale of each $15 Hoop, There It Is burger to Hemby Children’s Hospital, one of Zeller’s favorite charities.
“Cody especially loves the charity aspect of this,” said Lucarelli. “But he also had fun developing this massive cheeseburger made with some of his favorite food from back home. If you think bacon is great on a burger, wait until you taste fried pork tenderloin as a burger topping. I think we may be setting a new standard.”
“I love the food at The Cowfish, especially the Longhorn Burger,” Zeller says. “But I also miss the food I grew up on. I’m excited to introduce people to Hoop cheese, if they haven’t tried it before, but I’m even more excited about helping the kids at Hemby Children’s Hospital.”
The Cowfish invented burgushi, a fusion of burgers and sushi that includes rolls created using burger components and sandwiches made with sushi ingredients. The menu includes traditional sashimi, nigiri and basic rolls, plus entree-sized fusion specialty rolls. Extensive burger offerings include signature burgers crafted with beef, ahi tuna, bison, lamb, turkey and veggie patties. All beef burgers are prepared with a half-pound of grass-fed, hormone-free and antibiotic-free beef. Other tried-and-true recipes on the menu include Asian-inspired appetizers, salads and the popular “Build Your Own Sushi Roll” menu where guests can customize sushi rolls.