The 2015 South Beach Wine & Food Festival is in full swing, and its flagship event, the Amstel Light Burger Bash, was back with a host of familiar faces as well as a slew of new ones. Thirty leading chefs and thousands of hungry fans gathered under one giant tent to serve and enjoy some truly creative and delicious burgers, and, in the end, Josh Capon’s now-famous Bash Burger took the win.
Even though a stiff breeze was blowing, the heat was on to see who would take the crown. Capon has won several New York Burger Bashes with his Bash Burger, topped with caramelized onion and bacon jam, pickles, American cheese, and secret sauce, but this was his first time taking the win in South Beach, at a competition that’s been dominated by Bobby Flay and Michael Symon in recent years.
“There’s no place I’d rather be right now than looking for my first title in the sand,” he told us before the event started. “It’s perfection on a bun. It’s the money bite.”
Pincho Factory, which served a “Croquesta” burger (brisket, short rib, and chuck croquette topped with Swiss, pickles, mustard, and mayo in a brioche bun) took the year’s People’s Choice award.
Shake Shack, which won People’s Choice last year with its ShackMeister burger (topped with fried onion strings), debuted a new burger this year: the Roadside Shack, topped with bacon, American cheese, and caramelized onions.
“It’s great to be able to get together with friends and talk shop, and it’s great to be in Miami,” Jose Garces, who served his Whiskey King burger (maple bourbon glazed cippolini, blue cheese, and foie gras) told us. Toro’s Ken Oringer, who served a beef burger topped with French onion soup mayo (genius), jalapeño chips, and foie gras onions, echoed the sentiment, saying “it’s just so much fun to be here. You can be so creative with a burger, and I get to cook with some of my idols.”
Other standout burgers included Tim Love’s Rib Eye Burger (topped with lamb bacon, arugula, and roasted red pepper hollandaise); The Meatball Shop’s Reuben Burger (topped with pastrami spice, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island, and sauerkraut), Morimoto’s Short Rib Burger with homemade pickles, and Delicatessen’s Beer and Bacon Cheeseburger, with beer-braised onions and cheddar.