SoBeWFF Burger Bash: Michael Symon's Three-Peat

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Lesley Elliott
Symon wins Burger Bash, yet again.
View photos of Burger Bash at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach here.

Although we had grand dreams that a local chef would take the prize, Symon's B Spot Burgers claimed the People's Choice Award yet again this year at last night's Burger Bash (that's a third consecutive win for him). Fellow Iron Chefs Marc Forgione, Morimoto, and Bobby Flay must be getting a slight complex.

Rachael Ray did say that "it was an extremely close vote," but the people have obviously spoken, and Symon seems to be their favorite son. His "Porky Burger" was pig on pig, made from pork and bacon, crowned with a hunk of pulled pork, and served with a side of pork cracklins.

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Lesley Elliott
B Spot's winning burger.
Judges included Gail Simmons, Emeril Lagasse, Marc Murphy, and Food Network's Susie Fogelson, who gave South Miami-based Whisk Gourmet Food and Catering the "Golden Grill" award for having the highest quality meat on the beach, and bestowed the "Best Dressed Burger" award upon Guy Fieri, who topped his burger with a "bacon patty," a thick slice of tomato, rojo onion rings and an oozing layer of "donkey sauce."

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Lesley Elliott
Guy Fieri's "Best Dressed Burger."
As usual, the lines were longer for celebuchefs, and we've never heard the words "I love you! I watch you all the time!" muttered between strangers quite that much, without a restraining order being issued. Other Food Network darlings like Andrew Zimmern and Alex Guarnaschelli roamed the tents with entourage, while esteemed chefs such as Jonathan Waxman and our very own Allen Susser shook lots of hands and posed for many pictures.

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Lesley Elliott
Morimoto had the longest lines again this year, the man draws a serious crowd.
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Lesley Elliott
Bobby Flay's line gave Morimoto's some stiff competition.
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Lesley Elliott
Lee Schrager and Rachael Ray intro the winners.
Now let's take a moment to memorialize the burgers from Miami's chefs that didn't make the cut (just in case you are wondering who we thought nailed it). Howie's "Luther Burger" with aged cheddar, was sandwiched between two halves of a glazed donut bun, go Bulldog BBQ (a stoner's wet dream). Timon Balloo from Sugarcane presented an "Asian Sensation," which translates as a tonkatsu glazed slider with shitake mushrooms and caramelized onions, and had a gooey ball of cheese in the center that literally melted in the mouth. Lastly, kudos to the Ritz-Carlton for hosting the party once again and bringing their Mediterranean-themed lamb burger with whipped feta and balsamic peppers to the tents. Chef Andrew Balick was making certain each was cooked perfectly, not easy to do when those lines are long.

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Location Info


The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach

1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

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Chef Andrew Balicks lamb slider was hands down the best one there!


The hamburger probably single handedly got the restaurant industry thru the last few years of this economy. How many new businesses and locations popped up and ho wmany tried to ride the wave of the burger wars ? I'm still surprised nobody mentions Fuddrucker's as the best of them. Fudd's is still easily, far and away superior to 5 Guys and the other's that are selling $ 10 gourmet hamburgers.

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