Top burger chefs battle it out for Burger Bash bragging rights - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Top burger chefs battle it out for Burger Bash bragging rights

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) – More than two dozen chefs from around the country competed for the title of “best burger” at this year’s Burger Bash.

Celebrity Chef Rachel Ray hosted the Wine and Food Festival’s Eighth annual Burger Bash held behind the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on South Beach, Friday night. Hundreds came from around the country to get a chance to bite into some of the tastiest burgers ever cooked up. “I’m from New York,” said attendee Ralphie. “This is my second time… It’s incredible. This is a place where you can enjoy great burgers, have a couple of drinks and meet new people.”

With more than 85,000 pounds of burger meat being grilled, some attendees were determined to get at least one bite of every burger competing. “I’m probably on number 10, but now I’m just down to bites. Started out with whole burgers, but we’re now down to bites,” said local Ron Gruschow.

Foodie Cassandra Bryan said, “I’m just dying to try them all. I’m hungry, and I’ve been dying to come to this event.”

A total of 31 restaurants took part in the competition, including some of Miami’s very own: OTC, Tongue & Cheek, STK, and Burger Bash vet The Ritz-Carlton South Beach. “We have been doing this since it [Burger Bash] started,” said Andres Merad with The Ritz-Carlton South Beach. “This year we are doing a chorizo burger, so it’s ground pork sausage with a little bit of watercress, Chihuahua cheese, caramelized onions. It’s really good. What really sets us apart from everyone else is that we are using pork instead of a beef burger.”

Other chefs, however, took it a bit further and switched out the traditional buns for a college favorite. “The bun is made out of fresh ramen noodles… It’s covered in shoyu glaze, which is my secret recipe,” said Ramen Burger creator Keizo Shimamoto. “Today we have a double Wagyu [Japanese cow] ramen burger, it’s a slight change from our original because we are using the Wagyu. It’s a special just for Miami.”

Attendee Katiuska Sebastiani said the ramen bun and Wagyu beef were just the perfect combination. “The noodles were grilled, and it was actually kind of sweet. It was just the right kind of balance.”

So what was needed to take the title of best burger? “The cheese,” said Cynthia Craig from Wellington. “Orange, gooey and yummy,” she said as she recalled her favorite of the night, Shake Shack's dry-aged ShackBurger.

And Craig wasn’t alone on that one, celebrity judges Anne Burrell, Geoffrey Zakarian and Andrew Zimmern, also agreed and crowned Shake Shack as their favorite of the night.

However, the night’s big winner, receiving the title of Amstel Light People’s Choice, was three-time champ, Michael Symon from the B Spot in Cleveland, Ohio. Symon takes the title for the fourth time. His winning burger, the Fat Doug, had coleslaw, pastrami, mustard and of course, havarti cheese.
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