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South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Amstel Light Burger Bash 2013

South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Amstel Light Burger Bash 2013


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This year's Amstel Light Burger Bash at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival was a free for all, a go-for-broke takedown of three-time champion Iron Chef Michael Symon, who it has seemed nobody could come close to dethroning no matter how hard they tried over the course of the past few years. Take for instance comments from just a few of the chefs gunning for Symon's title. Guy Fieri, called him, "a bad ass," and then Chopped judge and Landmarc chef Marc Murphy said, "Today, it's all about beating the bald guy."

View Slides: Amstel Light Burger Bash 2013 Slideshow

Other chefs were less competitive. Laurent Tourendel of New York's LT Burger sounded just happy to be there noting, "I love zee hamburgers. I like zee challenge. I like zee people. I like zee whole thing." Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who participated last year and was on this year's judges' panel, took a more jovial approach, stopping by Symon's table to offer a one-liner riffing off of his fellow Iron Chef's burger joint the B Spot. "Michael Symion and I are opening up another burger joint for an older demographic," he noted. "It's going to be called The Bald Spot."

Others like three-time champ of the New York City Wine & Food Festival chef Josh Capon of New York's Burger & Barrel had his trophies out and his confidence on display. There were some 34 burgers on the offer under the tents beachside behind The Ritz-Carlton Hotel. If you didn't have early access to the event... good luck. It was a long wait for the event attendees — no surprise — down the block from the beach all the way to the entrance of the Ritz (but over on the DecoPlage Condominium side).

Michael Symon brought a French onion burger out of Cleveland to try for his fourth straight win. The man he said he was looking over his shoulder for, friend and fellow Food Network Iron Chef Bobby Flay, brought a very strong green chile burger from his growing chain Bobby's Burger Palace. Josh Capon's B&B Bash Burger brought it, taking his side (rosemary garlic Parmesan tater tots) and putting them on his burger instead, and Quality Meats' bacon and blue dry-aged burger was another strong contender. Ford's Filling Station out of Culver City, Calif., served a juicy lamb burger, and Guy Fieri didn't blink, serving a Jell-O shot with his crispy sourdough pressed chili cheeseburger. Shake Shack (one of The Daily Meal's 101 Best Restaurants for 2013) once again took no prisoners, grilling a heritage hamburger with American cheese and pickled green tomatoes — for a taste that could only be called the ultimate breakfast burger.

There were 11,000 pounds of beef on hand, but there could only be one true champion. It wasn't a complete shock that Michael Symon didn't win — his French onion burger wasn't the strongest of the burgers he'd won with the past three years, but the judge's choice, the likeable Sandwich King Jeff Mauro was a curious choice. His burger, "The Greatest Patty Melt in the History of AMERICA" when tasted by this reporter was cold and served on mushy bread, not anywhere near as good as the New York City Wine & Food Festival Sandwich Showdown winner Marble Lane.

Dissenters can take it up with the judges (Anne Burrell, Andrew Zimmern, Jeffrey Chodorow, and Spike Mendelsohn), who must have had some super prime specimens straight off the griddle. At least chef Bobby Flay finally got some satisfaction. He finally got the South Beach burger monkey off his back by winning the People's Choice Award with a riff on the New Mexico classic green chile cheeseburger, but crunchified.


Wine and Food Festival 2013

February is world known as the month of love. In Miami Beach a love specifically for food and wine takes form as the Wine and Food Festival (WFF). This year WFF will be held during the weekend of February 21-24. WFF 2013 promises to be bigger and better than ever before. You may have noticed the banners popping up over the McCarthur causeway (and well… everywhere else) announcing the appearances of food personalities such as Guy Fereil and Paula Abdeen. WFF has a talent for bringing in all of our favorite culinary celebrities and allowing us to observe them as they work their magic in person by attending events such as BBQ & The Blues, Carnivorous Dinner, Swine & Wine, The Grand Tasting Village, Tribute Dinner, and Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best.

WFF should be treated as a five course meal because every event (such as a film screening of my favorite food documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” hosted by Anthony Bourdain, Garden to Glass held in the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Amstel Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachel Ray and Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament hosted by José Andrés at Turnberry Isle Miami) is as impossible to pass up as the next. Purchase tickets on the official WFF website and do it ASAP because tickets are selling like hot cakes. This year’s festival ends with a closing ceremony featuring a cook off and concert between Ziggy Marley and Guy Fereil! Happy WFF 2013!


Burger Bash 2013 Winners: Guy Fieri and Josh Capon

FN Dish was at the event to take in all the sights, sounds and aromas. Watch the video above to see what went down and read on for more details on Guy's and Josh's winning burgers and ones from Bobby Flay and Marc Murphy.

For the past three New York Burger bashes, Josh Capon has held the bragging rights, and according to Bobby Flay, "he (Josh) talks a big game, but he's tough to beat." But now Food Network's own Guy Fieri can claim the crown even if he has to share it. Representing his New York City restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, Guy Fieri created a Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese Burger (pictured above) that featured crispy applewood-smoked bacon, creamy four-cheese mac and cheese, all-natural ground beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, super-melty cheese, garlic butter and toasted brioche.

Bobby's contribution this year was the Carolina burger (pictured above), which included mustard barbecue sauce, smoked cheese, red cabbage slaw and potato chips. "At Bobby's Burger Place," he said, "I take flavors that are indigenous to certain parts of the country and put them on burgers." So with this burger "you get those intense Carolina flavors."

Chopped judge Marc Murphy presented The Sweet Cheesus burger (pictured above) from his restaurant Ditch Plains. It featured an all-beef burger with the restaurant's famous mac 'n' cheese, bacon and sweet and spicy relish. It looks like the new trend just might be putting mac 'n' cheese on a burger!

Burger & Barrel's Josh Capon showcased his classic burger (pictured above), which earned him his three previous Burger Bash wins, so why fix it if it's not broken? The burger was topped with caramelized onion and bacon jam, shaved pickles, American cheese and secret sauce.

Keep coming back to FN Dish all weekend long for more coverage of the festival.


Red Robin Gives Best of the Bash Burger Award

Culinary maestros battled for burger supremacy at the Food Network and Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Amstel Light Burger Bash.

For the third year in a row,Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (Red Robin) presented its Best of the Bash Award. Chef Michell Sanchez of Latin House Grill located in Miami wowed the judges with his Madlove Champ burger, which features a craveable combination of brisket, chuck and sirloin, topped with three-cheeses, Applewood maple-glazed bacon, butter lettuce, plum tomatoes, avocados, and candied jalapenos.

As the winner of the Red Robin’s Best of the Bash Award, Chef Mitchell Sanchez will receive $10,000 and the chance for his burger to appear on the premium burger menu as a limited-time offering later this year.

All chefs who participated in the Amstel Light Burger Bash had the opportunity to submit their burger recipe for Red Robin’s Best of the Bash Award. Chef Marc Murphy, host of Food Network’s Chopped and owner of New York City restaurants Landmarc and Ditch Plains, along with Dana Benfield, Red Robin’s vice president of engagement marketing, and Karen Kaehler, the brand’s culinary manager, tasted, judged and selected Chef Michell Sanchez as the winner based on creativity, taste, and presentation.

“Red Robin’s Finest line continues to be a great platform to showcase award-winning culinary creativity,” says Dana Benfield, Red Robin’s vice president of engagement marketing.

In addition to presenting the Best of the Bash Award, Red Robin also served the winning burger from its Golden Robin Contest. Red Robin invited students from the Florida International University’s (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, the beneficiary of all proceeds from the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival, to submit their original burger recipes.

Alex Bello was selected as the winner for his Buffalo Mac ‘N Cheesy Burger, a delicious take on a tavern style cheeseburger with two fire-grilled beef patties topped with Red Robin’s Mac ‘N Cheesy, melted Muenster cheese, Heinz Buffalo Wing Sauce, and Ranch dressing on a toasted sesame seed bun.

In addition to serving samples of his winning burger to Amstel Light Burger Bash attendees, Bello won a $10,000 scholarship and a chance to have his burger featured on the Red Robin menu.

Read more

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.


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Restaurants from across the nation participated in Burger Bash, including New York City's Butter and Morimoto. Miami participants included Sakaya Kitchen, Pincho, Fooq's, and Tucker Duke's.

After taking a break the past two years, Rachael Ray returned to host Burger Bash, where she presented three prizes for burgers chosen attendees and a panel of judges.

New York City's Butter won the coveted Heineken Light People's Choice Award. Food Network celebrity and Butter executive chef Alex Guarnaschelli jumped every time someone voted for her succulent bone marrow burger. She also took selfies with the crowd and hugged burger fans who stopped to say hello.

Weston's Kewpee Hamburgers, from Lansing, Michigan, received the Schweid & Sons' Very Best Burger Award, and Hugh Baby's BBQ & Burger Shop from Nashville was named Red Robin's Best of the Bash.

At Art of Tiki, bartenders from the top tiki bars across the nation created their versions of classic tiki drinks.

Criteria for the rum-based libations included a balance of flavors and presentation &mdash an essential part of a tiki cocktail. The bartenders presented the potent potables in creative tiki mugs garnished with tropical flowers and skulls.

Once again, Miami dominated the evening of revelry and cocktails.

The team from Spanglish won the Judge's Choice Award for its Me Love You Long Thai, a cocktail served in a panda-shaped mug.

The bar team from the Sylvester won the People's Choice Award for its Mayahuel's Colada, complete with a backstory of a beautiful young goddess who angered her abuela.

The two winners then competed in a runoff that tasked them with creating a cocktail on the fly. Spanglish was named the overall tiki victor.

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A Burger Bash

Just when I think the winter doldrums have gotten the best of me&mdashthere is the South Beach Food Festival. Three days of wine and food tasting, late night chef's gatherings (a poker party hosted by Paula Deen for one) and the seminars given by Food Network stars always lifts me up but this year, the event that really got me going was by far, The Burger Bash.

Hosted by Rachel Ray and sponsored by Amstel Light, this event showcases 22 amazing chefs (including Bobby Flay and Masaharu Morimoto) grilling burgers and dishing out clever side dishes of their own invention in a giant tent on the beach. This was my third year of attending but after a flurry of fries and a few beers, it struck me: A party idea this upbeat, this simple has the power to cure the ides of March!

Producing Your Own Burger Bash

The Burgers

As far as meat prep goes, I like last year's winner, Michael Schlow's simple approach: 80% lean ground beef (no leaner, no matter how tempting) mixed with an ounce of olive oil, some salt, and plenty of black pepper. Then grill up a batch of burgers till they are rare and keep them in a warming oven. But before they go into the oven, cover them with Vermont or English cheddar cheese and let it slowly melt into the meat. Make enough cheeseburgers (with a few plain for the non-dairy sector) to feed your crowd. Click here to see Schlow's recipe.

A Slew of Fixings

Prepare some or all of these award-winning burger toppings.

Bobby Flay's "Bobby Blue Crunchified Burger" is topped with blue cheese (I mix in some sour cream for a paste), bacon, lettuce and tomato plus a pile of potato chips that he says he always topped his burgers with as a kid.

Spike Mendelsohn (the Season 4 Top Chef contestant) won with his Coletti's Smokehouse Burger, topped with Applewood bacon, sharp Vermont cheddar, fried Vidalia onion rings and chipotle barbecue sauce. (You can buy a variety of great barbecue sauces at BourbonQ.com, including Bear Claw chipotle sauce, which is hot and fabulous.)

Michael Schlow's "Schlow Burger" all comes down to the killer lemon horseradish sauce. Serve it in a bowl on a platter with crispy onions surrounding it.

Side Dish Ideas From the Pros

&bullChef Katie Lee Joel made homemade potato chips that were consumed by the bucketful.
&bullMasaharu Morimoto served wasabi mashed potatoes with his wagyu burger.
&bullAlex Gray for Every Day with Rachael Ray served potato wedges with pesto drizzle.
&bull LA's Counter Restaurant served fried pickle chips.

The winning side dish though, was from Chef Carol Wallack of Sola Restaurant in Chicago&mdashhomemade truffle fries. Carol uses hand-cut fresh potatoes but you can certainly make a good and easy substitute with frozen fries and finishing them as she does with truffle oil and sprinkles of Parmigiana-Reggiano cheeses.

The Burger Buffet Display

If it's remotely warm where you are&mdashset up outside! If it's a bit too brisk, so what?! Provide lap blankets and tell friends to bundle up&mdashthat's a part of the fun (though it's always good to keep the indoors prepped as a back up).

Serveware: Get out a bunch of your most colorful and playful platters and bowls, and a big wooden chopping block to place the burgers in their toasted buns.

Food Presentation: Take a cue from The Burger Bash and cut some of the burgers into quarters so guests can try several different concoctions.

Beverages: Fill up an ice bucket (or a fridge) with light and regular beers (I'd suggest Amstel Light and Sam Adams),&mdashno need to get any fancier with beverages (although if you are feeling really ambitious, milkshakes are sure to impress).


How to Navigate the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

If you haven't already bought your tickets, then you better get on that right away. Most-wanted events like Rachael Ray's big beef patty showdown, a.k.a. the Amstel Light Burger Bash, and Wine Spectator's upscale tasting, the Best of the Best, are already sold out. That doesn't mean you can't work your way in there. Come 'on now! Ever hear of a little thing called Craigslist? Well, as the festival is the Super Bowl of food, you may find a few of these sought-after tickets floating around. Remember: You did not hear this from us. For the more conservative shoppers, there are still several tickets available that can be bought directly from the event's official Website. As of press time, tickets for Kevin Zraly's hourlong Italian wine seminar and the all-day feeding frenzy known as the Whole Foods Market Grand Village Tasting are still on sale.

The majority of the festival venues are centered right on Miami's famous South Beach. The main event &mdash the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village &mdash is housed in white circus tents that stretch across the sand for blocks. The best places to stay are those within easy walking distance of the tent entrance (13th Street and Ocean Drive) and the other venues scattered around South Beach: the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, the Hilton Bentley Beach, the Betsy Hotel, the Delano &mdash all of which are hosting events throughout the weekend. Of course many of these top hotels, like the newly minted W South Beach, the Raleigh, and the Fontainebleau, are already at (or near) capacity. A search on Bing Travel resulted in several economical options, however. And even if you can't book a room at one of the swanky hotels on the beach, a visit to the lobby will still bear fruit. (Last year, we spotted Emeril at the Loews).

Now that you've got your tickets and hotel room, you need start making friends. Food is the perfect conversation starter! But this genial act is also a strategic one. Reason being? You can score tips, tricks, and access to private parties. We missed a few because we pretty much had our nose in our plates the whole time, but this year we plan to be sniffing out the action.

If you're still hungry, Miami is a spectacular town to wine and dine. A few of our favorites include Laurent Tourendel's BLT Steak, the ever-popular Mr. Chow, and local star chef and Top Chef guest judge Michelle Bernstein's Michy's and Sra. Martinez. Bonus: Miami is a party town, so the restaurants stay open late.

Get there early: Beat the crowds if you can and arrive on time. If not, you may be elbowing your way to the food.

Have a game plan: The average wait time to get a taste of the chef competitors' fare at the Burger Bash was about 5-20 minutes. Approach it like Disney World. You may have to skip Space Mountain and instead ride It's a Small World a few times before the line lets up.

Divide and conquer: If you've got some friends (hopefully you've made some by now!) divide and conquer. Grab a few samples, then pick a meeting spot to wolf those juicy morsels down. Time is valuable, people!

Stay hydrated: Think of this as the Olympics of food, and you as a competitive eater. You'll need to stay hydrated, so look for the water sponsors passing out chilled bottles in the tent. (Drinking water is also essential since you'll be washing down those bites with plenty of vino!)

Eat breakfast: Yes, there will be a lot of food to tackle each day (and night), but get that metabolism pumping by starting the day with a healthy breakfast. Morning in South Beach is great for people watching. News Café, Big Pink, and The Café at Books and Books on the pedestrian-friendly Lincoln Road are great places to check out.

Get some rest: All that eating and running around last year put us in a food coma. A little afternoon catnap overlooking the beautiful blue Atlantic is essential to maintaining stamina!

Don't be shy: All the star chefs will be on hand roaming the beach, cooking up their best recipes, signing cookbooks, and throwing back a few. Don't get tongue-tied (or chew with your mouth open) when you spot one. They are there for the fans and hey, they are real people. So step right up and tell Paula Deen just how much you'd like to marry her son Bobby. (Did we just say that?)

Are you pumped? Ready to eat your way into oblivion? We are! Say "hi" if you do make it down, but if not there's always next year's blowout, when the South Beach Wine & Food Festival will celebrate its 10-year anniversary. We can't wait!


Reader Interactions

Comments

I love burgers so much, especially big fire grilled restaurant burgers. I wish I could have attended that event and tried some of these award winning burgers. Just that first picture makes my mouth water- that patty, that light bun, those giant steak fries!
I did not know that Guy Fieri had a burger joint on Carnival Liberty that is really interesting. But what is his dressing that won the award? I mean, I'm sure he won't share how to make it, but at least what is it called or what is it reminiscent to so I know what kind of flavors are involved.

That's one good looking burger!

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Finest Smoke & Pepper Red Robin's new burger

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. – Red Robin is developing a line of handmade, half-pound Black Angus beef burgers served with premium toppings, and the Finest Smoke & Pepper Signature burger is the first offering.

The burger was inspired by Chef Laurent Tourondel, winner of Red Robin’s 2013 Best of the Bash Award at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s Amstel Light Burger Bash. Tourondel's creation was the Smashed Smoke Burger which features black pepper bacon, New York State cheddar, Spanish onion and sweet sauce.

Red Robin's Smoke & Pepper burger features a half-pound Black Angus burger seasoned with Alderwood smoked sea salt and topped with black-pepper bacon, extra-sharp Cheddar and house-made Smoke & Pepper ketchup. The burger and toppings are served on a buttered and toasted ciabatta bun. The Smoke & Pepper burger with Red Robin's Bottomless Steak Fries is available as a limited-time offering for $13.49.

"As a chef and owner of many wonderful restaurants around the world, I am constantly coming up with savory combinations to create an exceptional taste experience," Tourondel said. "This new burger at Red Robin is an upscale take on a classic bacon cheeseburger. The sweet, smoky and peppery flavors of the sauce blend perfectly with the high quality seasoned beef and bite of peppery bacon on this burger. I am pleased to see their version of my award-winning recipe available in almost 500 locations!"

Tourondel is co-owner of two LT Burger locations with Michael Cinque, owner of Amagansett Wines & Spirits.


Watch the video: Burger Bash South Beach Wine and Food Festival (June 2022).