Shaun White Surprise-Orders Namesake Burger at S. Korean Restaurant

The “Flying Tomato” burger cost $923, but the Flying Tomato ate it for free.

By Ethan L. Johns
February 12, 2018

Image: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Before he lopped most of it off, US snowboarder Shaun White was known by many for his long, flowing, wavy red locks. Those same locks resulted in a nickname that has stuck: the Flying Tomato.

In Pyeongchang, one South Korean chef gave an expensive burger the very same nickname in a display of support for the American athlete’s quest for another Olympic gold medal in the halfpipe. To the chef’s surprise, White caught wind of the tribute and popped in on Sunday to give it a taste.

“Is it real? This is Shaun White? It is not a dream?” said Cha Gwen Sol, chef at the fast food restaurant Santa Burger, according to Reuters. “He ordered from me the Flying Tomato Burger and so I cook it for him. Today is a very happy day.”

Cha had added the Flying Tomato burger to his menu as a stunt, assuming that nobody would buy it because of its 1 million South Korean won price tag (equivalent to $923). But when White walked in with some friends and ordered his namesake burger—which is composed of two burger patties, two different types of cheese, and two chicken wings—they ate the tribute for free.

White, who sustained some nasty injuries back in October while on a halfpipe training run in New Zealand, will compete in the men’s halfpipe qualifier on Tuesday at the Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang (Monday at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time on NBCSN). If he succeeds in qualifying, he will ride again in the final on Wednesday (Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on NBC).

That should give the Flying Tomato enough time to digest his Flying Tomato.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns