South Beach Wine & Food Festival 2011 Burger Bash Preview

​Ready to get your burger on, babies? For this year's Burger Bash, winners from the last four years have returned to grill the others into submission.

Starting soon, we'll be sharing some of the winning recipes so you can begin training at home. But, honestly, nothing could prepare you for the onslaught of 26 types of stacked glory available that night.

Some folks will stick to tradition like (snore!) Shake Shack's entry with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and Shack sauce [okay, so they won the People's Choice Award in 2007. I'm still not a fan.]. But then there will be entries like Love Shack's elk and foie gras burger with huckleberry jam that sounds quite interesting.

Some of the toppings may have you scratching your head. Case in point: black tomatoes, Meyer lemon honey mustard sauce, quail egg, cilantro, and apple butter. (Thankfully these won't appear together under one bun.) And, though this is no time for dieting, even the South Beach Diet folks are doing their part with a low-carb option inspired by chicken satay. Hmm.

Carb-loaders will be pleased, though not surprised, to know potatoes will appear in fries, tots, and salad. You greasy types will find everything from pickles to salami and grits popped fresh from the fryer.

And for you sweet tooth possessors, Jacques Torres is bringing chocolate chip cookies, Fireman Derek has those lovely pies on the way, and Ciao Bella will cool your palates with Lebanese yogurt, lemon zest, and malted milk gelato. We won't tell you what type of milkshakes last year's Bash winner Michael Symon has in the works, but let's just say you may need to show some ID before sipping. Let's not let all those goodies distract you from the pieces de resistance, though.

Hungry for some bovine bounty now? Get ready!

Keeping kosher? Stay home.

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Riki Altman