The New York City Wine and Food Festival’s Blue Moon Burger Bash, presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and Blue Moon Brewing Company, was a proper celebration of America’s most iconic and renowned dish: the burger. The event, which was held Friday night on Pier 92 in midtown Manhattan, featured signature burgers from some of New York’s finest and most innovative restaurants. Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer (which has grown “Insta-famous” for its indulgent, over-the-top milkshakes) had a line wrapped around the pier for its Kobe beef burger, which received the People’s Choice Award for favorite burger of the night. The Melt Shop, another popular New York joint renowned for its grilled cheese sandwiches, featured a jerk-jam topped burger accompanied by house-made pickles.
This year’s Burger Bash wasn’t without its fair share of culinary celebrities. The event was hosted by Food Network’s Rachael Ray and special guest judges, who ultimately decided the Burger Bash winner, including actors Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, restaurateur Marc Murphy, and chef Josh Capon. Iron Chef Marc Forgione was also in attendance representing his restaurant American Cut and promoting the launch of his new dining venture, Burger Bar, which is set to open Oct. 18. However, the Iron Chef’s burger with bourbon-spiked onions couldn’t defeat that of David’s Café: The classic, double patty burger, with all the signature fixings, was the Judges’ Choice Award winner.
To wash down all of that rich beef, Blue Moon Brewing Company had beers flowing all night, while Maker’s Mark Whiskey, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Glenlivet Scotch were on-hand as well mixing cocktails. Non-alcoholic options such as VOSS water, Purity Organic Juices, and Coca-Cola products were available to keep guests hydrated (and standing). But the highlight of the night had to be the live band, Project Orange, whose electrifying energy absolutely brought the house down with its cover of “Welcome to Jamrock.”
All the proceeds from the evening went to the Food Bank For New York City, a hunger-relief organization that provides meals for those in need throughout the five boroughs. Since its inception nearly nine years ago, the New York City Wine and Food Festival has raised almost $10 million dollars for the fight against hunger.