The NYC Wine & Food Festival’s artery-clogging Burger Bash

Overheard at the 2012 Burger Bash: “This is the only day of the year that I eat red meat.”

If that indeed was the case, that particular burger lover certainly chose an event that raised her cholesterol count for life.  Boasting its largest competitive field ever with 29 burgers up for grabs, the 2012 Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival ran its annual burger contest at Pier 39 Basketball City.  The popular Food Network chef starlet Rachael Ray hosted the event following a hiatus last year, as attendees made the outdoor rounds during an unseasonably cold evening, sampling creations by Bobby Flay, Shake Shack, the Neelys and even dessert meister Jacques Torres, who created a dessert burger with chocolate mousse.

Our pick of the evening was the smoked burger offering by Tartulia, created by chef Seamus Mullen. Although the former finalist of “The Next Iron Chef”  heads a Spanish restaurant in Manhattan, Mullen is no stranger to burgers, having won the 2012 SUPERBURGER contest in the Hamptons, which earned him the right to compete in the Burger Bash.  Mullen pretty much managed to smoke every single ingredient in this dish – including the mayonnaise – creating a memorable aftertaste.

Another notable, but dangerous, dish was The Capitol Grille’s wagyu cheeseburger topped with a quail egg and fried onions on a brioche roll.  If that wasn’t enough to cause a heart attack, they added a white cheese tater tot to the side.

Ray presented awards to the judges’ and People’s Choice winners.  The judges’ winner, determined through a blind taste test, was Michael White of Ai Fiori, and the People’s Choice for the third straight year was Josh Capon of Burger & Barrel.

For interviews and footage from the event with some of the chefs, including a Pat Neely video bomb and Jacques Torres dancing to Bon Jovi, watch our video below.

Video: 2012 Burger Bash –  Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival

video by Francis Chin / Meniscus Magazine
interviews by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine