Twenty-six burgers, a tent full of elbows, and just a little more than three hours, this was the challenge: Can you taste all the burgers? Yes, you can. Starting at the back of the tent and working back to the front was the strategy for this year's Burger Bash.
The stars were out — spotted during the night: Michael Symon being mobbed for photos, Bobby Flay trying to help out his station, Danny Meyer in jeans handing out a perennial favorite, Anne Burrell having a good time, Yumsugar, Team Eater, Spike Mendelsohn gaming it up in a Hamburglar outfit, Ray-Ray, José Garces, Ming Tsai, Alex Guarnaschelli, Todd English, Morimoto, Dave Martin, Ted Allen, Drew Nieporent, Tim Love, Michael White, Marc Murphy, and Guy Fieri walked in with bodyguards and flashbulbs popping off constantly. The list goes on.
Of the 26 burgers on the offer, five of the best were made by Michael Symon (most tasty), Tim Love (most interesting), El Mago (sentimental local favorite), Spike Mendelsohn (strong return), and Boston Burger Company (to our surprise).
Asked about the inspiration behind his burger Chef Tim Love noted, "I was out on the ranch and I shot a black-backed antelope and I wanted to eat it right away, but that's not very a propos, so, well, we grow huckleberries on the ranch and combining them was just unbelievable."
And how about his chances at winning? "I think I put the best burger out there tonight, but I don't think I'm going to win because I don't win popularlity contests, I just get in people's minds."
In the end it was an unprecedented back-to-back win for Mike Symon who just moments before being announced as both the Peoples' Choice and Best Dressed Burger winner was characteristically self-effacing about his chances, "There's an amazing number of chefs here. We think we made a killer burger, but you never know. Bobby's here, Tim Love's here, Michael White, there's just a bunch of amazing chefs competing."