The 2014 Food Network New York Wine & Food Festival Blue Moon Burger Bash has come and gone, and perennial champion Josh Capon, who has taken the win for the past two years, took the People’s Choice prize, with Marc Murphy winning the Judge’s Choice.
Capon served his famous Bash Burger, topped with caramelized onions and bacon jam, shaved pickles, American cheese, and secret sauce on a Martin’s potato roll. Murphy served his “Lamb-Mark,” a spiced lamb burger with mint chimichurri, also on a Martin’s potato roll.
“It was a lot of fun and a total shock,” Murphy told us when we asked him how it felt to win the coveted Judge’s Choice award. “I always try to make the best burger, so I’m glad the judges liked it. I liked it too!”
When we asked him his secret to a great burger, he told us that a great burger “is so rich that it has to have a nice sear and juicy meat, and the toppings need to add freshness and acidity.” His personal favorite burger topping? “Bread and butter pickles,” he said.
There were a total of 30 different stations set up on the roof of Pier 92, serving burgers topped with caciocavallo, pickled escarole, and roasted tomatoes (Perla); bacon marmalade (Costata); Black Forest pork belly, caramelized onion and apple jam, Gruyere, pickled red cabbage, and spicy mustard Dijonaise (Robert Irvine); and crispy beer-marinated shallots (Shake Shack). While some went ape-wild with their toppings, others, like the Brindle Room and Smith & Wollensky, kept it simple, serving patties made with dry-aged beef accented with only a slice of cheese.
As always, the event was filled to capacity within minutes of the doors opening, and lines for some of the most in-demand burgers stretched more than 20-deep. But there was plenty of Blue Moon and Sutter Home to keep the crowd well-lubricated, and all attendees certainly got their money’s worth. Hey, it’s a tough job to sample 30 burgers, but somebody’s gotta do it.