The smell of beef was in the air as the South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Burger Bash celebrated its 10th anniversary on the sand.
It seemed like the entire population of Miami Beach came out to nosh on burgers and drink beer as thousands of carnivores queued up to chow on burgers from celebrity chefs like Tim Love, SPike Mendelsohn, and America's favorite weatherman, Al Roker.
Burger Bash host Rachael Ray was joined by a high-wattage cadre of judges: Neil Patrick Harris, Natalie Morales, George Motz, David Burtka, and Marcus Samuelsson were tasked with choosing the best of the best.
After much deliberation (and plenty of beef), the Schweid & Sons Very Best Burger award went to South Florida food truck, Jersey Dawg. Owner Robert Goodman was amazed by the win. "I was standing next to Mori-fricking-Moto!"
Goodman won for his classic slider, a tribute to White Castle's burgers with a cult-like following. "Goodman starts with a ball of about two ounces of beef then smashes it on a griddle and slowly cooks the meat with super thin onions. "When you flip the burger, the onions caramelize on the juice of the burger. The vapors of the onion also steam into the bun. That's the burger we make. I bring back classic New Jersey comfort food. "
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto took home the People's Choice award for his menchi katsu, a fried burger rested on a Martin's potato roll, served with kimchi.
Other notable bites included The Federal's sweet plaintain pastelon burger, topped with pork cracklings and queso frito on a Martin's potato roll.
The Fooq's Burger was a local favorite. A blend of brisket, skirt steak, and short rib was topped with Jarlsberg and melted on the spot for a perfect cheese-to-meat ratio.
Pincho Factory's Nedal Ahmad proudly displayed his 2015 trophy to the crowds who lined up for a taste of his meaty delights.
The celebration was marked with a giant 70-pound burger cake, presented by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro. Because every delicious burger meal deserves a sweet finish.
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