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Iron Chef Michael Symon Wins 2010 Burger Bash

By • Feb 27th, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog

Twenty-seven top chefs from around the globe descended on Miami last week to take part in the 2010 Burger Bash, part of the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival.  And while beermaker Amstel Light is the event’s title sponsor, it’s generally seen as media darling Rachael Ray’s party.  Here she is cramming one in at the 2009 Bash, in a pic from Manny Hernandez:

Sadly, yours truly apparently does not rank high enough within the burger blogosphere to score an invite to this fancypants foodie fete.  And at $200 a head just to get in the door to the sold-out event, going on my own dime simply wasn’t a practical option.  (So much for the simple cheeseburger being a food of the people, by the people, and for the people.  I guess what they really meant was “the rich people.”)

Among the participants cooking up burgs this year were such notables as Bobby Flay (a spice-crusted burger with slaw, Monterey Jack, BBQ sauce, and pickles), Rocco DiSpirito (a pork and chow-chow slider studded with walnuts, wrapped in bacon, and topped with pickled beets), Masaharu Morimoto (a beef burger with glazed pork belly on top), and defending Burger Bash champ Spike Mendelsohn (a “farmhouse” bacon cheeseburger), shown here with the 2009 trophy:

But it wasn’t just a celebrichef convention.  An “Everyday with Rachael Ray” magazine contest winner was there, right alongside the big boys, serving up her pomegranate-feta burgers made with lamb meat.  And Amstel Light sent Lori Welander, a volunteer cooking class teacher from Virginia to whip up her creation featuring the sponsoring brew  in a burger dressed with cheese spread and carmelized onion jam.  Here she is with Amstel Light chef Jake Linzinmeir in a photo from EarthTimes:

The burgermeisters were gunning for one of two big prizes on the night.  The judges named Michael Schwartz the winner of the Golden Grill Award.  Schwartz owns local Miami hotpsot Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and offered up what he called “the perfect bacon cheeseburger.”  By all accounts, it was a simple yet super-tasty burger: house-smoked bacon, white Cheddar, heirloom tomato, and local lettuce on a brioche bun.  Jacquelynn D. Powers took this shot of him posing with the judges’ choice:

But the evening’s top award is the People’s Choice.  In what hostess Ray told the crowd was a near-tie, Bobby Flay was edged out by fellow Iron Chef Michael Symon.  His burg was called the Fat Doug: a beef patty topped with the chef’s own pastrami, Swiss, and coleslaw. The burger-Reuben-lovechild has long been a hit at Symon’s Cleveland restaurant, B Spot Burgers.  Cleveland flood blogger Nancy Heller and her Fun Playing With Food site portray it thusly:

I had no idea of the votesI was in the back all night cooking the burgers,“  Symon said of his first Burger Bash.  “You never expect to win something like this with a lineup of so many great chefs, but I am thrilled.“  Here he is basking in victory with his trophy in a photo from Seth Browarnik:

Word is that while Symon’s burger was fantastic, his side may have actually been the clincher in his dramatic win.  While some chefs dished out fries or tater tots with their burgs, Symon poured sample cups of a concoction he called the Baconater*: a milkshake made with vanilla bean, apple pie… and bacon.  (*Not to be confused with Wendy’s incredibly crappy fast-food burger.)

As for me, I’ll just have to imagine how good it all was… and keep my fingers crossed for an invite to next year’s Burger Bash.

One Response to “Iron Chef Michael Symon Wins 2010 Burger Bash”

  1. 1
    Sean Edwards Says:

    That’s awesome Symon won, I always liked his obsession over pork products in his meals…

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