South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Burger Bash: A Meaty Good Time

Categories: Food Festivals

All photos by Laine Doss
The Burger Bash tent
​Burger Bash, hosted by Rachael Ray, is one of the most popular events at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. One of the first events to be sold out, the 2011 Burger Bash featured 26 chefs presenting their best burgers.

Last evening's Burger Bash was packed with celebrity chefs and fans who tried to sample as many burgers as they could before reaching critical mass. Amstel Light, Diet Pepsi, Fiji Water and Loire Valley Wines were on hand to wash the meaty treats down.

Clean Plate Charlie did not sample all the burgers, but we did get around to more than a few. Burger highlights included:

Town Kitchen & Bar's (Miami, FL) - "O" Burger, laced with applewood bacon, onion marmalade, white cheddar and apple butter on a brioche bun. The burger was served with a Milk Stout Float, a milk stout beer mixed with vanilla bean ice cream.

El Mago de las Fritas (Miami, FL) -  a muy caliente Latin spiced burger.

The National (New York, NY) - The National Burger, a lightly seasoned burger with gruyere cheese, pickled jalapenos and secret sauce, accompanied by gingered cole slaw. Chef Geoffrey Zakarian

The B Spot (Cleveland, OH) - Yo! Burger came with a slice of fried salami, provolone, shasha sauce and pickled onion. Chef Michael Symon

Love Shack (Ft. Worth, TX) -  Elk, foie gras, arugula, huckleberry jam. Chef Tim Love

Good Stuff Eatery (Washington DC) - Colletti Smokehouse Burger with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, onion rings and chipotle sauce. Chef Spike Mendelsohn

Celebrity chefs spotted included hostess Rachael Ray, Anthony Bourdain, Ted Allen, Wylie Dufrense, Gail Simmons, Anne Burrell, Bobby Flay, Geoffrey Zakarian, Spike Mendelson, Tim Love, Michael Schwartz, Allen Susser and Todd English.

Rachael Ray announced the awards at the end of the evening. The Best Side Dish award went to Burger and Beer Joint of Miami Beach for their truffled baked potato salad. The Condiment Award went to Michael Symon for his shasha sauce. The Meat Award went to Mark Murphy of Landmark.  The coveted People's Choice Award went to Michael Symon's B Spot for an amazing second year in a row. That's something to moo about!



​Chef Michael Symon and Chef Allen Susser



Ted Allen, star of The Food Network's "Chopped"



Burger Bash judges Alex Guarnaschelli and Todd English

SBWFF spike.jpg

Spike Mendelsohn as The Hamburgler


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Rikki Altman ​and Top Chef Judge and Food & Wine Magazine Editor Gail Simmons




Town's "O" Burger and Milk Stout Float



Lee Schrager and Rachael Ray present Michael Symon with his People's Choice award




Follow Clean Plate Charlie Facebook on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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My Voice Nation Help

Having attended the VIP Burger Bash I have to say that though we LOVED the event and how everything was done we found the official Hostess Rachel Ray to have a very off putting presence. She arrived with so much security that I thought for a moment maybe the President was going to show. For the few nano seconds she walked through the tent before going on stage to accept the donation to her charity, she had her back turned to her guests/fans. Not once did she smile, wave or turn her back around. Not what I would call a gracious host! This was in stark contrast to all the other "celeb"chefs who were so friendly, down to earth and posed for the cameras with fans and attendees. Rachel Ray's behavior was a BIG TURN OFF and she lost me as a fan.

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