Eating the burgers at Rachael Ray's twice-yearly Burger Bash: it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it! The event, which took place in a giant tent overlooking the waves of South Beach, was the big party of Thursday night, and everybody, from Spike Mendelsohn (dressed in a Hamburglar costume) to the NFL's hunky Jason Taylor, was there. We tried as many burgers as our stomachs could fit to decide who took top billing when it came to the beef. Here, a few standouts, and why they did — or didn't — work for us.
Chef Tim Love combined elk meat with foie gras to make a patty that was incredibly juicy and unlike any of the other burgers at the event. For a nice balance of bittersweet flavors to contrast the rich meat mixture, it was topped with arugula and huckleberry jam.
It was definitely one of my top burgers, and I was surprised because I'd never had elk before! How about you?
Last Friday, however, things changed: his Santa Fe Burger finally took home the top prize, the people's choice award! I tasted the scrumptious and messy burger that consisted of a beef patty topped with a queso sauce, roasted poblano peppers, and blue corn tortilla chips. It was so good that I found the recipe and tried it out. I wanted to see if the homemade version stood up to the burger made by Flay himself. Luckily it did!
The flavors in this burger are sublime: the smooth, creamy cheese sauce is rich, but light, and the crunch of the chips gives the burger a wonderful texture. If you are afraid of heat, don't worry: Flay calls the mild poblano "a gateway chile," and the burger isn't spicy at all. Get his winning recipe after the jump.
The four-day event was chock-full of demos, discussions, and, of course, parties. Food Network favorite Giada De Laurentiis and actress Alicia Silverstone signed copies of their books. Former President Bill Clinton, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Rachael Ray talked about tackling childhood obesity. Everyone, including fellow network stars Guy Fieri and Giada De Laurentiis, turned out for the biggest event of the festival, Rachael Ray's Burger Bash.
Want to know who else was there — and who took top honors at the Burger Bash? Find out when you keep reading.
While the entertainment industry turned to LA for the glitz and glamour of the 81st Academy Awards, the best and brightest stars of the culinary world gathered in Florida over the weekend for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
The four-day festival kicked off on Thursday night with the highly anticipated Burger Bash. Reigning Burger Bash queen, Katie Lee Joel, handed her crown over to the new king, Top Chef four's Spike Mendelsohn. His Coletti's Smokehouse burger (with Applewood bacon, sharp Vermont cheddar, fried Vidalia onion rings, and chipotle BBQ sauce) swept the competition.
Other highlights included a special dinner with the king and queen of Spain, a barbecue hosted by Tom Colicchio, a tribute to Emeril Lagasse, an Oscars viewing with Bobby Flay, several grand tastings, and countless demonstrations.
To check out a huge gallery of images of all your foodie favorites, read more
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival hosted by Food Network and Food and Wine magazine kicks off today in Florida. One of the hottest tickets is to the wildly popular Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray. In October, I checked out the New York competition that Katie Lee Joel won with her Logan County Burger.
Tonight, Joel will defend her title against last year's South Beach winner, Michael Schlow. Since I won't be present at the SOBE Burger Bash, I decided to treat myself by making Schlow's monster of a burger.
The Schlow burger is more complex than Joel's burger and involves fried onion rings, melted cheddar cheese, and a creamy horseradish sauce. The recipe says that the 9-ounce patties make "two fat-boy burgers" and trust me, after eating one of these babies (I made it through half), you'll feel like a fat boy.
However, this incredible burger is worth it. It's a masterpiece of flavors: the crispy onions are slightly caramelized, the lightly seasoned ground beef is tender, the mayonnaise is tangy and provides a much-needed moistness. If you or a loved one is a burger fanatic, make this burger. There's a reason it won the Burger Bash — quite simply, it's absolutely delicious. Want the recipe? Please, read more
Yesterday I had the lovely opportunity of speaking with cookbook author and burger queen Katie Lee Joel over the phone. She was calling from New York City to set the record straight about her Burger Bash win. According to her critics, the Logan County Burger, which won fair and square, is not a burger at all, but rather a popular sandwich known as a patty melt. To find out what the soft-spoken, charming chef had to say, read more
Former Top Chef hostess and cookbook author Katie Lee Joel was crowned this year's queen of the Burger Bash. The event, which was hosted by Rachael Ray, was a part of the Food Network's NYC Wine and Food Festival. Joel was the only participating female among the 18 chefs who submitted burgers. Her burger was a cross between a hamburger and a grilled cheese.
Dubbed the Logan County Hamburger, the burger is a creation of Joel's grandmother who made the burger with cheap ingredients during tough times. It's simple, yet delicious and intensely comforting. The combination of the beef, melted cheese, and crisp bread is perfectly satisfying. Look at Joel's recipe and read more
During the South Beach Festival, Rachael Ray's Burger Bash is one of the weekend's most coveted tickets. Naturally the event planners decided to recreate the party at the New York City counterpart. I was lucky (or unlucky — that many burgers made me sick, literally!) enough to attend the party last Friday night. While I wasn't able to stomach all 18 burgers, I did taste quite a few. Love burgers? Take a closer look at the Burger Bash!